Monday, July 04, 2011

Why I Despise the Kindle

Someday I want to have a best-selling book, or two, or three. Critically acclaimed, National Book Award-winning...featured on Oprah. Damn, that's not an option any more. Just kidding, kids...that's a joke. I think my feelings on the Oprah Book Club have been addressed here previously. If not, take a guess--you'll probably be right.
I want to be able to lovingly stroke (and possibly more...how do you get to second base with a book?) the first copy that comes off the press. I want to smell that amazing new-book smell, a heady mixture of ink and grass and anticipation. I want to feel the stiffness of the uncracked spine and turn the gently textured pages. I want to be able to sign the front page--the one after the dedication, but before the table of contents--and give them away as the most narcissistic Christmas presents ever. I want to be able to heft a copy high in the air--on The Colbert Report, the morning news, on NPR (even though no one will be able to see it) and implore people to buy it. OK, maybe not all of these things.
However.
I have no desire to write a best selling text file.
I am not interested in something that could possibly electrocute me should I read it in the bathtub. I do a lot of my best reading in the bathtub. You wouldn't believe me if I told you how much of my coursework for college--and for medical school, for that matter--was completed in the midst of a bevy of lavender-scented bubbles.
I saw an ad for a Kindle that said, "Easy to read in bright light!" I was momentarily stunned. Um, so are books...pretty much by definition. Bright light and the act of reading go together like peaches and cream, no? It's sort of like having an ad for applesauce that says, "You can eat it without grinding your teeth to painful nubs!" That is one of the benefits of applesauce--you can eat it when you're unable or unwilling to chew. Calling attention to this as a notable benefit of your product makes me...wary.
You don't need to 'power up' books. They just...are. I have NEVER had to change the battery in my copy of American Gods or The Sandman.
Libraries and bookstores are literally my favorite places to be. I feel safe there. Happy. Content. Anything that f*cks with that gets my dander up.
Not everything has to be made up of light and pixels these days (she wrote on her blog). There is something to be said for the concrete, the real, the physical.
All I'm saying is--give books a chance.

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