Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't Fear The Kindle

Don't fear the Kindle. I've received a few emails from loyal readers who are concerned about Amazon's Kindle. First and foremost, this is another expensive ($399.00) toy that most people will find they can live without. Have you ever left a book on an airplane, a bus, a taxi? Who needs another gadget to lug around? I don't. I have a Blackberry, an ipod, and a laptop. Each one of these electronic gizmos have trouble from time to time. My books never fail to work. When I'm totally frustrated with technology, I open a good book. Like fine wine, my books get better with age.

The Kindle will never have the appeal of an ipod. With music, we want to select the best songs from a CD. We also need a compact, portable way of taking our music with us. The ipod delivers on our music needs. I love to be able to shuffle through artists and songs with my ipod. I have no desire to shuffle from one novel to another. Fiction and non-fiction allow me to go to another world. I like to linger in the "Other World."

There's a big difference with books and music. With books, we want the tangible item. We even want to be seen with the book. We love the weight of the book in our hands. We love the smell of the book when it's new and old. Here's an excerpt that we have posted on the Boys Read Best Books page. It's from one of my favorite books, "A Panther in the Basement".

"To this day you can take me to a room with my eyes closed and my ears plugged, and I can tell at once, without the slightest doubt, if it is a room full of books. I take in the smells of an old library not with my nostrils but through my skin, a kind of grave, pensive laden with book dust finer than any other dust, blended with the savor that emanates from old paper, mingled with the smell of glues ancient and modern, pungent thick almond scents, sourish sweat, intoxicating weed and iodine, and undertones of the lead smell of thick printer’s ink, and a smell of rotting paper, eaten away by damp and mildew, and of cheap paper that is crumbling to dust, contrasting with the rich, exotic, dizzying aromas emanating from fine imported paper that excite the palate."

-- Amos Oz

My favorite books for boys are the ones that fit into my hip pocket. I like thin, easy to read, action-packed stories. As book lovers, we must continue to buy books (from independent bookstores, if possible) and support writers. We must step to the plate for the book! Click here to go to our Best Books page