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NOTHING BEATS BROWSING
August 24, 2009 |
Post to the Host:
I am an avid reader and now an avid convert to the Amazon Kindle platform.
Though I have some discomfort about what electronic readers are likely to do to the book/bookstore industry, it does rather seem the wave of the future.
(I notice you currently have 8 offerings for the Kindle.) What's your take on electronic readers in general?
Rev. Kevin P.
I'm all for readers reading whatever they want wherever they want to read it, and if some people would like to see text projected onto the sides of large buildings late at night, or written in the sky by planes, or transmitted to their cellphones, or attached to the sides of trees, that's fine by me. For now, I seem to be still enamored of the paper book with the covers and the spine, but I'm a restless man and who knows? I could pick up a Kindle next week and be converted in a moment. But then I'd have to tell the employees of my bookstore that they're the wave of the past. And whenever I go in the store, I see people wandering around and picking up books and examining them and browsing. Browsing is the thing you need to do in person, and I don't think Kindle is so good at that. Our bookstore represents the taste and judgment of its managers but there are other influences, best-seller lists, reviews, word of mouth, etc. And then the visitor gets to browse, which is a peripatetic search for serendipity, which is how readers come to find books they would never ever otherwise find.
That's the wonderful thing about reading, the venturesome part. The reader is restless, always looking for something new and exciting. This exciting new invention is fine for reading stuff you already know about, but nothing beats browsing.