10.9.11

NYT on Kindle Singles (and my own reKindled love affair with books)

It's interesting that people who never thought they'd like Kindle come from both sides of the technochasm. There are those (like me) who had to be dragged away from the physical artifact - hardcover, endpapers, deckled edges - that are undoubtedly part of the book experience. Then there are those who have come of age in a computerized world, who think "chatting" happens when you hit ENTER and are entertained instead of mind-numbed by Angry Birds. They get their news, their friends and their written words on screens that get progressively smaller. In the middle of those two mindsets is Kindle. It's arguably the lowest tech ereader, which is why (IMHO) it continues to be the most successful.

As I've said in this space, I found myself reading less and less as my eyesight aged, stressed by long hours in front of the computer. Audio books and large print offered far less selections at a far higher price. When I got a Kindle, I was immediately taken back to the reading habits of my youth, consuming fiction like a woodchipper devours underbrush. The thing I most wanted was to read more. The thing I least wanted was more hours in front of a computer, and surprisingly, that's what a lot of web-saturated youthies want too.

Virginia Heffernan of the NYT says in her excellent article on Kindle Singles:
The Kindle in particular brought me the first moment of peace from Web noise that I’d had in a long time. True, I thought I loved the Web noise when the only alternative was to recede into analog culture — but I have adored the silence I’ve found on the Kindle. I never thought I’d back off the Web, but I have.

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