EReaders: Convenience over Beauty

Barbara's picture

" . . . I don’t look forward to a future in which my Kindle (or whatever device inevitably succeeds it) is the only book on the shelf. But it’s a future I’m fairly convinced is awaiting us, and it’s one that I, as a consumer, am playing my part in advancing us toward. There are moments when I wish I could follow the lead of Borges’ retired librarian and bury my book of sand on some obscure shelf in a library basement and just forget all about it. But then I realize that the thing is just too useful, too crazily convenient a tool to not embrace. And then I tell myself that it’s not possible, anyway, to shelve the advance of technology, and that history is filled with examples of beautiful things being supplanted by more efficient versions of those things. Ultimately, you’re never going to win an argument against convenience, no matter how much you love the anachronistic, heavy, unwieldy, and beautiful thing you want to save."

Great article by Mark O'Connell yesterday in The Millions blog The E-Reader of Sand: The Kindle and the Inner Conflict Between Consumer and Booklover. 

I agree with O'Connell -- don't pull against progress. Enjoy it and be creative with it.

What do you think? Are eReaders enhancing your reading -- making books more convenient thus reading more?

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E-readers and convenience

I know exactly the feeling you're talking about. I've actually been able to resist buying a Kindle so far. I love the printed book as much as anything in life, but I desperately want a Kindle.

I've used the same analogy when talking about Amazon. Although I love little independent bookstores and will always patronize them, Amazon makes it so unbelievably easy and convenient to find and buy (printed) books that they will always have my business as well.

Thanks for the article!



When a college professor forced me to learn the Internet, I thought it was ridiculous. I thought is was a waste of time. When was I ever going to need it?

I think e-readers are kind of like that. We're all going there. Kicking and screaming perhaps..., clutching our hard copies to our chests, perhaps, but we're going. LOL