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Friday, August 21, 2009

A Kindle Critic

Essayist Nicholas Baker takes on the Kindle in a recent New Yorker article ("A New Page: Can the Kindle Really Improve on the Book?" August 3, 2009). An avowed bibliophile, it’s probably no surprise that Baker was less than enthusiastic about Amazon’s e-book reader. Years ago he wrote an article lamenting the demise of the card catalog.

From the e-reader screen’s dark-gray type on a greenish-gray background (“This is what they are calling e-paper? This four-by-five window onto an overcast afternoon.”) to the automatic page turning (“I was trying to hurry the Kindle. You mustn’t hurry a Kindle.” ) Baker was definitely not impressed. He laments the lack of illustrations and even e-book titles. There’s no The World According to Garp or Catch-22 available for e-book readers, yet. He did concede, however, that the experience improved on Apple products such as the iPod Touch or iPhone.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of “reading” on my mp3 player. I download eAudiobooks from the library’s Web site. But, I haven’t made the jump to an e-book reader, yet.

(The Kindle image "has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Tsgreer at the wikipedia project.")

Pat, Fairfax County Public Library

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