Kindle coming to a Target near you

This Sunday you’ll finally have the option to try a Kindle before you buy. Amazon plans to start selling the Kindle in Target stores beginning June 6th.

The news comes just after Barnes & Noble announced that it would offer a free $50 gift card with the purchase of any new Nook through the month of June. Nook has had a leg up on the Kindle since its release, if only because interested consumers could actually hold one before buying (let’s be honest, though, that’s not the only reason the Nook is better).

The Kindle will run you $259 in-store, just as it would if you bought it on Amazon.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


Amazon says millions have Kindles

Kindle vs. the iPad.Kindle sales are notoriously hard to track because the company won’t talk specifics. Amazon is also becoming famous for talking about the success of the Kindle in relative terms, making it basically impossible to nail down just how well the ebook reader and the Kindle store are performing.

The most recent statement from Bezos regarding sales came shortly after the iPad announcement. He says, “millions of people now own Kindles.” That means basically nothing. The device has been around for more than two years, and as the mother-of-all ereaders for most of that time, you’d hope it has a couple million in circulation.

Here’s Bezos on the performance of the Kindle store: “When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books…This is year-to-date and includes only paid books—free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It’s been an exciting 27 months.” Again, essentially meaningless. Of course the number of ebooks to real books will be higher in the case that ebooks exist for a given text, but is that really a good thing for the industry? Ebooks are much cheaper than hardbacks and even most paperbacks at release. It seems to follow that there could be people without a Kindle that still download the goods to something like an iPhone. It’s good for Amazon but pretty terrible for publishers, who are seeing profits slide in the wake of digital content.

Add to all of this the fact that the Kindle is a purpose-built device, a dying breed gadgets that seem to have decreasing lifespans as the years wear on. The iPad with its epub format and color screen is going to make the Kindle look like yesterday’s brown bag lunch that forces you to load it down with liverwurst sandwiches (may have taken that one a bit far). No thank you.