The Lunacy of Wireless Reading Devices

Seriously people? Really? Is it that difficult to hold an actual book? Made of paper, with those pesky pages to turn? Really?

I became aware of ‘wireless reading devices’ months ago, I think at the Borders in Glasgow, upon seeing a display. It doesn’t seem like they’ve really caught fire yet, thankfully, and probably large in part due to the recession (Amazon’s Kindle costs $359.00 US, and each ‘book’ uploaded has a price). I also like to think the slow advancement of this product it is due to common sense.

I’m sure there is the argument that such devices are like MP3 players, in that they are able to hold several books, giving their owners more options at their fingertips. That’s just not a good enough reason for me. The thought of these hunks of metal or plastic being eventually discarded and piling up in our overstuffed world is sickening. I know the same

could be said for Ipods and their ilk, but with such musical devices, there has never been a sustainable option, from portable cassette players to CD players, even personal radios. The only green option there would be to forgo having a portable music device altogether (how much would life suck then, with ears subject to the sounds of other people and things!? Quel horreur!).

With books at least, the paper they are composed of will decompose, and even better, the paper could start as recycled or end up recycled again when someone decides it’s not worth being a book anymore. I prefer to buy used books when possible, and use a little place called the LIBRARY.

There is a huge part of me that just can’t bear to imagine a world without books. It’s bad enough that we have so many now that nobody bothers with. Books make great companions. There is a sense of accomplishment after reading an entire book, turning page after page. Would there be that same sensation sweeping one’s finger over a screen? I doubt it.

Another beautiful aspect about tangible books is that they are available to anyone near a library. I don’t think many local governments will be working on plans to purchase Kindles for their citizens, or establish Kindle centers.

There are so many aspects of the Kindle and it’s relatives that disturb me. It’s bad enough that newspapers are going down the drain. The publishing world is weak as it is, and I don’t want it’s livelihood to be stolen by frivolous technology.


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