I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Considering a Kindle

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)Many years ago, on a blog that no longer exists, I wrote a post about "Picard Syndrome." I wish I still had access to that post, but it wouldn't matter because my conclusions would be dated.

Yesterday, after having a conversation with someone via Twitter and then with a friend via email, I remembered Picard Syndrome and I googled the phrase and found this interesting blog post about it.
Picard Syndrome got it's name from Gary North who wrote an essay titled as such, maybe seven or eight years ago. The syndrome is named after Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation (which I've never seen). One character reads digital books, but Picard is still enamored with bound books.

I've felt this way myself for the first 42 years of my life. I'm 43 now.

When I first heard about the Kindle, I was intrigued. But it looked bulky. Would I really sit in my recliner with an electronic gadget and read a book on it? Could I ever get used to that? And what about the smell? I love the way books smell.

Along came the Sony e-Reader and the Nook.

And then yesterday, we had the announcement that the iPad was coming soon. I saw one person on Twitter pronounce the death of the Kindle. You can read many similar pronouncements in this article.

I have no idea if the iPad will kill the Kindle. I can only speak for myself. For the first time since e-readers became available, I'm thinking seriously about getting one. And my first choice would be a Kindle.

As I write this post, I'm look around at the walls of my house -- nearly all of which are filled with bookshevles full of books. In fact, last night I took some to a local bookstore to cash them in. I have between 500-1,000 books. A Kindle2 holds 1,500 books. Much like my iPod made CDs a thing of the past because it allowed me to carry all of my music around in my pocket, the Kindle could do the same thing for me. Although I doubt that I"ll ever really replace every bound book. It would be difficult, logistically speaking, and impractical.

You can see where I'm going with that though. Why tie up so much space in my home when conceivably I could take some of it back by simply using an e-reader in which I could store more books than I currently own?

But what about the feel and smell of books?

I'm starting to believe both are over rated.

A couple of years ago, I edited a novel for a publishing company. They sent it to me in a .pdf file and I printed it -- all 500 or so pages. Five pages into the novel I was completely engrossed in the story. I didn't miss out on the experience. It was a great book even though it wasn't bound and printed.

Whenever I buy a book, I look through the stack of that particular title for the one in the best physical condition -- no blemishes on the book cover, no visible dent marks, no bent pages, no pages with lighter printing than other pages, etc. The truth is, nearly ever book I've ever purchased has a blemish somewhere. I just don't see it right away. Sometimes the binding breaks, sometimes the paper doesn't feel right, sometimes the book doesn't even smell like a book.

We like the notion of feel and smell, but in reality, neither offer a pure experience. In a sense, I've treated bound books like I do with a lot of things in life I over romanticize. Books are about information and/or entertainment. Information and entertainment happen as a result of the words in the book, not the packaging.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...