The second generation Amazon Kindle certainly has some nice features. At $359 (not including $30 case), I would think it would. Before you shell out the dollars let’s look at some negatives and alternatives.
The Kindle is copying the business model that Apple was so successful with for the iPod. First, sell the device. Second, open an internet store from which music and videos can be purchased. It worked well for Apple and before long they had competitors, the Microsoft Zune for example. Well at least the iPods and Zunes can play mp3 music from your own collection. Would you not expect an ebook reader to read pdf’s from your own collection? It does not.
For less money you should consider a more capable device. The Foxit eSlick reads pdf’s and several other formats, so many of them that they claim it might replace your printer! At $230 this is a strong contender to the Kindle. For $300 the Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital Book Reader also reads multiple formats. Sony also offers a new model the PRS-700 for $400.
If you insist on a book-sized device then one of the above should please you. For myself I’ll stay with my iPod Touch. It fits in my shirt pocket and is simply great in waiting rooms and lounges. Several ebook readers are available for it, at least two are free.. eReader and Stanza. Stanza offfers a free desktop app for both Windows OS and Mac OS X that allows you to add your personal pdf’s to your library. Linux users can use the AirSharing app ($7) or the free ad sponsered Discover. Furthermore, if I tire of reading I can play games or listen to music. Depending on the amount of memory a Touch will cost $400 or less.
What’s best for me may not be best for you. Consider all the alternatives and remember that the most expensive is not necessarily the ideal device for you.