Posts Tagged ‘e-reader’

An Open Letter to Kindle, for Book Lovers

07 Jun

Dear Kindle Marketing Team,

I liked you so much better when you were busy trashing the iPad, not trying to turn book lovers into silly, naive people that display weaker spines than those found in the books they read.

Truly, you are trying to convince non-Kindle users to come on over to the dark side by pitching: a. “Books don’t have glare, Kindles don’t have glare!” and b. Readers can do away with that pesky task of folding down a book’s page to save our place; an effort, apparently, we relish. Ugh.

Let’s discuss the bit about reading in bright light. The thing is, book lovers do not consider the concept of glare when reading books. It’s a non-issue. Trying to contrast a Kindle, a glare-free book-reading tool, to a book … a glare-free um, book … is ridiculous. It’s like saying that the Kindle, like a book, won’t slap you in the face while you read it. Or start your house on fire. Or steal your car keys. I get you’re trying to convince us to not buy the other guy’s e-reader, the one that does glare, but c’mon. You’re not fooling anybody.

And then, dear ad gurus, you try and sell the book lover on the Kindle by bringing up the pagefold=bookmark. *insert sigh*

Book lovers, true book lovers, do not fold down the pages of books. We do not rest an open book face down. We do not write in books, and when forced to write in books, say, in college lit classes, we use a pencil. As a book lover, I try to repress the childhood memory of coming upon a picture book that was my mother’s, and being horrified to discover that my mischievous Auntie Ro at some point had taken a marker and scribbled in the pages of the book, and in my child mind, ruined it forever. We honor and respect the book.

When we do want to mark our place in a book, we use bookmarks, which are like fun accessories for books, and us. We do not, under any circumstances, take pleasure in folding down the corner of the page. We will search for any other method to mark our place (a stray envelope, a random receipt from a purse or wallet, a paperclip, straight-up memorization of the page number) before we will cringe and forever mar the books we so love.

I have such sentimental attachment to bookmarks that the one time I accidentally left one—a souvenir from my honeymoon—in a library book, I called the library in a panic, and thanks to a very nice, bookmark-loving librarian, now only use said bookmark when reading books I own.

My point is, sirs and madams of the Kindle marketing team, is that if you want to turn the book readers of the world into e-book readers of the world, or at least convince us that your e-reader is the lesser of all evils, then try not to insult us, make us seem unintelligent and deem us as un-cool, simply because we prefer the pages of an actual book.


Lisa A. Schleipfer, un-official representative of worldwide book aficionados


It’s an E-Reader’s E-Reader’s E-Reader’s World

25 Apr

Or is it?

I’ve been contemplating e-readers a lot lately. The shiny new commercials slamming the iPad. The new color options with bright and bold magazine covers. The soothing yet crisp voice of Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s enough to make a girl crazy.

Let’s face it; anyone who knows me, or that has read at least one of my other ERE blog entries, knows I’m not converting to an e-reader. I am like a 2011 version of the You’ve Got Mail’s Frank, (Greg Kinnear), clinging to the typewriter and proclaiming bits of wisdom to Meg Ryan like, “You are a lone read.”

(Actually, I may have to explore that. Perhaps Frank was not typing but tweeting. Unplugged tweeting.)

So we all know I’m not gonna do it. So here’s my funny for the week of why exactly I’m not gonna do it.

1.   Airplanes. Books and airplanes, or buses or trains or any mode of public transportation for that matter, go hand in hand. A book wards off strangers, keeps us well read, and makes commuting to a desk job or traveling to our hometowns a bit more tolerable. In the case of airplanes though, while everyone is turning off their approved electronic devices until takeoff or landing is completed, I’m happily flipping pages. Also, in the off chance you, or say your mother, leaves a borrowed copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife on the seat next to her before exiting said plane, there’s no need to go ballistic. You’re not out $139.00.

2.   Borrowing. Speaking of borrowing books, and $139 bucks, the e-reader will kill this culture. For example, a group of girlfriends and I are planning to see the sweeping romance, Water for Elephants this April. And although my dear friend Susan has read the book, she purchased it via her e-reader, making my plea to borrow it null.

3.   Libraries. For me, and many of my writer friends, libraries are like churches. Quiet and ethereal; walking through the stacks alone can calm nerves. And beyond books, they are an important beacon in communities across the country offering programs and services to residents. The question for libraries enlisting e-readers is: who will create the technology that yanks your e-book the day your three weeks are up? It may save us on late fees, but it will remove the entire library experience.

4.  Publishing. The publishing world isn’t quite ready for the e-reader insanity. A recent Time magazine article, “The E-Book Era Is Here: Best Sellers Go Digital,” sites the facts: more than 90% of the publishing industry is in print. As sales of e-books and e-readers are increasing at break-neck speed; the money is still in the pages. Actual pages.

So I still groove on a real book. But the tides (or pages) could be turning. Maybe when we remove the hyphen and they become “ereaders,” like “email”. Hmm.