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Can We Still Judge a Book By Its Cover?

My neice told me she is now getting her text books on-line. I don't mean she is ordering her books on-line, she is reading them on line. She had mixed feelings about this. Even my 14 year old son, who is an avid user of everything in the digital age, was luke warm to the idea. The site is called CourseSmart. You basically "rent" the book for 180 days and then it expires and you have no more access to the content. There are some great features like being about to highlight and bookmark content and the student can print out only the pages they require. But this also means you must have a laptop or computer to access the content.

Of course, there is always Kindle, the wireless reading device--the future of book reading they say. The screen is high-resolution and reads like paper and you can literally carry your library of books on one device. Of course, I can see benefits for this with text books. I remember carrying my books around campus and getting a backache. Either that, or I would forget the one book I needed.

Call me old fashioned but I'm going to miss books if this is their future. I would miss cracking the spine of a new book and the crisp fresh pages. I also love sharing a well worn book with friends. In fact, I still have some of my college text books. When I was a kid, my mom would take us to the library to stroll the shelves for a new book. I can't imagine scrolling through a series of names on line and having the same excitement. Could I still judge the book by its cover?

Patty Jensen


Anonymous said…
there are always tactile things about books that will be missed, but I can't deny I'm drawn to the convenience of having many books in one little device. I haven't tried reading off a Kindle yet, but as the technology improves I'm sure to be an enthusiastic adopter.
Anonymous said…
Right after I read this post and commented, I found out about the new Kindle app for the iPhone! I think it's pretty cool--the app is very tiny and loads in a flash, and when you launch it it has a link to where you'll need to log in w/your amazon acct to browse the kindle store. They seem to have a pretty good selection and I downloaded a sample of Christopher Moore's "Lamb" to see how it works. Once you download the sample, you go back to the kindle app on your phone and it does a sync and there it is--easy peasy. The default reading size is fine, although you can change type size, bookmark pages, and some other stuff i haven't checked out yet. If you're at all remotely interested in e-book reading and have an iphone/touch, check it out!

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