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The Kindle’s Ugly; Can I Customize It, Please?

Michael Hyatt, the president/CEO of Thomas Nelson, has been playing with his new Kindle, and while he acknowledges, it’s “certainly not a major advance over, say, the Sony Reader,” he’s jazzed about the fact that it’s “not so much an eBook as it is a portable bookstore.” Though the look and feel of the thing “reminds me of an old HP calculator,” there’s a lot of design elements he likes, and he provides us with a definite answer on that tricky “Will the Kindle read my PDFs?” question. And that answer is yes, but…:

“I was able to add PDF documents with no trouble. You simply email the documents as attachments to your Kindle.com email address. [Amazon.com] converts the document to their proprietary format and sends it to your Kindle. They charge 10 cents for each document.”

Alexander Chee also has issues with the Kindle design: “I want to see it go from looking like the early giant cell-phones of the 90s to looking like an iPhone, by next year,” he writes. “I want short stories and poems to be as hot as iTunes singles, to sign into an Amazon version of iTunes and get emails from Amazon alerting me to the new availability of a Miranda July or Yiyun Li story and then to pull out my super-sexy slim gleaming Kindle with my promotional skin designed by Anders Nilsen or Gabrielle Bell, and to click and buy it and have it.”

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