Friday, January 18, 2008

Attack of the Pod-books

Has anyone else seen the new wireless “reading device” that is marketing? (Yes, I admit it, I shop on Amazon. I wish I could lie and say that I only frequent my fabulous, local, independent bookshop where the owner knows my name and orders things she thinks I would like after we’ve spent hours discussing the new trends in YA literature, but the fact is . . . I don’t. I have a baby and it’s cold here, and when I order from Amazon, it’s cheaper than the indie bookstore and two days later, the nice UPS man drops off my books. Sometimes it’s just easier.)

You can read about it here:

I’ve gotta say, this thing kind of freaks me out. I think of all the times I’ve fallen asleep with a book open on my chest, or read a book in the bathtub, or thumbed through a novel someone’s lent to me and noted with interest which pages were dog-eared, or what passages had been underlined. None of that seems likely to happen with a “wireless device.” I mean, if I drop a ten dollar paperback in the bath – well, that’s not great, but it doesn’t exactly wreck my credit card statement for the month. And a hard plastic box isn’t exactly what I want to curl up with before I go to sleep.

What’s wrong with books as books? Paper and glue and ink? I’m probably not the best one to judge, since I have strong antediluvian tendencies as it is, but I just can’t make the leap from turning pages to clicking to the next PDF section. I think it’s depressing.

I wonder if people grumbled about the same thing when man made the leap from chiseling on stone tables to scribbling on paper?

1 comment:

Heidi Ayarbe said...

And the smell of books! And the crinkle of the pages? And how the pages get fuzzy when you go back and read them over and again. I'm a traditionalist at heart. (Got my first cell phone a year or so ago and it is the BANE of my existence!)
I agree, C! Technology can't make up for the sentimentality of a loved book. What's next? Virtual stuffed animals?