How You, Too Can Leave The Kindle Conversation Behind

I find myself talking about the Kindle more often. At this stage of the game, the conversations still always mine the idea Paper Vs. Electronics. I have heard, and offered open-minded considerations of this comparison. Although as one who resents the increasing time required to maintain an operating charge in the increasing number of devices which require it, who has spent unacceptable amounts of time and money rehabilitating damaged electronics, replacing stolen electronics (and taking extra measures to prevent further theft), downloading and installing new versions (at brokenother times wishing I could download when some wrinkle between me and the internet is preventing it), who worries about the growing mountains of discarded electronics, I naturally enjoy the Neo-Luddite position in these conversations. Fanciers of coffee table books and cookbooks often join me, and I appreciate those perspectives as well.

Increasingly, however, this has felt like an exercise, like insincerity, and I have finally had opportunity and inclination to investigate that feeling. My conclusion? Debating paper versus electronic books is like debating roast turkey versus roast turducken. You can only take it so seriously. In a reductive mood, you start to hear it as “’but I love it as it is’…’yes, but this is MORE of it.” And you realize you are really debating whether or not more is automatically better. More books, and simultaneously more freedom from their physical burden.

Will you gain more physical space as you replace paper books with ones and zeroes in the clouds? Yes. You would also gain that space by reducing your furnishings to one bed. It could serve for sleeping and for sitting, and could seat several people for entertaining. But the number of people who actually need to reclaim the space taken by either their furniture or their books is much smaller than the number of people who argue that this is a benefit of e-readers.only a bed

Will you have access to more reading material in mobile or remote situations? Yes. How long is your commute? How brief is your attention span? How long are your vacations? How little do you have to fill your vacationing time? The number of people who have been inconvenienced by a bulky burden of reading material, even after including students, is much lower than the number of people who argue that this is a benefit of e-readers.

And yet these are the conversations we cordially entertain, without even a hint of the ridiculous. I, for one, am committed to greater Kindle-honesty in 2010, and I invite you to join me. Let us admit to its superfluous, gratuitous nature, and get on with some lively discourse on gadgetphilia or marketing or planned obsolescence.

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Some I’ve Read

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You: 13 Stories
David Copperfield. (Gekuerzte Ausgabe).
Great Expectations
Jane Eyre
Wilderness Tips
The Robber Bride
Alias Grace
Oryx and Crake
No Great Mischief: A Novel
Stones from the River
Wuthering Heights
Cat's Cradle
Watership Down
A Study in Scarlet
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
A Fine Balance
In the Skin of a Lion
Mercy Among the Children: A Novel
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
Fugitive Pieces
To Kill a Mockingbird
Look Homeward, Angel
Mrs. Dalloway
Dubliners
The Handmaid's Tale
Skinny Legs and All
Love in the Time of Cholera
You Shall Know Our Velocity!
Pilgrim
Murder on the Orient Express
Hell's Angels
A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations
A Map of the World
Nausea
A Very Easy Death
Ethan Frome
Being Peace
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
The Dharma Bums
Breakfast of Champions
Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The White Bone
All Our Wonder Unavenged
Stunt
The Beautiful and Damned
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The God of Small Things



Sasu Kakir’s favorite books »

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Currently Reading

Great Apes
Infinite Jest
Trout Fishing in America
An Anecdoted Topography of Chance
The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things
The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts



Sasu Kakir’s favorite books »

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Will Read Yet

Cat's Eye
The Outlander
The Stone Diaries
The Kite Runner
The Bell Jar
Cloud Atlas
The Information
Tipping the Velvet
The Last Temptation of Christ
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath
Three Tales
This Will All End in Tears
David Bowie's Low
Story of the Eye
Divisadero
No One Belongs Here More Than You
The Changing Light at Sandover



Sasu Kakir’s favorite books »

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