A few weeks ago, if you were paying close attention, you’ll have noticed that I said something mildly derogatory about my Kindle, to wit: “I’m the sort of reader who, as the larger story begins to reveal itself, likes to go back to the beginning and look at little clues that were dropped; I like to see the structure. The craft. And it’s maddening to try to do this on a Kindle …” So let me ’splain, lest you think I’m not on board with the e-revolution. Lest you think, you know, I’m not cool enough to e-read. :)
I stumbled on this interesting blog post a couple weeks ago. This guy has a lot of really insightful things to say, especially considering it was 2008 when he was saying them. He calls himself an eBook militant, a term that charms me, even though I don’t agree with everything he says. It’s the words in the books that are important to him, and at that basic level, we do agree.
And that’s a big reason why I love my Kindle. I can put a lot of words in it. I even think I read faster—I think pushing a button rather than physically turning a page actually speeds things up; I seem to finish long books more quickly. (I am a bit more materialistic than the Militant. I like to own the books I’ve loved in book form. I’m of the same mind as Anna Quindlen, who said in one of her New York Times columns, “I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” And yes: I personally have moved hundreds of boxes of books in my lifetime. Man’s life is toil, right?)
But I enjoy using my Kindle and I even got the Kindle app for my iPhone and read quite a bit of a novel on my phone during a recent out-of-town trip. That, my friends, is something I never thought I would say. Reading a novel on my phone? I did it, and it was fabulous. (I’m not as behind the curve as some: a few years ago I laughed out loud when a small local publisher wanted to send me a manuscript to edit on paper. Um, no. Why would I do that when I can do it digitally and you’ll actually be able to read my editorial notes?)
Things have been heading this direction for some time. It was only a matter of time. And now, kids, the revolution is upon us: the Independent (UK) reported in early July that all South Korean schools will convert to digital books/tablets by 2015. (The Irish Times reports that seven secondary schools in Ireland have issued iPads instead of textbooks this fall.) That whooshing sound you hear is the future we’ve all been discussing so earnestly rushing right past us.
I’m still learning things about my Kindle; I’m working my way through the owner’s manual, learning how to turn off the feature that allows me to see what passages other readers have chosen to highlight, for example. (No, no, I don’t want to know! Not everything has to be a social interaction, no matter what Facebook or Google+ would have us think.) The Irishman has an iPad, on which he reads, browses the Internet, and e-mails me interesting articles I later use in this blog. :)
But I do love the e-reading experience; I suspect I will be doing more and more of it; it’s somewhat cheaper, and it’s convenient. If you haven’t yet tried one, you might want to check it out. You just might like it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”