When was the last time you read a book? You remember, that rectangular object with 100's of paper pages with printed words on them! It's no secret that most of us haven't read a book for a long long time which is a real shame, as not so long ago, this was the pastime of choice for both kids and adults alike. A cup of cocoa on a cold winter's night, a warm fire and a good book you can really bite your teeth into. Ahh, that brings back memories. Unfortunately, in today's age of high tech technology, iPod's, Playstation's and Wii's seems to have become the pastime of choice, leaving the humble book as an ancient artifact of the past..or so you would think unless you've heard about what Amazon is up to.

Amazon (the online marketplace for everything under the sun!) have come out with a revolutionary, state of the art reading device called the 'Kindle' which aims to bring the book into the technological age. In essence, the Kindle is a very thin electronic device which can download and display books on screen for people to read, or have read to them. Why would you want to buy this device when you can go to your local bookstore? Well, Amazon boasts to have over 300,000 book titles available to be downloaded from their website onto the Kindle device which makes this one hell of a good reason to buy it.

As you know, Amazon started off as an online bookseller which means they are nuts about booksso much so that their aim is to have every printed book ever printed in any language in the Kindle format! How is that for impressive?! Now, I don't know how close they will get to this target, but hey, 300,000 titles are more than I certainly will ever read. Imagine having access to any book, anytime, anywhere, right from the comfort of your Kindle.

Currently restricted to the US market, the Kindle provides users access to Amazon's WhisperNet, which is a customized, wireless, free 'Internet' type clone just for Kindle Users to download titles from Amazon's repository within 60 seconds. Now that on its own is seriously impressive and must have cost a small fortune to establish. With Amazon spending so much time and money creating the Kindle device, converting book titles, creating the WhisperNet, all points to the fact that it is deadly serious about this venture to the extent where even Oprah has featured the device on her show and actively promotes it. Also, the fact that the basic Kindle can store 1500 books is on its own a huge plus, meaning you don't need a bookshelf the size of New York to store your books anymore.

Now, Amazon hasn't just released the Kindle and forgotten about the other electronic toys that have penetrated the consumer market. Amazon has gone to extent of making an 'iPhone' and 'iPod touch' Kindle application for consumers, allowing them to convert their devices into Kindle readers. This is very clever as they have leveraged off another company's product to promote their own. Smart move.

This idea is totally revolutionary and could potentially revolutionize education, libraries, etc. especially where there is limited access to educational facilities. Now don't get me wrong, the basic kindle costs around $300+, so you do need to fork out a little bit initially, but it seems a good investment considering the amount of love Amazon is putting into this idea.

Reading is definitely making a comeback with the Kindle, which can only be a good thing. Let's see how the Kindle develops and which other countries Amazon establishes the Kindle's presence in. Amazon is onto a very lucrative and innovative idea, focusing on a very unique, niche market where there are no serious competitors, so it looks as though the Kindle is here to stay.