amazon's kindle store (which by the way must have the least bookmarkable URI on the planet) still boasts a russia-like collection of 11 newspapers and 8 magazines. however, since they do have the New York Times ($13.99/month) and the Frankfurter Allgemeine ($14.99), i decided to give these a try.
the result: forget it. after trying to read newspapers on the kindle for about two weeks, the only thing i am really wondering about is whether they made the experience this miserable on purpose, or by accident. i am undecided, but lean towards the former. what's so bad about it?
you get the newspaper delivered as a book. so what happens is that whatever amazon receives from the newspaper, it is being cast into the sequential format of a book. so you end up paging through probably hundreds of pages, with no overview at all, and all of that with the agonizing speed of the e-ink display.
don't get me wrong: i want a newspaper (several of them, actually) being delivered to me electronically to an e-ink device. but a newspaper is not a book, and e-ink navigation needs to be carefully designed because the refresh rate is so slow. it was surprising to see that amazon did not even think about any of these things.
i am afraid that newspapers and kindle readers will conclude from this that
reading newspapers on an e-book is a bad idea, whereas in reality all you can conclude from that is that amazon did not even start thinking about the important issues, and thus the kindle is completely inappropriate for this.
i am pretty convinced that the newspaper arm of the kindle empire will not really flourish, but my guess is that the real purpose of the device, to bring book purchases down to the level of impulse buys like candy in the supermarket checkout funnel, will be more than enough to make it a commercial success. but i am still waiting for a decent e-book reader to be released...