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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/15/RV5O16C8Q4.DTL

The Kindle 2: a thin read
John McMurtrie, Chronicle Book Editor

Sunday, March 15, 2009

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"Without books, we might melt into the airwaves, and be just another set of blips."

With characteristic eloquence, John Updike wrote those words in 2000, when bemoaning the growing popularity of what he coolly referred to as "electronic text-delivery systems." (The rest of us know them simply as e-book readers.)

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In his essay, Updike argued that if we abandon the printed book for its electronic rival, we will lose the book
 

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Interesting article, thank you.
 
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There's more: If you happen to be in a rush to get Updike's book (let's just say you're on deadline and can't make it to a bookstore or library), thanks to the Kindle, you can buy the e-book (for $9.99) and download it with a wireless connection (in a minute) - and add it to your personal Kindle collection of 1,500 titles. (The Sony Reader, by contrast, doesn't offer wireless access.)
I found this 'ironic', is that the right word? The man is bemoaning the loss of paper books to e-readers and we can read it on one.
 

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I wonder, does this guy have a Kindle? I don't even notice the flash between page turns, and who's to say the sound of a click isn't more or less annoying than the sound of a page turning?

Plus, he's talking about how books are "handcrafted works of art," then a few paragraphs later goes on to say that they're meant to be chewed on, spilled on, and thrown across the room.
 

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I felt he was a bit non conclusive - no argument either way no new quotes. Kind of says he has no passion on the subject.  so no he may not have spent much time on the kindle.
 

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I saw this this morning, too.  If you read the comments there are some very supportive and intelligent comments.  I wish people would just be more open to change rather than fight it tooth and nail.  Just because the medium is different does not mean it's bad!

 

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Interesting, a lot I don't agree with, of course.

The first thing that struck me when I read this was "How big are his sandwiches?"

The thing can also download newspapers and magazines, for those who don't mind reading the paper on a screen the size of a half sandwich.
Also, the K2 makes noise when you click the page buttons? My K1 doesn't...or maybe I'm deafer than I thought.

Seriously, the books as furniture or decoration:
Updike argued that if we abandon the printed book for its electronic rival, we will lose the book as furniture ("Shelved rows of books warm and brighten the starkest room")
meh, I buy my books to read not to impress people with how much I've read....and I don't spill coffee on my paper books, either. As for some of the other points,

souvenir ("One's collection comes to symbolize the contents of one's mind") and ballast ("Books hold our beams down; they act as counterweight to our fickle and flighty natures").
those seem to me to hold as true with ebooks as paper books.

At least he points out good features too.

Betsy
 

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That kind of souvenier, yes, a Kindle would be hard to replace, yet that wasn't what I thought Updike meant...it seemed more like a remembrance of one's reading journeys....but maybe that was my reading not his writing....

Betsy
 
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I knew I spelled "souvenier" wrong but the spell checker let it go.

Betsy the Quilter said:
That kind of souvenier, yes, a Kindle would be hard to replace, yet that wasn't what I thought Updike meant...it seemed more like a remembrance of one's reading journeys....but maybe that was my reading not his writing....

Betsy
I can carry up to 16000 souveniers with me in my Kindle. Try that with real books. :)
 
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The author missed what I consider the single biggest advantage of paper books.  If I want to look up a particular quote or passage from a DTB, I can pull the book off the shelf and usually find it in less than a minute.  I know about where in the book my passage is, can turn instantly to that approximate place, then in an instant know if I have to go back or forward a little.  I can't HELP but remember about how far into the book the passage is because I was actually holding the book when I read it.

With a Kindle, I pay very little attention to the progress dots.  Nor will I be able to remember how full they were or my location numbers--especially since I never know when I'm reading what passages I may want to come back and find eight years down the line.  (Thus making bookmarking useless.)  I CAN search, but this requires remembering almost exactly the quote I want (in which case, I don't need to look it up) or wading through various search results.

My current signature is a perfect example.  It took me a total of about 20 seconds to locate it in the book and start typing it.  Can't do that with a Kindle.
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
The author missed what I consider the single biggest advantage of paper books. If I want to look up a particular quote or passage from a DTB, I can pull the book off the shelf and usually find it in less than a minute. I know about where in the book my passage is, can turn instantly to that approximate place, then in an instant know if I have to go back or forward a little. I can't HELP but remember about how far into the book the passage is because I was actually holding the book when I read it.

With a Kindle, I pay very little attention to the progress dots. Nor will I be able to remember how full they were or my location numbers--especially since I never know when I'm reading what passages I may want to come back and find eight years down the line. (Thus making bookmarking useless.) I CAN search, but this requires remembering almost exactly the quote I want (in which case, I don't need to look it up) or wading through various search results.

My current signature is a perfect example. It took me a total of about 20 seconds to locate it in the book and start typing it. Can't do that with a Kindle.
I'm not that fast at finding quotes in books. First I'd have to find the book, LOL, easier for some than others. Depends on whether my husband reshelved it or I did or how much of a hurry I was to clean house. ;D

Then I'd have to remember where I was in the book, and I don't remember it that closely. A search would likely be about as fast for me. I'd have to call it a draw...

Betsy
 

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I didn't fully understand the whole article.  :-[ :-[
 

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Vampyre said:
I knew I spelled "souvenier" wrong but the spell checker let it go.

I can carry up to 16000 souveniers with me in my Kindle. Try that with real books. :)
In one hand!
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
The author missed what I consider the single biggest advantage of paper books. If I want to look up a particular quote or passage from a DTB, I can pull the book off the shelf and usually find it in less than a minute. I know about where in the book my passage is, can turn instantly to that approximate place, then in an instant know if I have to go back or forward a little. I can't HELP but remember about how far into the book the passage is because I was actually holding the book when I read it.

With a Kindle, I pay very little attention to the progress dots. Nor will I be able to remember how full they were or my location numbers--especially since I never know when I'm reading what passages I may want to come back and find eight years down the line. (Thus making bookmarking useless.) I CAN search, but this requires remembering almost exactly the quote I want (in which case, I don't need to look it up) or wading through various search results.

My current signature is a perfect example. It took me a total of about 20 seconds to locate it in the book and start typing it. Can't do that with a Kindle.
I'm the EXACT opposite. When looking through a book I read years ago, it takes me a long time to find what I was looking for. I have not had my Kindle that long, but I suspect it will save me a lot of time when looking back at older books.
 

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I'm another like Jim, I can remember very clearly where any given line in a DTB is.  Can't see that happening with the Kindle--but I do think I'll be able to find most of them using the search function.

I do notice the flash as pages turn until I'm fully into the book, so it's more noticeable to me when I first start reading.  And yes, the K2 buttons do click annoyingly.  But lordy, neither of these is bad enough to distract me from a good book!

 
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