Thursday, March 05, 2009

To Kindle or Not to Kindle, That, Really, is Kinda the Question

The medium is not the relevant bit. Sure: books on paper are wonderful. They smell good to me. They feel good in my hand. I like the weight and heft of books on paper. I like how books never run out of batteries and don’t ever need to be plugged in. And how I can take a book to the beach/ski slope/on rapid transit and not worry if it will work in that place. I know that it will.

Let’s face it: the design of the traditional book is a good one. It’s timeworn amd time-shaped and it works. Sometimes all the kerfuffle about e-books seems like a lot of inventing better mousetraps. And sure: there are some good ideas. But when the dust settles, what’s in my hand? A book. Always, a book.

In the end, it will be preference, won’t it? A good book transports us, does it not? It lifts us from the place where we are -- with a paper book or an e-book reader in hand -- and drops us into the world of that story. The message does that, then. Not the medium.

As is so often the case in life, it’s all about the journey. The method of transportation barely factors in.

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