Jeff Bezos loves his Amazon Kindle

July 22, 2008, 1:27 AM UTC
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plugs the Amazon Kindle in a one-on-one interview with Fortune. Image: Russ Curtis

By Yi-Wyn Yen

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – In a 20-minute interview with Fortune Brainstorm conference organizer David Kirkpatrick, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spent about half his time gushing about the wonders of Kindle, an electronic reader.

Bezos went into a soliloquy on the benefits of reading a book on the digital reader over the old-fashioned way. The (AMZN) founder was asked a question by an audience member who wondered what the company will do when Google (GOOG) and Wikipedia create a database of digital books that can be printed out in five minutes through an ATM machine.

“I don’t know why anyone would wait five minutes for a book,” Bezos deadpanned. “Our vision for Kindle is we want to have every book in print or out of print, all available in less than 60 seconds. The medium time to download a book [on the Kindle] is 23 seconds.”

Bezos revealed very little insight into Amazon as he talked in general terms on other topics. He said he finds the Internet “awe-inspiring” and believes that “so many companies are doing so many interesting things,” but he would not discuss other companies due to a “long-standing policy.”

He also briefly discussed a strategy to send a “vertical-landing” rocket into space. “It’ll go up and come back and land on its tail like a Buck Rogers rocket,” Bezos said. Asked by Kirkpatrick when this project would happen, Bezos replied, “a number of years.”