Posts Tagged ‘nussbaum-beach’

Kindle, Kindling and Book Burning

November 28, 2007

This week I am taking the easy way out! Here is my response to another notable post on the TechLearning Blog by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. Can you imagine a world without paperbacks, big books or magazines? How is technology enhancing the desirability that digital print? Isn’t a paperback created using digital print? Discover what generated my response by seeking her post The Future of Reading.

I used to be far too impatient to read. I too wanted to “unlock the secrets” more quickly. Actually I really wanted to live the book, not read about it! Now I can see the beauty of listening to a story unfold inside my head. It is an extraordinary experience and like you Sheryl, I wanted my kids to absorb the wonders of reading so I amassed a varied collection of children’s books and read aloud to them until they reached middle school.

My first impressions of Kindle, from what I can tell by its’ size, shape and concept are appealing. The preview, however, reveals a black and white screen and I recoil slightly wondering how I would manage to live without seeing the book cover in color. It occurs to me that the new book smell would also be absent and while this could be remedied with a spray my reluctance festered. The texture of cold plastic, versus the feel of soft, smooth paper sheets made me wonder how comfy I would be propped up on my pillow viewing a screen like the one I stare at most of the day. The words organic and sensual came to mind. Not that I read lurid, torrid tales, I prefer engaging tales of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The kind with human struggles, drama and hard won happiness.

No, Kindle holds little interest for me. I like variety in my modes of reading from cereal boxes to traffic signs to computer screens to good old fashioned paperback books. I hope I don’t offend anyone if I admit that I prefer the real thing in bed. (books that is) Recently I wrote about an electronic magazine medium which I do think has promise. It is every bit as satisfying as a high quality glossy magazine. See what you think. http://preview.tinyurl.com/3834c7

The surveys quoted perplex me. I wonder how they account for the text messaging explosion. If all of the messages could be converted to book quantities then would we find a decrease in reading and writing or just a change in the way we read and write? If literary readers are more likely to engage in politics or volunteering then how do we account for the recent Pakistani protests coordinated by massive texting networks? Things are changing, shifting and the quality is changing. If people decide they love the Kindle then it will continue to be on Christmas lists for years to come. If not then it may just become kindling for a bigger fire.

Posted by: kathy shields | November 27, 2007 2:06 AM

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