He Got Me a Bowling Ball
27 December 2010
Well, no. But he did get me…. a KINDLE!
Max, I hear what you’re saying. The Kindle is the future; if you can’t beat ’em – and why would you want to, anyway? – join ’em.
Amazon just announced that the 3rd-generation Kindle is now officially the bestselling item in Amazon history, surpassing Harry Potter and the Death Hallows.
I futzed around with it for a few hours; browsed and downloaded some free content from Project Gutenberg; played with font size and style, turned on the text-to-voice function (ack!), explored the look and feel of Kindle-version magazines. What I learned: I’m a much more visual person than I even realized. The impersonality of the text and layout, the absence of images and fonts, disregard for use of “white space” and margins and columns – it changes reading for me, and not in an appealing or exciting way.
Flipping through a book’s or a magazine’s pages is exactly that and not some digitized version of it; I want to see the words and images and title fonts laid out on the pages as I flip, I want to be influenced and guided by layout and design. I want to remember and revisit that quote or passage, including its location and shape on the page, relative to other words and passages. And yes, I want to feel the pages pass through my hands, experience a book’s weight and surfaces as well as its intellectual and emotional content. A book is more than just an aggregation of text to me, as it turns out. I sort of knew this, but now I know it.
So Kindleena is going back to Amazon. (Thank you anyway, hun.) This is not to say that I’m averse to e-readers in general. But the Kindle is, I suppose, to me, the communist version of reading – egalitarian, yes. True or beautiful, no.