Kindle Concern

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Filed under: Canright Writers' Blog

Kindle Concern

I’ve been equally fascinated and repulsed by the Kindle. I haven’t researched it much because my gut reaction to an electronic book reader is, “No way.” I like books. I like the smell of them, new and old. I like notes written in the margin by previous owners. I like folded corners in place of bookmarks.

The New York Times’ Charles McGrath mostly agrees with me, but he does own a Kindle 2. In “By-the-Book Reader Meets the Kindle,” he details his like, and dislike, for Amazon’s book reader.

Advantages: the Kindle is portable, recalls the last page you read, can read aloud, and wirelessly connects to the web for easy downloads and subscriptions.

Disadvantages: all publications viewable on the Kindle are in the same typeface, poetry and plays don’t always translate well onto the screen,the keyboard and joystick are on the small side, and the Kindle bookstore is far from complete.

Yet, while he believes the Kindle will never be on the same plane as books, and it needs much improvement, McGrath refers to the device as a “seductive white gizmo” and says, “It’s surprising how easily you succumb to convenience, and how little you miss, once they’re gone, all the niceties of typography and design that you used to value so much.”

I don’t know if I’m a convert just yet (the price tag of the Kindle is $359!), but I also never thought I’d adapt to writing online.