Kindle 2 Will Woo You, Despite its Price

Amazon's digital-book reader gets a lovely makeover. Too bad no one can afford to buy it

Amazon's digital-book reader, the Kindle

If only the Kindle 2 were cheaper! Despite its other shortcomings, Amazon's new and improved digital-book reading device does enough right that it could become the Model T of e-readers, capturing the imagination--and discretionary spending--of the masses. But in this wretched economy, in which most of us will purchase only nonessentials that save us money or make us money, I doubt folks will pony up $359 for a pleasure-reading gadget. And thanks to Amazon's mysterious pricing policies, the old argument--that digital books are so much cheaper than their hide-bound ancestors--no longer holds.

Before a recent visit to my dear old mum,...

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