Monday, November 19

Call me old fashioned

Today, unveiled their new digital reading device. It's a digital book. They've been working on it for over three years and God knows how much money they've spent on the thing.

It's called a Kindle. I'm sure they've explained the name but I haven't bothered to learn about it. I heard Jeff Bezos explain the whole thing on NPR and he swears that you can curl up with the Kindle just like you would a book. I'm not convinced. I'm just not interested in giving up my books. Frankly, I don't want to live in a world that has gotten rid of books. I simply haven't seen any way books can be improved upon. Mr. Bezos can spend as much money as he wants but I'm not giving up my books. It seems to me it's all about the money. With all due respect, Mr. Bezos is attempting to cut out the publishers. I understand the impulse to cut out the middle man but i don't think it's what the consumer wants.

I just don't understand why everyone is so hot and bothered to create an electronic book. I maybe understand the appeal of carrying your entire library around, like an iPod can carry your music library, and I do like the dictionary feature in this Kindle thing (you can look up words with an electronic dictionary feature and that's pretty cool). Otherwise, I don't get it. Our culture has such an epidemic A.D.D. problem that, it seems to me, being able to carry only one or two books around at a time isn't such a bad idea. What's so bad about the book as we know it, anyway? Maybe I hang with an old fashioned group of folks but I've never heard anybody say "Man, I just wish I had a stiff flat screen to read from all day." Don't we get enough of that at work. I spend half of my working day staring into a monitor. When I want to relax with a good book, cradling a mini monitor does not appeal to me.

Am I wrong here? Am I being a granny? What do you think? If nothing else it will be interesting to see how this flies and how long it will take for that price to drop.

1 comment:

shandon said...

I'm with you in spirit, but I'm worried about Kindle: it's the first electronic book that sounds marginally appealing to me, a lifelong reader and professional bookseller. I'm not saying I want one. But I do think it's the first electronic book that will appeal to, you know, the kids -- the ones who spend all day text messaging and playing handheld electronic games. For the first time ever, I feel like my livelihood is threatened. Who knows where the book will be in ten years? :(