Monday, September 29, 2008

Kindle: You Too Can Rid The World of Books for Only $359.99

Kindle hits close to home. I am an avid reader, and I have devoted all of my studies to writing and editing. After college, I want to go into book publishing-- that would be real books, with covers and real pages. As if the the why-read-when-you-can-WATCH-reality-television mentality and the sad economic state of our country as of late weren't enough, Amazon's newest technology, Kindle, is at least toying with the idea of ruining my future--and my day.

Introduced in November of 2007, Kindle is marketed as a convenient, portable reading device that is able to wirelessly download more than 170,000 books as well as national and international magazines, blogs and more. According to Amazon's website, Kindle was created to provide a reading experience like none other, with its electronic paper, a technology that gives readers the natural feel of reading off of real paper without the strain or glare of reading from a computer screen.

Kindle is available anywhere because it is wireless and doesn't require a computer for syncing or downloading. With 3G network, material is delivered from source to Kindle via a wireless delivery system called Whispernet anytime, anywhere. Great, right? Want to read a 600+ page book but don't feel like lugging it around? Kindle weighs only 10.3 pounds and is roughly the size of a small novel. 

Even as I write this, I must admit it sounds pretty enticing. If you finish a book while on vacation and don't have access to another book, you can download another onto your Kindle. You can download a book in the car, while doing dishes, even in the shower. What more could avid readers want? Toni Morrison supports Kindle, so why can't I? 

When I was young, me and my sisters trailed along after my mother to the public library every week to check out books. So, since a very early age, I have experienced the wonder of reading, and the excitement of exploring a new book. I love cracking the spine of a brand new book, I love the feel of the pages, I love holding a book between my fingers. It sounds dramatic, but it's true. The act of flipping the pages, skipping forward and back at leisure, is all part of the experience. Books are important! They must be saved!

Some would argue that if a Kindle will encourage more people to read, it has served its purpose, and this is true. I just don't think our society needs another technological crutch, this one ensuring our personal educations are not only sound, but available 24/7 in 6 different fonts, in varying sizes. Perhaps Kindle is the future of books, and a more successful avenue to develop readership than real books are, but as for me, give me a paperback any day. My reading shouldn't be affected by a battery-life or an available server. Plus, a book can be dropped without its screen cracking, and when is the last time your favorite book malfunctioned? I am resentful of technologies like Kindle because I think they feed into our society's Veruca-Salt-like tendency to scream "I want it nowwwww." If you ask me, as big of a book worm as I am, there is a time for reading, and a time for being outside, a time for interacting socially, a little time for movies. It's even biblical, there is a time for everything. I just don't ever want to make time or what little room is necessary for a Kindle in my life. I'll take my books and my paper cuts and I will like them just the same.

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