There's been a lot of talk about the Kindle device in the lit-blogosphere and outside of it. I have one major and one minor reaction to the Kindle. The major: it's too expensive. The minor: I'm tired of proprietary book formats with stupid DRM. I used to use my Palm Pilot to read books, which I would buy from the Palm store, books that were in the Palm-only proprietary format. However, I no longer have a Palm Pilot. But, okay you say, I can at least read Palm format books on my computer with Palm's software (unlike the Kindle format) and maybe I should just get another Palm Pilot anyway since they're only $150 at the cheapest which is a hell of a lot cheaper than the Kindle. But the Palm DRM requires me to use the credit card number of the card I bought the books with to unlock them to read. And I haven't had that credit card in years. So all those books I paid good money for are useless. Since then I've vowed to only pay for books I'll still be able to read in the future; otherwise, I might as well just go to the library and get books for free.

The Kindle's main advance seems to be the ability to download ebooks directly from the Internet; but I never minded so much transferring books from my computer to my Palm. That was easy. What I want is a cheap device (say $150 or less--the price of the lowest-priced iPod or Palm Pilot), I want books in DRM-free PDF format, and I want the books to be substantially cheaper than paper books because the company doesn't have to pay for printing. Give me that and I'll happily buy your device.

Also, it would help if you didn't make it look like crap. The Kindle thing is ugly as sin.