9.8.11

Don't confuse the rise of ebooks with the death of books

In a great overview of the new Kindle app, The Book is Dead, Long Live the Kindle App, Vince Font says:
I'll admit, I'm a latecomer to eReaders, and I came to their appreciation grudgingly. I'm a reader of books, and I always have been. I'm a fan of good binding... of colorful dust jackets… of awesome cover art… and I think that the smell of a freshly cracked book comes second only to the "new car smell" in the great olfactory list of aromas. So I only begrudgingly endorsed something as blasphemous as an eReader – or, in this case, an application that only serves to further strengthen the already booming eBook market...I really tried to find fault in the Kindle app, because I just figured "It's free. How good could it possibly be?" The answer, as it turns out, is: pretty darn good.
He goes on to discuss the sweet price tag (free!), syncability, and general handy-dandiness of the app.

Last week over coffee, Colleen showed me how to sync my Kindle to my snazzy new Motorola Droid. I started out saying, "I'll never read on my phone." But that ended up going the way of "I'd never read on a Kindle." In the 14 months since I got the Kindle, I've read more books than I read in the previous three years combined. The adjustable print size makes it possible for my eyesight-of-a-certain-age to read without getting sleepy. (The optometrist told me that's actually the brain signalling "close your eyes" in response to eye strain.) The classics are available cheap or free, so my Kindle is loaded with them. I take advantage of freebies (like the recent Blue Boy offer) and impulse buy when I get a recommendation from a friend or see an intriguing review. I travel a lot, and while I used to pack the books I felt I should read instead of the books I wanted to read, now I have my whole library tucked in my purse, and I end up reading more of both.

This is where I take issue with, if nothing else, the title of Font's article. My Kindle has given books a whole new life for me. I read more, read faster, and I read better. The only thing missing is the paper. All the stories, characters, dialogue, sense of place, soaring emotion - everything that's drawn me into a life of books - is alive and well.

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