Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not Yet!

"Everybody was saying that the new Kindle was terribly important--that it was an alpenhorn blast of post-Gutenbergian revalorization."

Nicholson Baker,"A New Page: Can the Kindle really improve on the book?" The New Yorker, August 3, 2009.

I crossed a consumer boundary in June, precipitously throwing aside all prejudices and saying out loud that I would buy a Kindle. Several friends had proudly shown me their Kindles and all their neat features. The thought of gaining immediate access to books I wanted was tantalizing at the same time that my myriad piles of books for donation grew irritating. Why not?

But I haven't bought one yet. Maybe my declaration was a just a hint to my family that I was open to receiving one as an expensive present, like for Father's Day. No takers. Meanwhile, I continue to buy books, even as independent bookstores close around me. My momentary enthusiasm is waning.

My basic problem is that I love the feel of books. It's a physical thing. I bend them open, make notes on pages, sleep on top of them, and stuff my pack with them. A Kindle is just too neat and tidy -- and ultimately won't bend.

And then there are the bookstores. I like virtual browsing fine but it will never match wandering in a real, live bookstore. I was browsing a month or so ago and put a novel down only to hear from the bookstore owner: "Read that book." I did -- and I liked it.

1 comment:

EconGrrl said...

Books are special. Bookstores have an air of the hallowed.

The Kindle can only be an adjunct, not a replacement for a real book in the hand.

Love the blog! Thanks for sharing