Kindle History: It All Started Five Years Ago Today

I have few regrets about my involvement with the Kindle these past five years, but one of them is triggered by today’s anniversary. It was five years ago today, on November 19, 2007, that the original Kindle sold out in the first five and a half hours of availability. I wish I’d been one of those lucky buyers, but I waited about a month before ordering my first Kindle. I had been burned nearly a decade earlier by my enthusiasm for NuvoMedia’s Rocket eBook, which I was sure was going to revolutionize reading. It didn’t. So I waited.

A lot of would-be Kindle customers waited, too, because the original Kindle, priced at $399, was out of stock for five months, until late April of 2008. That caused a frenzy on eBay, where Kindles were selling for as much as $1,500 according to a blog post by Andrei Pushkin that I found dated December 19, 2007. “Don’t you wish you had ordered a couple of Kindles on launch day?” Andrei asked. “You could have sold one of them on eBay which would have easily paid for the other one. With the remaining cash you could have downloaded a couple of titles from the Amazon store as well.”

There was wisdom in that frenzy. You could tell Something Was Up. Five years later, you can buy an E Ink Kindle for $69 – not to mention an entirely new branch of the family, the Kindle Fire.

Do you remember where YOU were when you first heard about the Kindle?


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Comments 6

  1. JOSE FUENTES wrote:

    For my work in IT, always required to be aware of technological advances.
    As a book lover, always looking for how much literary novelty appeared.
    However, I refused to leave my beloved books. I could not think of changing the pleasure of caressing the cover, the soft feel and distinctive aroma of the leaves; enjoy on the beach, the countryside, in my car or in the comfort of my home, for an electronic device which, though he had read many wonders simply did not believe it. I thought everything was very well prepared and aggressive marketing program, however, kept me behind their advances and increasingly felt closer to that meeting had long avoided.
    A year ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I started to read all the readings for my busy working life, was always postponed. It was within this context of events, more out of curiosity than anything else, I decided to buy my first Amazon Kindle. I opted for the most basic model, after all, I thought, I do not think you can bewitch with their magic.
    Since I unpacked, that game was shocking. The more I used it and discovered its secrets, the more I fell in love with him, while less than a month later, my friends gave me the Kindle Fire. The straw that broke the camel. They are now my life. Since beginning each new day, until I drop in arm Morpheus, the unsurpassed romance alive with both Kindle’s, is my biggest dream.

    Posted 20 Nov 2012 at 2:27 am
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jose, thanks for leaving this poignant account of your Kindle experiences. All the best, Len.

    Posted 20 Nov 2012 at 8:14 am
  3. Gerald McKoy wrote:

    I also waited. I waited until winter 2009 before I finally decided to purchase my first kindle from amazon. I had been watching it closely to see if it would succeed. Just like you I was burned with the Rocket ebook. Actually, I thought I was the only one who purchased the NuvoMedia Rocket eBook in 1999 since I could find no one else in my area who had one. Anyway my first book on my kindle was Ender’s Game, which was a book I read as a kid in the 8th grade and still enjoy to this day. Nowadays I do most of my reading on my kindle paperwhite and my iPad.

    Posted 20 Nov 2012 at 11:48 am
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    So YOU are the other person who bought a Rocket Book! 🙂

    Posted 20 Nov 2012 at 12:45 pm
  5. Eolake Stobblehouse wrote:

    I’m keeping my K1 one as a historical artefact.

    Oddly it doesn’t work anymore, even after I got another battery for it.

    But I knew it was important from the beginning.

    I’ve used iPad more since, but now I like the PaperWhite a lot.

    Posted 15 Dec 2012 at 11:08 am
  6. Eolake Stobblehouse wrote:

    I bought a Rocket Book too, although only last year, again as a historical artefact.
    I must say, apart from the thickness, it was not at all a bad ereader for the time! Easy to use and to read.

    Posted 15 Dec 2012 at 11:09 am

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