Kindle is what Jeff Bezos and the great folks at Amazon.com are calling their new wireless reading device.
No, thank you.
I’m a happy Amazon customer of many years, I love Love LOVE shopping on Amazon. Never once have they failed me or misled me. (Oh, you’re welcome Mr. Bezos; if this free virtual love has made you swoon, you can send me free actual stuff to my current Amazon account address. And you sure are a handsome fellow. So youthful looking, who does your skin?) But, you know, I am also a very happy reader of actual books. In fact I collect books, so my interest is more than casual.
I’ve tried doing the books-on-tape thing. My problem with recorded books is they go too fast; I read at varying speeds, and sometimes will momentarily stop reading to think about or luxuriate in what has been written while my eye gazes at the page. That’s difficult to do — no, that’s impossible to do — with a tape or CD player. And playing a book on tape to entertain me while I’m driving my car is hazardous to the American highway system, as my attentions invariably wander from the road to the words being spoken, so sonorous and inviting. No. Books on tape are a fine idea for others, perhaps, but they just ain’t for me, thanks.
Kindle. The technology sounds great. If I had a Kindle, and were I to find myself on a beach somewhere with my Kindle in my new man bag and had a sudden, uncontrollable, endorphin-driven urge to immediately begin re-reading Beowulf, I could probably do it. The thing is, I plan my reading; I have no particular need for sudden book gratification while in parts remote. Besides, when I happen upon an awful book, I do enjoy the relief that comes by throwing the lousy thing against the nearest rock. Were I to do that with a Kindle, then where would my reading be?
So thanks all the same, Amazon. But no, thanks.