An 'Almost' Way to Save Papers

Print may be fading, but it's readable in new forms including hand-held electronic newspapers - the newest being the portable e-reader Kindle 2. It will become "the best purpose-built reading device...for books, magazines and newspapers," claims its producer, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Well, the reviews are mixed, the latest coming from the Times' tech guy Brier Dudley. K2 is an " in progress," he says. It isn't yet the embraceable alternative for a newspaper you can hold in your hands, thus won't be the panacea for what ails his paper or the P-I, whose owner, Hearst Corp., is finally planning to launch its long-rumored corporate-brand handheld, "a wireless e-reader with a large-format screen..."

Ironically, Amazon's K2 is starting out much like newspapers three centuries ago, in black and white, and its small screen will be favored more by book readers than daily print romantics. "No color is a deal killer," says one Times commenter. At $359, you won't be lining your birdcage with it either.

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