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  • From Paper Printing to Digital Printing — Kindle

    Posted on July 5th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    I was reading Brian Dipert’s “A Bewitching E-Book Tote-Along” tonight, and just so happened that I have been looking at that Sony Reader more than five times this weekend. Not that I wanted to buy one or ever possibly would buy one, it’s on display at Borders which I was in five times this past weekend.

    I understand the success of Kindle and have read many reviews about it, but all from a technology advancement or business point of view. I never really think it will replace the real book; to me what’s on a Kindle or other device is a story, but not a book.

    When it comes to computing technology, I considered myself an early adaptor and when it comes to gadgets, I am a shameless big spender. However, call me old fashioned, I still prefer to turn pages when it comes to reading. Many owners of Kindle or the Sony Reader praise about how light the device is, how many books it would store, how easy it is to scroll down the page. But none of the pros can convenience and transform me from paper books to electronic books.

    Close friends know that I love to read, and I like to buy truckload of books and try to read all of them if possible. When I like an author, I will buy all his/her books so he/she can make a living – my simple and stupid way of supporting writers. And I am almost possessed by my books — I don’t like others touching my books, therefore I won’t borrow books from library nor would I loan my books to friends – no matter how close a friend you are. When I come across a very good book, I will buy extra copies just to share, but, no, I won’t let anyone borrow it.

    To me, there is nothing more satisfying and content than turning to the next pages while holding a book in your hand, and I can clearly recall the first time I had this sense of sheer pleasure when I was a kid. There was a bookstore located at the basement of a shopping plaza called Dragon Gate Plaza, and I would go there everyday during summer break when school was out. Along the staircase, there were wall to wall of bookshelves with books, from folks to fables, kung-fu to romance novels, cookbooks to self-helps…etc. This eleven years old girl gorged and gulped her lunch, so mom would let her visiting the bookstore after meal. I finished the entire sets of Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin that summer.

    Yesterday Jay asked me how the business was with Borders after I coming out from it, and I answered with wishful thinking that as long as there are book lovers, bookstore will always be there whether it’s online or physical retail stores. You see, I buy many books online now especially when it comes to pre-orders, but I will still walk into a bookstore whenever I get a chance, and I enjoy browsing through the different categories of books — it could be Madame Bovary and The Count of Monte Cristo today, or The Art of Happines and The Gary Snyder Reader tomorrow. When I find something interests me in the first few minutes, I will make a purchase and bring it home to finish it.

    I don’t mind the mega store like Barnes & Noble or Borders which some people dislike it, at the same time I still find joy whenever I encounter jewels like Shakespeare on Lexington Ave in NYC, “M” is for Mystery in San Mateo, or A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books in Cupertino which sadly was closed down in 1997. The only scene I don’t like at Borders or Barnes & Noble are the people who occupied the tables doing their homework or surfing internet. As far as my concern, all bookstore should ban internet access/use. This is the place to read BOOKs.

    The bottom line is — regardless how convenient it is to carry thousands of books, I will still pack two paperbacks in my bag for my next trip. And I admire the technology that makes the screen all white and crispy, but I can assure you that my nightstand will always be stacked with books not an electronic reading device. So despise a lot of people who see e-book readers as a technological death threat made to real books, I still need to say sorry to Kindle, Sony or iPod Touch — you guys are nice but a real book is THE true beloved old friend.


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