Thursday, July 30, 2009

Real Books and Myopic Kindle

Real books are better than Kindle, by far, really far. By real books I mean the physical (2 covers and paper pages in between them with printed words) book. The real book is found on shelves in the living room, the reading room, the study, the hearth room, the classroom, the pastor’s office, and the library. The contents of many real book are now available on Kindle. However, we handle books daily that will realistically never ever be scanned for Kindle and these are important books. They are important for at least two reasons. First off they are important for their content. We handle wildly obscure books with scholarly substance (like this one: The Union of Uzhorod). Secondly, they are important for their provenance. Eight years ago we handled 50 or so books from Tolkien’s personal library. Most of them contained his signature. Several of them contained his extensive notes. Kindle could never reproduce the individualized copies of books like these. It mass produces generic copies of books. Kindle is for readers what Wal-Mart is for shoppers – generic and of low quality.

All of this demonstrates that Kindle tends to Reading Myopia. Kindle circumscribes the reader’s world to what can be mass produced. Real books tend to Reading Sophia. Real books put you in touch with real people and real history and if read well, lead to wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    Thank you for your excellent posting on real books versus the digital! You are "spot on". I've just glanced over at my wall of books, few of which will ever be "Kindilized". And may Loome Theological Booksellers continue to prosper...

    Warmest regards,