Saturday, September 20, 2008
"If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger." - Frank Lloyd Wright
The Kindle - the latest in e-book readers, but also the most user-friendly. Some say it is the iPod of reading. Without any computer source, a Kindle owner can download anywhere (in the U.S. - and not in portions of Montana and Alaska). There are more than 190,000 titles available.
Is this the future? I am a believer in the paperless society. Let's use computers to send mail, keep notes in class, learn through an online university (props to my own employer, South University). Let's bank online and buy online and meet online. Let's learn more about the world because we have 24/7 access to it.
But let's keep books. Let's keep libraries that allow anyone the opportunity to check out books about every topic imaginable... for free! Let's pile books on desks and in corners and use them to prop open the door when they aren't nestled beautifully on shelves and dressers and cabinets.
As I read the information about the Kindle, I'll admit that I was intrigued. I would love to click on a word and have a pop-up dictionary tell me its meaning. If I finished a book and needed another one, I could have it downloaded in one minute. As I age and find that I move my reading materials back and forth to find the crispest vision spot, I'd like to be able to increase the font size. And, out of courtesy to my children, I'd like to not be the reason why their backs are curved like the letter C when they bring my books to the car, loaded down like pack mules.
Still, I adore books. While others pencil in the margins, I believe that books are too sacred for our markings. I quit dog-earing pages when I noticed how much I hated it when others did it to books before me (was this an especially good page? what did I miss?). As I have often said on this blog, I love the smell of books, whether fresh from a local bookstore - the scent of new paper, which always reminds me of September and the beginning of school - or from the library, smoky, yellowed, mildewed or perfumed. And is there a more selfish, secret sound than the rustle made when turning a page?
Posted by Kristin at 3:30 PM