Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos yesterday announced the launch of Kindle, an e-book reader that his company has spent the last three years developing. Kindle, which retails for $399, weighs 10.3 ounces and can hold two hundred books at once. Amazon has reached agreements with all of the major publishers to sell electronic versions of their books, which readers can wirelessly download to Kindle. E-books cost anywhere from $9.99 for a best seller to $20 for less popular titles. The online bookseller offers about ninety thousand titles for download, compared to twenty thousand available to users of the Sony Reader, which was launched by Sony Corporation in September 2006.
Bezos said Kindle is ideal for travelers and those who read more than one book at the same time. Magazines and newspapers can also be viewed using the device. A subscription to the New York Times is $13.99 a month; the Wall Street Journal is $9.99.