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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Difference Between a Kindle and a Book

Listen Up IPOD people there is a difference between a Kindle and a book. Take music. The IPOD is not the same as a stereo or a car stereo or an album or even a CD. The IPOD is a delivery vehicle that gives us thousands of digitized songs through really tinny headphones. Yeah I know the new rage of BOSE headphones and now we all look like it's 1979 again and Rob Lowe is putting the headphones on Demi Moore in his swinging bachelor pad. But even then it is different. You are not listening to music resonating in a room, you are listening to it resonate in your ear.

But back to books and the Kindle. Same deal. A delivery device that gives you thousands of books. But there is a difference. When you read on screen your eyes tend to scan. You do not move along the page the same way as the old pulp and ink page. A book is a holistic experience. It is physical and the words look different on the page. Your mind takes those words and converts them into an image or a scene and you create the story. The way those words are arranged on the page, the visual textual feel of those words contribute to the scene. Also the speed in which you read those words contributes to the scene.

You usually sit down in your chair or at your kitchen table. You have your cup of coffee. The page makes a sound, it crinkles under your fingers. You see it as a permanent object. The music of the words starts to play in your quiet sanctum. The artistry of writing is visual.Take the Kindle. You flip it on. You fire up the page. You see the electronic symbols. You start to scan down the page. You read quickly where ever you are because there is a lot more to read, thousands of books to read. The words evaporate as you read them. It as if they never existed. Your mind registers a plastic device, not a book.

So right. Kindle readers will knock this down and say it is the same. And it is where everything is going because of the economics and ease of delivery. But like the IPOD where the music quality is diminished by the Skull candy earbud enviroment we become used to the new delivery vehicle and experience suffers. The Kindle will rule the day and reading will suffer. Such is the price we pay for technology.
Rocket Man will blast off July 26th

Books by William Hazelgrove