11.20.2007

Your library in your hand?

And what do we think of this?

6 comments:

Pete said...

Beat me to it.

I think the name has an unfortunate subtext, like 'hey, it's finally OKAY to burn books!' I can't imagine that they intended this connotation. Anyone else thinking along the same lines or is it just my baseline hostility towards the product itself?

The only thing that makes this more than a modified Ti-86 is the screen, right? So how long before actual computers-- ones with, you know, calculators and movies and music and calendars and OPEN, non-proprietary interpoos -- offer these "paper" screens? It just seems to me that the techgeist these days is moving towards 1) open info (as in not only "250 top blogs!" as they exclaim, but any goddamn blog or anything else on the internet that you might want to read) and 2) multifunctional digital devices.

This bucks both trends.

Furthermore, people have an emotional attachment to paper books that goes beyond readability, I think. That's not to say that this attachment can't be overcome, but I think it will take both time and something a lot neater than this. I keep looking over the info on this thing wondering if I've just missed something. It seems, most of all, to just be a good marketing campaign.

To dork out for a moment- what I want is one of those books that Wesley has in Angel- you know, the one where you say the name of the book you want, and then you open it, and there it is, fresh ink bleeding into the page.

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete said...

Furthermore, I don't want my library in my hand. I want it surrounding me on all sides, smelling like decaying paper.

The less space such things take up, the more room we make for-- what? Parking lots? Cell phone retailers? Those $8 fast food places?

Maybe it's a good thing that books take up so much space.

Brando said...

It will be great until someone accidentally drops it in the toilet while reading the sports section.

cj said...

I agree with all of the above. But when I see my law students lugging around airport-luggage filled with thick, heavy, cheaply-made (highlighting bleeds through the page), planned-obsolescent ("Sorry, this year we're using the *revised* fifth edition") case books, I see a lot of Kindle-users waiting to happen.

the plunge said...

Amazon's Jeff Bezos said something interesting on Charlie Rose - he said "you can't out-book the book." Which was his way of reminding people that the book is a highly evolved technology -- let's not forget stone tablets, papyrus, scrolls, parchments, folios, all that jazz. The book is writing medium like 10.0.

So maybe this is 11.0, right? Words are words, lines lines, and the truth is it doesn't matter how you read them as long as the experience of reading them is not frictional or distracting.

Even though the technology is still in its infancy, reading this way makes so much more sense on EVERY level (you mean you want to keep cutting down *TREES* so you can have that moldy smell when a book sits unused on a shelf too long?) that any argument against is something a loom-burning Luddite would say, pure and simple.

Just as with the iPod, just as with the book, they/we will engineer a version of it that catches on and is transparent, and before long the idea of going a store to buy a 2 pound, single-(or zero)-use, gum-bound sheaf of papers will seem quaintly strange. But yep, that's how we used to do it!

Not that I'm getting rid of any of my firsties--or my signed galley of Gilead (yeah!!) -- but that's a different question.