The e-Book revolution

Sitting in a coffee shop the other day — reading Catrine Clay’s “King, Kaiser, Tsar” — I noticed two guys sitting near me browsing books on their Kindles.

Once again, I was reminded of how out-of-step I am with my tech-savvy fellow 20-somethings.

Not only have I never owned an iPod, downloaded an mp3, created a Facebook page, Twittered, or used GPS or TiVo, here I was reading a printed book — with physical pages and the accompanying papercuts — while my peers dexterously flipped e-inked pages on digital displays.
After brooding over my anachronistic taste in CDs, bulky cameras, and leather-bound planners, I began debating the objective benefits and drawbacks of e-book readers and e-books.

(I use the word “objective,” because no matter the advantages and sex-appeal of e-readers, I will never relinquish my bound books for anything electronic.)

I also began wondering whether e-readers have been making appearances at book club gatherings.

Over the next few days, I’ll post my attempts to answer these questions.

Tomorrow: From Kindle to Kindle-killer — the e-book revolution

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by mike buchholz on 10/12/2009 - 07:14 pm.

    i have had a kindle for 19 months. this is by far the best purchase you will make this year. no more carrying around endless heavy books. i have read over 60 books on it. those books allowed me to save approx $400 vs buying hard cover books.

    get one now. in 15 years this is the way we will read books.

    newspapers i dont know.. i still like online and getting hard copy editions.

  2. Submitted by Pixie on 10/13/2009 - 06:30 am.

    For someone who claims not to be very tech-saavy, your column demonstrates how much social media has become part of our daily language, and your’s. You know that you download MP3s, create a Facebook page, and Twitter (as if anyone five years ago thought that was anything but a nervous reaction). Social media is here to stay and the choice is your’s: stay a Luddite and become a dinosaur or enter the conversations — as you invite us to do in this online forum — and enjoy the benefits, selecting what works for you and what to ignore.

  3. Submitted by Margaret Erickson on 10/15/2009 - 07:33 am.

    I am very fond of my Kindle, which I have had for about two months. I have already devoured a number of books, articles, and short stories on it — fiction and nonfiction, old and new. Nevertheless, I am unlikely to give up physical books or magazines any time soon.

    I bought the Kindle when I did because I was about to go on a long trip and didn’t want to carry a bunch of books to read on the way. It was wonderful! (During my vacation, though, I visited five bookshops and spent “only” about $100 on books to bring back — things that were unavailable in, and/or unsuited for, an electronic format.)

    I still love curling up with a nice print volume. However, I also love being able to walk into the coffee shop with the collected works of Dickens, Austen, Trollope, Eliot and Thackeray — among others — in my pocket.

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