The print edition of Slovenly Peter my grandmother read to my siblings and me that still bears the crayon imprint of my little brother - along side its replacement?
Call me a sentimental slob, but I woke up this morning feeling sorta mournful. My Kindle arrived via UPS yesterday afternoon and I spent some time playing/learning/reading the device last evening. I am planning to take it and NO print books to ALA and NECC. The acid test.
It is eminently, uh, pragmatic.
I've been an advocate for silicon replacing cellulose since 1995. E-books hold tremendous potential for education - helping (and de-stigmatizing) struggling readers, reducing backpack weight, and even lowering textbook costs. Yet now that this practical device is actually here, I have to admit there are some important things I will miss about paper books:
- How will you start a conversation with the person next to you on an airplane if you don't have the safe opening of "How's that book you're reading?"
- How will you learn about the people who have invited you over if you can't peruse their bookshelves? (A LibraryThing account or Facebook book list just aren't the same.)
- How will you impart memories of love and excitement about books in toddlers who are learning to associate reading with physical closeness, bright pictures and personal attention?
- How likely are children to collect "e-books" that, like in my brother's case above, they make their own?
OK, I am sure when the horseless carriage replaced the horsed carriage, many shed a tear or two over the sweet smell of hay and manure. But the Kindle really does feel like the end of print books - objects that have been near and dear to my heart since I was read the horrible Slovenly Peter on my grandmother's lap.
Is this just sentimentality or will there be real loss as reading moves from cellulose to silicon?
Note to Amazon: Make the click wheel click quieter. It drives my wife nuts!