Friday, October 24, 2008

Are new gadgets really that great?

It seems like every time I go to my Amazon page I'm now being accosted with the advertisement for the latest gadget in the wave of technology that we've been facing these past few years. It is called "The Kindle." (Check it out with the link). The Kindle has the capacity to store up to 200 books in it without a memory card, but with a memory card it can hold up to 4,000 books/magazines/newspapers.

I don't want to seem like I'm bashing technology, because it's made out lives easier in many aspects. However, for me there is nothing so great as actually turning the pages of a book. Moistening the tip of my index finger and thumb and bringing it up the page, preparing myself to turn the page and continue on the journey my book it taking me on. For me reading is not just a mental adventure, but a physical one as well. I like to have a drink sitting by me and maybe some gum or sunflower seeds, depending on how long I'll be reading for. I fidget around until I'm at my optimum comfort level, which is usually with my legs and feet tucked up underneath me while both of my hands are gripped to the pages and breathless with anticipation for what the characters might do next. There was one Christmas break in HS that I spent reading the entire 2 weeks. True it was for some assignments that I had looming over me, but it was in those 2 weeks that I devoured those book, which have since become 2 of my all time favorites (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Flowers for Algernon). I was so engrossed that I would start in one position in the family arm chair and end up in a completely different position, to this day I don't know how that would happen, but when I'm really in to a good book I'm oblivious to everything else. I'll cry over the sentimental parts, sigh through the affectionate parts, cheer with the triumphant parts, and become furious over the injurious parts.

I'm sure that I could still possess all of those same emotions and habits if I were to ever get one of these contraptions, but there's something about it that just makes it seem to distant from the comfort of the familiar. I'd definitely have to see one working live and in person before I could feel even a little warm and fuzzy about it.

It is not just the technology that has my heart palpitating but the price as well!!! Oh, the humanity!!! I know that there is something better that I could spend $350 on! True the cost of books goes down, the most I've seen one cost is $9.99 and that it may potentially help the environment by cutting down on paper production, as well as help the future lumbar health of students throughout the world, since they won't have too carry around backpacks. So I guess it can't be all bad. I could also see it being an asset for people who travel a lot and don't want the hassle to carrying books and magazines around all the time.

I'm also not one of those people that feels the need to jump on the gadget gravy train every time a new toy comes out. It took me forever to get an MP3 player (I'm not an iPod gal) and even longer to get a cell phone. I have a digital camera, but I only bought that because of the rebate I received when I got my computer (that actually is a must for me with school). The camera has been fun and come in handy on a couple of occasions, but it's a older model Kodak because I wasn't going to go over the amount of my rebate.

Another reason for me to hightail it in the other direction with The Kindle is concerned is because Amazon is also advertising it as one of Oprah's new favorite things, which will make the resistance even harder, because once Oprah stamps her approval onto something her minions seem compelled to make it a "must have", which then makes the "industry" cultivate ways to get it into all of our hands. My only solace is the fact that the price is so outrageous that it won't be forced onto everyone all at once. For now, however, I'll use my blog to bemoan the impending loss of books as we know them. Thank you for taking the time to read my soapbox.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, the anticipation just wouldn't be the same. And, what about those much loved favorites, with their dog-eared pages and various stains and marks from previous readings. You can't look back and remember when you made that little mark in the margin to look up a word that you didn't know...the history will be gone. What are we to pass down to our children. I'll bet Judy Blume just doesn't have the same appeal on a "gadget".

Jersey Mama said...

I totally agree with you. There's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands, the way the ink smells, and the sound of the pages turning!

Meleah said...

Interesting, but I don't think I would like it either. I'm not much for reading books on the internet and this would be much the same. The convenience of being able to read a book within minutes and not even have to leave the house to buy it would be nice somedays, but there's always the excitement of finding a book for under a dollar in the thrift shop and getting to read it over and over. It would create lots more space in our house, but I'll stick to the piles of books for now:)


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