Now that I’m slowly becoming Kindlelized I realize I might be reading on a Kindle for the rest of my life, at least if Amazon keeps marketing their ereaders by that name. Evolutionary steps in the Kindle technology have made reading much easier than book reading, especially now that I’m older with bad eyesight. However, the Kindle is far from perfect, and I’d like to make a few suggestions Mr. Bezos for future features I’d like to use.
If I’m switching to ebooks then I want a library for my ebooks. So far Kindles are more like a box for books, not even a bookshelf, and what I need for a lifetime of ebook collecting is a personal electronic library system.
Kindle Cloud Library and Librarian
Once I got a couple dozen books and magazines on my Kindle the interface became annoying and clumsy. I now read my Kindle books on my Kindle 3, iPad 2, iPod touch, PC and Mac. My wife owns a Kindle Touch and I’m going to buy one too, and I plan to get a Fire when version 2 comes out. I also have Calibre on my PC, and Send to Kindle extension for Chrome on all my computers. And even though the Kindle environment keeps up where I left off in any book despite what device I read on, not all content is available on every device or reader program.
My first request is for a Kindle Library in the Amazon Cloud. I want one location to keep all books, magazines and documents that will be permanent. By permanent, I mean the rest of my life. I want to leave my library in my will.
I want one location to keep clean and organized. I want one location where I can file and organize my library. I want to be able to list by author, title, subject and collection. I’d also like to list by year published, date acquired, books read, books unread, books I want to read, etc.
Once I start getting thousands of documents this will become very important.
I want all my devices to check out books from a single Kindle Cloud Library. Then when I’m finish reading, I want to clear the book from the device, or even from all devices automatically. I want to manage one library in the cloud rather than libraries on every device and reader program.
I want to upload my personal documents to the Kindle Cloud Library in addition to sending them to my Kindle email address.
I want a cataloging system too, something simple like the Dewey Decimal system. Library of Congress is too complicated.
I also want tools for managing my library like a database. It would be a huge plus if it integrated with LibraryThing or GoodReads, and I could export data to a spreadsheet or database for making printed reports.
It would also be great Mr. Bezos if my Kindle Cloud Library integrated with Evernote.
Kindle Special Collections File Folders
I don’t care how Amazon stores my ebooks and audiobooks, but I want a section of my cloud library for documents I create that works like Dropbox. I want to be able to organize my documents into folders and subfolders. It would also be useful to have a tool that converts documents that I want to keep permanently in my library to Kindle’s ebook format, but I want to store Word and Acrobat files too, as well as jpeg photos. And hey, get rid of DRM and work out a world-wide universal ebook format that will last forever.
Kindle Library Card
I hate the fact that my wife can’t read my Kindle books. I suppose we could swap Kindles, but that’s messy. I suppose we could share one account, but that’s messy too. I want my own library, and I want her to have her own library, but I want to be able to borrow each other’s books.
We need to have a library checkout system for family members. Spouses and children should have unlimited access to family libraries. We should also have limited check-out privileges for friends and extended family.
Kindle Interlibrary Loan and Bookstore
When I search for a book in my library I want to know if I own it first. Then, I want to know if there are public domain editions I can add to my library. Then I want to know if there are library copies available, either from my public library or from Amazon Prime. Finally, I want to be told what copies are available for sale.
Kindle Multimedia Library
Because Amazon also owns Audible.com where I buy my audio books, and I have my music stored in the Amazon Cloud, I’d like to be able to integrate these media into my Kindle Library Cloud. The Fire is moving towards this now, but I want all my Kindle devices and readers to read all the various kinds of content in my library. I want my librarian management software to work with all media.
I’d also like to be able to add audiobooks I’ve ripped from CDs to my Kindle Cloud Library. Ditto for tape audiobooks I’ve converted to MP3s.
Remove from Collection
I also want a way to remove content from my collection. Whether this is a permanent deletion or shelving in hidden stacks I don’t care.
Kindle Book Match
Now I don’t know if this last request is even possible, but I’m going to ask. I know some people will never cotton to ebooks, and many people will always want to collect physical books. I’d like some kind of system like iTunes Music Match where I turn in my physical books and get ebooks added to my library. I just don’t want to buy books twice like I did with albums when I bought many CDs that I already owned on LPs. Since Amazon is in the used book business maybe it would take physical books in trade for ebook editions.
JWH – 2/14/12