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Squinting into the future of reading


by Jerome Weeks 29 Jan 2008

In my experience, Amazon’s new Kindle portable book device is a clunky thing — too big to be a paperback and fit in your pocket, too small to offer easy typing and with such small pages on the screen that any halfway speedy reader is constantly flipping to the next page. But Randall Stross in the business […]

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In my experience, Amazon’s new Kindle portable book device is a clunky thing — too big to be a paperback and fit in your pocket, too small to offer easy typing and with such small pages on the screen that any halfway speedy reader is constantly flipping to the next page. But Randall Stross in the business pages of The New York Times argues that the Kindle or a similar gizmo is the future of reading. Mostly, it seems, because the thing is wireless and downloading books is easy.

 Here’s a different reason to have faith in the future of the book: They’re the most popular item purchased online.

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  • Now, I am an old guy, so maybe I don’t represent the future, okay, I’m sure I don’t. I don’t find the idea or reading books on a gadget appealing. I love the tactile nature of books. I love the scent of a book. (I’m sure Al Pacino would agree too.) I love underlining in books, highlighting passages for later reference.

    My favorite picture of me is reading St. Augustine’s Confessions leaning on the trunk of a Maple in a box canyon in Big Bend. I stuffed the paperback in my daypack. It’s now held together with duct tape.

    And yet, I do not hold the gizmo in disdain, If the youngsters will read that way, it’s okay with me, The printing press was after all a technological advance.