Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Kindle at the Round Table

“When I was growing up I had three wishes. I wanted to be a Lindbergh-type hero, learn Chinese and become a member of the Algonquin Round Table." - John F. Kennedy

When you next book a room in the infamous Algonquin Hotel in New York you might find that a book comes with it. We have long seen the creation of libraries within hotels, some comprise of books left behind or donated by guests, others selected by the hotel. However there are few hotels in the world with the literary pedigree of the Algonquin and its round table. Now they boast that a Kindle pre loaded with your favourite book is available as one of the services for guests during their stay.
It appears to offer something to everyone that is without an ereader and is certainly a novel experience.

However, what happens when you are only half way through your chosen book and about to leave. We imagine you have to check in your Kindle and the book you bought goes with it. You could of course buy the unit and book but that’s as likely as buying one of those scrummy bathrobes they offer at a price. You could quickly log onto Amazon and buy the physical book, or you could just give Matilda a stoke and go home unfulfilled.

Somehow we think this is one of those ideas that looks good to start with and falls apart in its execution and consumer experience but there again the Algonquin was the first New York hotel to fit electronic room keys.

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