I was somewhat surprised by the rather negative and emotional reactions many in the blogger community had to Amazon's e-book reader. You'da thunk somebody was suggesting that lovable old grandmothers were being replaced by Satan, or something.
The Valleywag blog does this little comparison
I suspect that had the the author of the chart above been writing in 1907 instead of 2007, it may have looked something like this:
Other folks have been fussing that the device is a single-function machine; that it uses a proprietary format (and one would have to actually pay for creative content); and that it can't re-gifted at Christmas to the brother-in-law, etc.
I suspect many people will be unable (or unwilling) to make the switch from cellulose to silicon readers. I suspect both better technology and better content distribution/remuneration schemes are just around the corner.
But what many of us fogies are forgetting is that IT IS NOT ABOUT US. I find it ironic that the Kindle release and the knee-jerk reactions to it were made the same week as the latest report by the National Endowment for the Arts that decries the decline in reading by teens:
1. Young adults are reading fewer books in general.• Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.
•The percentage of 18- to 44-year-olds who read a book fell 7 points from 1992 to 2002.
Could it be that kids read, they just don't like reading on paper? Be a shame if our own preferences, predjudices and quibbles related to book format discourage reading by the next generation.