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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Only In Japan: Amazon Selling E-Reader Just For Manga

I have to hand it to Amazon Japan.

With Japan being a huge comic book (manga)-reading market, it would figure that many would prefer to use its e-readers.

The largest drawback to using e-readers is that it can be difficult to read the font.

Well… nowadays, these e-readers offer backlighting, and the ability to increase the font or image size. 

But, ultimately, that means less image seen on the screen… a particularly sucky thing when you are reading mange, and seeing the entire page’s image—the splash page, for example—is a necessity.

Now along comes the Kindle Paperwhite for manga, available only from Amazon Japan (… and again only to the Japanese market - and by that I mean you have to reside in Japan. Amazon doesn’t care if you are Canadian, Australian of Chinese… you can only purchase it you reside in Japan.

Just for laughs, I tried to order this piece of reading equipment and was immediately rebuffed, telling me: “Sorry, it can not be delivered in this zip code”.

It was a nice try… Canada doesn’t have zip codes, and it immediately thought I was American. 

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite released in late October 2016 has 32GB, and was designed to best handle the image-heavy manga/comic book.

While this limited-time Kindle has the same 300 ppi (pixels per inch) visual capability of the standard 2016 Paperwhite, this new version has right times the storage space… because let’s face it… images take up a lot of room.

Want to upload the entire run of Naruto manga? Go ahead.

Want to upload the entire run of three or four of your favorite manga? Go ahead… you have 32GB. Hundreds and hundreds of comic book issues await your geekiness.

I’m not making fun. I own 35,000 comic books… which, while impressive, is more than many comic book stores have set out for customers. I would need maybe 100 of these Kindle Paperwhite's… which could be easily stored…

but… and here’s where I pity those who only use e-readers… while I appreciate the no pile-up of books around the house, the saving of trees, the ease of downloading a book from Amazon or the library…

… there’s something about the tactile feel of hand on paper.

Which would you rather have? An electronic copy of the Flintstones #45 from Gold Key in 1968 (I'm guessing at the year - I'm writing this at work during lunch‚ or a sterile version in electronic form?  

It’s true that once read, it may never be re-read… but holding that comic book… smelling a bit of the mustiness from the paper… that’s nostalgia.

That’s me holding and reading that comic book like every other kid did before me. It’s tradition… a carrying on of a tradition… it’s…

… I believe the Kindle Paperwhite manga version is being sold for ¥16,280 (US $155.48).

Like most e-readers, you can easily flip pages - speed flipping if you hold the button down… 33 percent faster than the standard version at a rate of seven pages per second. As well, you can pinch and zoom the screen to get close-ups of images or word balloons.

The best in one-handed reading… at least since few people are "reading" porno magazines anymore.

Andrew Joseph

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