LitDaily

Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Posts Tagged ‘Kindle’

The Space of the Library

Posted by litdaily on March 1, 2011

Hari Kunzru’s post on the library as a relic adds a nice element to my last post on the Kindle…>>

He reminisces about the meaning a library had for him as a child and the excitement of getting that first library card.  Obviously, if E-Books take the place of libraries (and not just bookstores), then the experience of discovery changes.  Already, during the course of the past decade, my academic research takes place not in university libraries, but on my computer, in my master bedroom.  The digitalization of archives and out of print books makes it unnecessary to travel 25 miles to my university in order to make an argument.  There is something lost — besides the lack of sunlight — and that loss is not easy to explicate.

Roaming the halls of a library, whether public or academic, positions a person in the center of knowledge and the possibility of acquiring, devouring, digesting, endless amount of words that have meaning.  The E-book cannot replicate this experience. it’s efficiency, moreover, does not allow the leisure of roaming.  It bring us right to the text.

On another level, as a mother of two young children, the library and the bookstore are not just spaces of exploration, but they are also spaces that allow community building.  When I had my son (now 4), he started his first library classes at the age of 6 months. We made some lasting friendships there with other children and parents that would not have been possible otherwise.

 

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The E-book

Posted by litdaily on February 28, 2011

Last year, my husband bought me a Kindle even though I raised multiple objections. I protested that “scholars” and “academics” and anyone who’s serious about literature will not read an electronic book.  I tried to explain the thrill that goes through me whenever I see a book — hardcover, paper, old, new, borrowed, bought — that’s waiting to be read, sitting on my nightstand.  I thought I would be the last person in the world to advocate e-reading.

But I was wrong.  Although I’ve downloaded only three books on my Kindle, I carry it in my purse and read it whenever I can.  When I surf Amazon, I always look at the Kindle prices, which are half the cost.  And the best part is that reading electronically hasn’t really changed my experience of reading at all.  That’s why Dan Agin’s article in Huffington Post makes so much sense…more>>

Agin, who has been in the American publishing world since 1945, says that American publishing has always followed the principles of marketing and selling books. American publishing believes that people, much like what I used to believe, want to purchase books based on the “feel” of a printed book rather than the words.  He states, “what the public wants is the blood and guts of the author, the contact of the reader’s mind with the author’s mind — and the most efficient vehicle for that contact is now the electronic book, the E-book.”

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