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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally saw this on the amazon forums, and decided to post it, here.

This is an excerpt from the original article, which can be found at this link ;
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/books/01bea.html

At a panel of authors speaking mainly to independent booksellers, Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," said he refused to allow his novels to be made available in digital form. He called the expensive reading devices "elitist" and declared that when he saw a woman sitting on the plane with a Kindle on his flight to New York,
"I wanted to hit her."


Wow. One user on Amazon's thread stated, "I believe i would enjoy it if this kind of person hit me. after my attorney takes all of his future and past earnings and routes them into my account, i could buy kindles for all the illiterate children that cant afford there own. thus creating many more elitist for the world. "

My comment was simply that hating what someone posses won't bring about a redistribution of wealth... :eek:

EDIT: His defense, as posted over at the Amazon forums. Make of it what you will.

Hello, everybody, I am Sherman Alexie. And I figured I should respond here since all of you are so angry (and funny). I'm enjoying the insults and jokes at my expense. The NY Times greatly simplified my stance on EBooks and to some extent, I suppose I simplified myself, too. During the panel, I said, "I have 99 things I want to say, but I'll only say a few because I don't want to dominate the panel." So I'll reiterate some of my points and then you can all disagree with me, and mock and insult and ban me. But realize I don't make my ethical and moral decisions based on economics. I have often made public statements and taken public stances that have hurt my income. But I'm never going to censor myself based on those monetary considerations. But I do hope by responding here that the discussions about the Kindle's implications will become more complicated, and will not just be about my jerkiness. In any case, I grew up very poor on an Indian reservation and did not have access to the current technology of the 60s and 70s, and I worry that the Kindle and its like, and their future incarnations as reading and educational tools, will also not be widely available to poor kids. I have visited many, many schools in this country and the technology disadvantages are still vast. Many schools don't have enough current textbooks, let alone enough computers. So that's one of my great fears about EBooks. I also worry that EBook technology will too greatly influence what books are being published and promoted in any form, print or electronics. So I worry about the capitalistic influence on the availability of certain kinds of art. I worry that the tool itself, an Ebook, will too greatly influence what is on the tool. I am worried about Jeff Bezos' stated desire that he wants to change the way people read and his belief that people's tactile attraction to books is something that needs to be changed (after all, we writers use our hands to write the words, don't we? And aren't folks using their hands to build the Kindles?). So, please, you can keep insulting me, but I'd also love all of you to think about these concerns (which are shared by many people who produce the books you love so much but who weren't foolish and angry enough to be so public about the fears) and discuss them. Ask Amazon about these concerns. Ask each other about these concerns. But one last thing. Have you ever talked to a stranger simply because you noticed the cover of the book they were reading? Have you ever fallen in love with somebody because of the book they were reading? Have you ever felt the awe of walking onto an airplane and seeing that forty or fifty people are reading the same Harry Potter novel? The Kindle, and its lovely but electronically anonymous exterior, eliminates that moment. Unless Amazon puts a view screen on the outside that digitizes cover art...
 

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If you'll note, he was talking to a group of independant booksellers.....he said what they wanted to hear. The Kindle will hurt their sales with it's popularity.  Wanting to "hit one" was hopefully just to get a laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
vsch said:
If you'll note, he was talking to a group of independant booksellers.....he said what they wanted to hear. The Kindle will hurt their sales with it's popularity. Wanting to "hit one" was hopefully just to get a laugh.
So what do you make of the elitist comment, then? That's a pretty serious word to use, especially considering the last Presidential election.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ProfCrash said:
Actually, only one of his books in on the Kindle. So I am clicking to get them added.
Lol, that's funny. Did he forget he did that?
 

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Maybe someone ought to let him know his book Face is on Kindle.

Sherman Alexie
FallsApart Productions
PMB 2294
10002 Aurora Avenue North, #36
Seattle, WA 98133

I think he is being an elitist or book snob in his thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Carolyn Kephart said:
The hitting comment bothered me a lot more.

CK
Of course, the threat of physical violence is a lot more troublesome. I've never seen anyone in a Ferrari and wanted to ram my 2 door, '92 Buick Riviera into them.
 

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I count 5 available....Interesting that he will never allow his novels to be made available in digital form and yet here they are!
 

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Anarel said:
Of course, the threat of physical violence is a lot more troublesome. I've never seen anyone in a Ferrari and wanted to ram my 2 door, '92 Buick Riviera into them.
And now I'm contemplating your avatar.... :p

Seriously, what he said was just revolting and small. Makes me glad to be an elitist.

Nice analogy, btw!

CK
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Carolyn Kephart said:
And now I'm contemplating your avatar.... :p

Seriously, what he said was just revolting and small. Makes me glad to be an elitist.

Nice analogy, btw!

CK
Ah, yes. It's not too gory, is it? I do feel it aptly shows my frustration when I can't write for the love of anything.

Lol, instead of, "I'm proud to be an American" it's "I'm proud to be an elitist, 'cause I have a kindle with meeee!"
 

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How can it be elitist? ??? Just because there's a sizable up-front investment? Perhaps he doesn't realize that over a year or two, Kindle-readers who previously bought DTB's will most likely save money.

Or is he seriously suggesting that liking to read is elitist? I've heard that a few times before from non-readers, but surely an author couldn't think that...
 

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If a love of reading makes me an elitist, than I will be one proudly. However, I agree with Jeff and some of the others, the comment about wanting to hit a woman who was reading on a Kindle disturbed me far more. Not only am I opposed to violence, but a gentleman would never even consider hitting a woman. At least that is how I was raised here in the South. I would assume that would apply all over.
 

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LaraAmber said:
I'm so fraking tired of elitist being a bad word. The word also has a positive meaning.

Well if we are just going to threaten people with violence for no good reason:

Those authors are such elitists, how dare they get published. When I see one, I just want to bash his/her head in.
Yikes!
 

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Anarel said:
Ah, yes. It's not too gory, is it? I do feel it aptly shows my frustration when I can't write for the love of anything.
I just hit the escape button and stop the animation.
It is funny that Alexie allows his books to be sold on Amazon at all, since their announced goal is to make all books available on the Kindle. Three of his are already Kindlized, I am sure he was against it and probably donates any income from ebook sales to a worth while charity. ;)
 
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