Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Love the Plastic Smell of My Kindle

Are books on the verge of extinction?

Okay folks, I thought I’d follow up my last post about the Kindle’s high price and its wanting features, such as, no color, and settle a debate that’s been going on since e-books hit the publishing scene several years ago. I’m not going to get technical about it or even long-winded because there’s no need to.  This is an issue that even a moron can figure out in half a second flat.

To refresh your memory, the well-known question is this:  Will e-books ever replace paper books?  You know, this question is so ridiculous that I’m ashamed to address it. It’s like asking if the internet will ever replace television. Of course not. The world needs them both.

And no, I didn’t break down and buy a Kindle, for the love of God.  I just needed an interesting headline. I still enjoy the pulp and glue smell of my hardcover books and yes, I will buy a kindle as soon as they’re priced at $99.95. I’ll “run right out” and get one.  After all, is getting $9.95 for most of the e-books they offer.  That’s a bit expensive when you consider that you’re really not purchasing any tangible book products, other than the Kindle, that is. (I know, I know, it’s a perceived value pricing thing.) As a matter of fact, it’s the most expensive 150 megabytes of space per book you’ll ever buy. What? Yeah, something like that.  I told you I wasn’t going to get too technical.

But how cute is this photo of Jeff Bezos, peeking from behind the Kindle 1 last year? Had his fingers been clad in monstrous diamond rings, I would swear he’s a dead-ringer for Liberace. (Google him, young guns.  Baby Boomers, you can stop guffawing now.)  In fact, he’s so adorable and so devious that he had the audacity to claim the Kindle will eventually replace all books. (The headline reads: Books aren’t dead, they’re just going digital.) Wowee, all of them Mr. Bezos? How exciting. I’m sure that public libraries around the globe got a kick out of that one. 

I sure hope Bezos has thought things over about this whole, taking over the publishing world with Kindles thing. It’s an idea that goes beyond a goal, a dream or even something plausible. It’s outright hubris and a distortion of reality. It’s just plain silly.

But then again, maybe Bezos really knows how to play to the media and he’s brilliant at spitting out sound-bites to generate publicity. And besides, eliminating paper books would obviously not be a smart thing for I think he's aware of that fact. So somehow he is brilliant at something, after all, since he has managed to design a product that again, many people will “line up” to pre-order this contraption at $359 a pop. 

Although, I would much rather believe that than think Jeff Bezos is a modern day Gutenberg, in white, Kindle clothing.

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