Friday, July 10, 2009

Is Reading Uncool?

The last place I expected to find great writing was on an airline flight magazine. But I recently spent a couple of pleasant hours browsing through the June issue of United’s “Hemisphere”. Adam Sachs wrote an article called “The Page Turner” in which he tries to explain the benefits of owning a Kindle to a fellow passenger.

“It’s for reading,” I say… It’s got books on it,” I add brightly, now tapping the tablet stupidly. Thousands of books inside.” Then I sort of wave the device in the air, as if to prove how light and portable it is and say hey, look at me, I’m reading.

“Oh…books,” she says, straightening her back. She’s got an iPhone in her hand, and I imagine she’s ready to Google map her way to a better conversation…. Because here’s the thing: Reading is not sexy… The electronic reader might be the first truly ingenious, paradigm-shifting piece of
technology that actually makes you feel less cool than you were without it.

The Kindle is sort of homely and straitlaced, and that’s what I like about it. It’s uncool in a cool way. Just like reading.

- written by travel and food writer, Adam Sachs, used with permission -

(Of course, when I wrote this back in 2009 Kindle's were sort of simple with their black cases and gray screens and ability to archive hundreds of books. Now, as I add this footnote in 2014, the Kindle Fire is anything but homely and straitlaced.)


Quacky the Ballads Duck said...

I like to read. Love to read actually. I think it's cool to different people. I'm excited to see people who read or love to read. It's great. And the kindle? Not my thing. I like a good, actual book.

-Quacky the Ballads Duck (please check out my book)

Jess said...

I love to read, if that makes me uncool then oh well -- I have been called worse!

Phyl said...

Given that we've just found out publishers can pull their books from your Kindle whenever they get the mind to -- which, funnily enough, they can't do with paper books you buy -- I'll stick with paper for a long time to come, thanks.