Five years ago Amazon introduced the first Kindle, and the world hasn’t been the same since. While the first iteration cost $399 and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it set out to become the iPod of books by allowing readers to carry their entire library of content on one device. As the years went by, newer models were thinner, lighter, sexier, and cheaper.
While other e-readers existed prior to Kindle, the public hadn’t embraced them. Amazon’s device allowed readers to tap into the company’s vast content ecosystem of newspapers, magazines and books – all without the need to plug into a computer. This was revolutionary, and the first batch of Kindles sold out it in less than six hours.
In 2008, Oprah announced that Kindle was her new favorite thing and provided viewers with a $50 discount. With the daytime diva’s stamp of approval and the launch of second generation hardware, Kindle continued its dominance as the e-reader to beat.
Over time, millions of Kindle devices and e-books were sold. Kindle’s ubiquity was most evident when Amazon reported that Kindle e-books were regularly outselling all print books.
Last year saw the launch of Kindle Fire, which went on to make up 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales. A new iteration, Kindle Fire HD, is now available in two versions and has received mostly positive reviews from critics.
This year also brought a new Kindle e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite. This device has also been well received by critics and the public, and rightfully so. It’s taken the device to a whole new level by incorporating a beautiful front-lit display.
My first Kindle was the second generation device, and my reading habits haven’t been the same since. I read more than ever, and consider my Kindle to be an essential part of my life. If you’ve never tried reading on one, you should; it’s a delightful experience. I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.
If you have any fond Kindle memories you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.
Below you’ll find a couple of my favorite Kindle commercials and an informational video about the first device.