E-book readers like the Kindle and the Nook seem to be all the holiday rage, but like I do with most technologies, I’m kind of standing on the edge of the diving board staring down at the pool of technology, not sure of making the leap yet.   Maybe I’ll just climb back down the ladder on this one

I’ve checked them out, and while the capabilities are impressive, I think we’re getting caught up on the consumerism and gadgetry.

The Kindle holds about 3,500 books, so they say.  I’m not sure I’ve read that many books cover-to-cover in my life, to be honest, and I read quite a bit.  But inventory doesn’t equate to knowledge or wisdom.

It’s not the books in your e-reader, or even your physical library that count.  What makes a difference in a person’s life are the books in “you”.

The only purposes a book in any form can serve are to entertain, educate, and inform.  But to get that benefit, you have to actually read, digest and think about them.  Not just carry them around in a gadget or leave them on a shelf, unread, just to boast about the size of your library holdings.

I’m sure the next-generation Kindle or Nook will hold 5,000 or more books, and it’ll be an upward climb until a person will be able to walk around with a device that fits in the palm of their hand and holds the combined output of all of civilization.

But that capability won’t really change you….only time spent laying back in a comfortable chair with good light and reading and thinking will allow ideas to enter and roll around in your mind for when they’re needed.

Regardless of whether those ideas come from a musty book with yellowed pages, or the lastest reader with full graphics and e-ink.

Don’t confuse the map with the territory.


5 thoughts on “

  1. My daughter and I had this conversation just yesterday as we sat in my favourite coffee/book shop surveying the walls of book titles and drinking in [not only the extraordinary coffee] but also the atmosphere and aroma of freshly printed pages and the promise held by words in print. I love books. Clearly 🙂 So for me… replacing bound pages with electronic gadgetry just won’t cut it. Not yet anyway. Though I wonder if it’s a bit like art and photography… where each now lives as one harmonious whole… delivering a differing experience in similar ways. Apples and Oranges maybe. Both fruit… but that’s where the similarity ends.

    • I don’t doubt I’ll end up with some type of e-reader in the near future, it is clearly advantageous in so many ways. But there is a sensory experience with books, as you mention. I’m sure that you could have gotten a similar physical reaction to the coffee you enjoyed by taking a caffeine pill, but it just isn’t the same as savoring a good cup of coffee, is it?

  2. Sorry, hit ‘post by accident, please delete that last comment!

    Kindles would have to come WAY down in price for me to buy one. And you’re right, how many books a gadget holds is hardly the issue. Are people with Smartphones any smarter? Do they use them to look up questions they have about any subject any time they want? Not that I’ve seen. So it wouldn’t matter how many books a Kindle holds. The library has a lot of books too, and how much time does the average person spend there browsing? I don’t think I’ve read 3500 books either. Books are to be soaked up, consumed, reflected upon. Love them printed pages.

    • That’s what I’m waiting for too, Deb, not only the inevitable price decline, but standardization so that everything is readable regardless of platform. And to your other point…we’ve had Google, Wikipedia, etc. for quite a while now, but it hasn’t seemed to matter in raising the general level of overall creativity and awareness. Having the world at your fingertips and being able to use that in a productive way is a jungle we’re still hacking through…..

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