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Why Amazon's Kindle Won't Be on My Shelf

The Roman philosopher Cicero said that a room without books is like a body without a soul, but try telling that to Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) CEO Jeff Bezos, who has high hopes for his firm's Kindle technology.

The latest Amazon e-book, the Kindle DX, is now available, and Bezos is looking to revolutionize the way people read. Capable of storing up to 3,500 books, the Kindle has even been touted as the savior of the ailing book publishing industry. Amazon is also fluttering its eyelashes in the direction of newspapers, and universities, pushing the Kindle DX out into leafy suburbs and college dorms.

This is all well and good, but I am not in the market for a Kindle. Like many people, I stare, zombie-like into a screen all day, so I enjoy opening up a book (or newspaper) on the subway to and from work. Sure, books take up way too much space in my cramped apartment, but I kind of like the way that they look. Call me old-fashioned, but there is just something about the touch and feel of a book.

The other thing that puts me off the new Kindle is its price tag -- $489 seems like a lot of money, particularly in this economy. Amazon is also no Apple (AAPL - Get Report) when it comes to design, and the Kindle DX screamed function rather than form when I got a chance to play with it.

It's also worth taking a reality check on the e-book market, which only accounts for a small, albeit growing, percentage of the overall book publishing industry. In March, for example, electronic books accounted for just 2.6% of overall book sales, according to figures from the Association of American Publishers.

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