Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Joys of the Luddite

Our dear friend John is a gadget whore. Any device is irresistible to him, no matter how obscure, unnecessary or unproven its function might be. Naturally, he sprang for a Kindle as soon as it was available. He tried flaunting it to me, but I was vastly unimpressed. For one thing, it looks like a puny Etch-a-Sketch. For another, all its selling features compare it to printed books, and not in a way that says the Kindle is better, simply that it is as good as a real book. So why not get a real book? $350 for something that you then purchase downloads from Amazon to use? What?

I think its main promise is that you can download books instantly. Well, you know, I live in a big city with plenty of bookstores available (although fewer than there were before Amazon, thanks. Goodbye Staceys, adieu Cody's) and when I want a book, it tends to be not that difficult to purchase one. They make a big deal about having 250,00 titles, but I figure once you eliminate Belva Plain and investment how to's, you probably down to the five figures.

So I'm a a grouchy old man. Goddam young punks and their gizmos. So what? When they can wire Barbara Pym and E.F. Benson directly into my brain, let me know. On second thought, I've already done that, never mind. When they can stream porn directly into my brain, THEN I'll consider an upgrade.


  1. This made me laugh, because you're funny, and because it's all true. And yet my love for the Kindle continues apace.

    For me, living in the hinterlands, it is a convenience for books, and I can't tell you how happy I am to d'load the New York Times every day for 75 cents. I couldn't get it here before, except for the weekends for like $5 or something. (Oh, and my Kindle was free! Thanks, Santa.)

    Still, yes, kind of ridiculous. Your point about sharing books is the issue that's come up the most. "Oh, I have this great book for you to read! Only I can't give it to you."

  2. One of the Big Cheeses at Miss J's job got one for himself and one for his wife for a cruise they're on. Guess they figured it was lighter than schlepping three weeks wortha books onto a ship. Of course, someone else had to teach them how to use them, do the downloads, etc. Rcih people...

    The Big Cheese was such an incredible prick to Miss J his last day before he left... Miss J thought, "You a-hole. You're rich as hell and about to go on vacay yet you are still a douche. May pirates steal both your stupid Kindles!"

  3. I can just imagine Long John Blackbeard boarding the cruise and demanding "Arrgh. Hand over them Kindles. But not the ones with Stephen King. Scurvy dog"

  4. hahaha! Stephen King... Mr. P, you make Miss J laugh.


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