Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Is the Kindle elitist?

From the first time I saw a Kindle, I wanted one. It was an irrational desire, a visceral one. I couldn't explain it, though I tried to talk about saving my back (from the weight of all those books), more access, etc. Really it just looks like a cool piece of technology and sometimes Iwant them. But here's an interesting counter-perspective on the technology, from an interview with Sherman Alexie about his hatred of the Kindle:

Books saved my life, Edward. I rose out of poverty and incredible social dysfunction because of books. And all of my senses-sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste-come into play when I think and read about books. Books are tactile and eccentric. An eBook will always be a gorgeous but anonymous box. It will also be just a tool–perhaps an amazing and useful tool-but I don’t want it to replace the book. And I’m worried that many people don’t care about the book itself, and see the eBook as a replacement. And I’m worried that Amazon and other eBook distributors will completely replace bookstores. The careers of nearly every successful writer are based on the amazing human interaction between bookstore employees and readers.

read it all here


  1. Did you get one? Everyone I know who has bought one has fallen deeply in love with it.

    Because of the cost, I don't think I'll be getting one soon but I have dreamed a little about having one. I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Alexie's anti-ebook stance, but I don't want us to go all digital, either! Can't imagine a world without pages...though I guess in a larger sense it is more eco-friendly...then again, what if all the digital files holding all the texts somehow became corrupted and we no longer had literature? Shiver! Gasp! Shriek!

  2. ps: I am going to read Yolen's BR this summer, too (just finished Coover's version--have you read that? bizarre). Maybe we can chat about it!

  3. Nope, didn't buy a kindle (thinking this summer the new technology will be a netbook instead).

    Yolen's BR is lovely--but, no, I don't know Coover's! I'll have to check it out...

  4. Yes, I think a netbook sounds fab, too.

    Just to clarify, I'm not recommending Coover's...seriously, it's "unparaphrasable," according to the cover itself, and, I might add, creepy.

  5. Oh, wow, there's a hypertext version online now. Well, maybe that would be more fun than the print version. Here you go!