Kindle 2 Introduced: Blasphemy for Booklovers?

"We're not changing our strategy," he said. "We're going to keep doing the things we do. And I think the way we run the company, by focusing on those very fundamental things like low prices [and] convenience; I think those things work in all economies."

Bezos says the lessons learned can apply to the current economic situation.

"Some of the things that we have been able to fix and do and prevent could never be done with a short-term mentality," he said. "And I see some companies who are very focused on the next three months. ... In the long-term, I am super optimistic about our economy, and our nation, and actually the whole world. And the reason is, everywhere I travel in the world, I meet people who are so inventive, so engaged in building a better future. ... And our world is going to get so much more productive over time because of that inventiveness. For me, it's very motivating."

And despite Amazon's new invention, Bezos, who spoke to "Nightline" in the main reading room of the New York Public Library, still sees a future in libraries.

"Well, I think first of all, these books that you see will be digitized, so they will be accessible from anywhere, and that can only be a good thing," Bezos said. "Libraries have always been embracers of technology and that's important. If you want to maintain, it's dangerous not to evolve. If you want to ensure your extinction [then] cease to evolve."

Kindle: 'Very Seductive'

The Kindle may have found an unlikely fan at the library.

"I love it," said Paul LeClerc, the head of the New York Public Library. "Well, how could I not? It's highly efficient, very user friendly. Very seductive. And the first time I turned it on, I found it very difficult to turn it off."

LeClerc, however, was happy to prove that all books are not created equal. Deep in the rare books section he showed off some of the library's treasures, books the Kindle will never replace.

"You couldn't touch the paper, you couldn't turn the pages. You couldn't appreciate the design of the book itself," he said.

"Look, I'm as nostalgic as the next guy," Bezos admitted. "I grew up with books, too. And I'll tell you, I did get curious about, why do I like the smell of a book? So I did some research on this, to find out, what is the smell of a book? And it's mostly the ink, the glue, and a little bit of mildew. And I asked myself, are those intrinsically delicious smells and I don't think they are.

"What it is, is ... the association. You've entered so many pleasant places, authors' worlds, and while you were entering them, that pleasant mental state, you've associated that with this smell."

But with books being Amazon's primary sell, are they in some danger of putting themselves out of business?

In the end, Bezos says he'll side with the customer.

"We're going to do the best job we can with physical books, and the best job we can with Kindle," he said. "And then we'll let customers decide."

May the best book win.

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