It’s very unlikely I’ll buy a ebook reader – Amazon’s Kindle or the new Nook, from Barnes and Noble. Even if I ever do, out of curiosity more than anything else, to me they they will always remain a poor surrogate, something of a novelty that I might tinker with or even carry on a flight, but never take seriously. It cannot replace the feel of paper between my fingers, the crisp smell of new print or the seductive mustiness of a crumpling paperback. Most bibliophiles would scarcely trade that romanticism for an electronic screen and scroll bars(or buttons and what have you). So – no. I do not fear Kindle replacing the book stores, or even coming anywhere close. Yet, the PBS News Hour segment on the recent price war in the publishing industry, and on the rise of such devices was intriguing.
Dang! WordPress won’t let me embed the video, so here’s the link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec09/books_11-02.html (from where you can launch the actual news segment video).
In summary, an ebook reader to me is cool, it’s nice, but it’s just that. The real magic is still in the words.