Sunday, February 8, 2009
Not To Re-Kindle Anything, But...
I got into an interesting discussion the other night at Flagler College, regarding the Kindle. The discussion/argument got a little philosophical at times as I supported the Kindle as both an inevitable next step in the book business, and a pretty good way of greening an industry that uses a lot of paper and energy to send relatively heavy books from here to there and there to here when it could all be sent electronically as it is with the Kindle.
The other argument, which I thoroughly understand and sympathize with, is one that places a high value on the object that contains the content, that is, the physical book itself. The heft, the smell and all that. I certainly understand why there'll be some of those (us) who'll have to have their cold hard fingers pried off their hardbacks before yielding to this new direction.
And I certainly understand the downward pressure that such a technology puts on the money side of the business. What are publishers left with beside simply being a "filter" if there is no physical book anymore, no cover, no typeface, no paper.
Still, I love my Kindle, use it every day, and love the freedom it gives me to lie in bed and download a few sample chapters of this book and that book so I can check them out for free. It's an incredible device. It, or some version of it, is here to stay.