I’m thinking of getting a Kindle. Or something. Thing is, I’ll be donating or selling a lot of my 15-20,000 books to reduce my space. I’d really love it if I could retain them, but in e-format.
Now if someone would just trade me one for one, books for e-books, they’d have a library. 🙂
I confess, looking at Kindle2, that it’s very Star Trek Next Generation, and that’s part of the appeal. A lot of us grew up frustrated at the slow pace at which technology was being rolled out – perhaps because tech companies gobbled up other tech companies rather than focused on R&D, and so much creativity targeted a quick sale. Be that as it may, the Tricorder (remember that?) represented the future. The multi-functional portable computer that gave us information on what we needed when we needed it. Well, that was the original Star Trek. Then STNG had those great portable book-pads – those proto-Kindles that let Picard read the Epic of Gilgamesh anywhere on the ship. Paper books are great. I love books. But I love access to books more. More than books, I love being able to read what I want, where I want, when I want.
I’m already getting ready to buy my 2nd netbook (today). And yes, it sure trumps a Kindle, any day. But I can see a purpose for getting away from the e-mail, the open web, and all that, and simply reading.
Already, I find I’m more interested in getting a paperback and ‘consuming’ it, than owning a hardback and loving the spine and the cover and the fact that it’s sturdier and represents the old tradition of lifetime book acquisition, appropriate to fixed estates, low mobility, and the bequeathing of a literary inheritance. I used to have time for both consuming and owning. Now, there’s no time, and I place a premium on space, effective storage, convenience, portability, etc. And frankly, the preservervation that used to make me love hardbacks, now in fact makes me interested in ebooks. I don’t want to read them on my office desktop with three monitors. I want them in my hand at the coffee shop. I want an electronic book. A Kindle. A Star Trek book. And once it’s in digital format, you can be in the year 2120 and get a perfect copy of something from the 3500 BC.
Frankly, just the cost of moving books, the overhead of boxing them correctly, storing them in the right temperature, etc. means that I have to make a choice between being highly mobile in life or being surrounded by my library. I’ve made the choice. So now, it’s just a question of how to conduct the transition.
What will be really neat is making all new annotations in my ebooks. I wonder if the Kindles support that yet. I want to be able to take an e-pen and write in the margins and have it saved. 🙂
Anyway, got an ebook you want to trade for the real thing?