"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.” – Stewart Brand
We’ve all heard the arguments about what the Kindle and other electronic book readers will do to the publishing industry. However, have you ever thought about some of the more atypical effects? Joanne Kaufman has in her humorous article, “With Kindle, Can You Tell It’s Proust?” from nytimes.com. Here are a few excerpts:
“The publishing world is all caught up in weighty questions about the Kindle and other such devices: Will they help or hurt book sales and authors’ advances? Cannibalize the industry? Galvanize it?”
“Please, they’re overlooking the really important concern: How will the Kindle affect literary snobbism?”
“The practice of judging people by the covers of their books is old and time-honored. And the Kindle, which looks kind of like a giant white calculator, is the technology equivalent of a plain brown wrapper.”
“But for the purpose of sizing up a stranger from afar, perhaps the biggest problem with Kindle or its kin is the camouflage factor: when no one can tell what you’re reading, how can you make it clear that you’re poring over the new Lincoln biography as opposed to, say, “He’s Just Not That Into You”?”
“And as books migrate from paper, it means the death of the pickup line, “Oh, I see you’re reading the latest (insert highbrow author’s name here).”
Read the entire article here.
I’ve always enjoyed attempting to see what books people were reading or carrying. I will miss this ability to snoop as the electronic readers continue to gain in popularity. To date, I have no desire to own one, but I think I said the same thing about a cell phone.
How do you feel about electronic book readers? Do you own one? Have you ever used a book as a way to start a conversation with a stranger?
I'm going off topic here but I wanted to share what I consider exciting news. Because part of The Ride takes place on Route 66, it caught the attention of Route 66 News and was featured on the site on May 20.
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Tags: Stewart Brand, Kindle, electronic book readers, Joanne Kaufman, nytimes.com,The Ride, Route 66,