Friday, June 12, 2009

More Kindling

Another author comes out against the Kindle (and other book-reading devices). This time it's Nick Hornby, who feel that the whole e-book thing isn't going to catch on.

"People don't read enough. Their consumption is summer holidays and they like to take a couple of paperbacks away with them. That's a three-for-two offer. They read maybe seven or eight per year. You don't need one of those machines to do that...IPods were driven after kids saw what MP3 players did. They all wanted one but I am not sure whether they feel the same about e-book readers."

I tend to agree. People don't get all nostalgic about the feel of a CD, because the form didn't matter as much as the sound. Form matters when it comes to a book. Devices like Kindle can be convenient for people who read fast, a travel a lot, and don't want to lug eight books with them wherever they go. But for the average reader, I don't think it's a great deal. With an iPod, you could upload the music you already owned; with a Kindle, you have to buy books specific to the Kindle, so even if you already have a copy of, say, The Time Traveler's Wife, you'd have to buy it again if you want to read it on the Kindle. Who wants to do that?

Of course, this could all be like the rantings of someone arguing against sound in movies, but I don't think I'll fall to the Kindle any time soon.