The gadget world was rocked yesterday with the news that a first edition of an Amazon Kindle was sold for a record amount by the venerable auction house. “A first edition Kindle would not normally attract a great deal of interest,” explained secondhand Kindle dealer Rupert Foster, ‘because there are millions of them. But a slightly foxed Kindle is rare.”
The exact details of the sale haven’t been released, but the ebook reader is rumored to have sold for well over a thousand pounds. Sotheby declined to nmae the buyer or the seller, but they did state that the Kindle was in good condition, aside from the spots on a few pages (hence the “foxed” label). This Kindle is also confirmed to contain an original Shakespeare folio, though some experts have expressed doubts about the authenticity.
This is not the first time that a second hand ebook reader has exchanged hands for a record sum. Last year an original Softbook, reputed to contain the lost Hemingway manuscripts, was bought at auction by the Hemingway estate. You probably recall the outrage in the academic community when the manuscripts were revealed to be fakes. The scandal ruined the reputations of several so called experts, and reportedly was the cause of a fist fight at last year’s Hemingway Society Conference.
Another Kindle in the same “slightly foxed” condition was put up for sale on Ebay last month. Unfortunately there were no bidders due to the fact that the Kindle contained little more than an incomplete set of Ian Fleming novels.