At just about any given time during the day or night you might find my Mother-in-law, Carol, reading an $8 book. She buys them with the regularity of a person that buys cigarettes, pop, or gas. Last Christmas Kristi and I considered giving her a Kindle or Nook so that she could join this millennium and save a few trees. We softly floated the idea in a few conversations and discovered Carol was having none of it.
“Oh no. I love the paper” she insisted.
Being sure that it was just a case of not knowing all of the experience enhancing features of new reading devices I assumed she would be converted at some future time.
A couple of weeks ago we all took a family vacation to the woods of Wisconsin. There wasn’t much to do given the fact that the closest city was Spooner (if you qualify that as a “city”). This was my chance. I interrupted her from reading to show her Kindle on iPad. We went through all of the great features: buying books in seconds, storing them in graphically fancy places, searching for rare titles, having access to millions of free books, looking up key words as you read, and so on. With each feature she joyously exclaimed “oh my God” and “are you kidding.”
With the spark in her eyes I figured she was now a convert.
Then, with clarity and finality she said “now, if they could only make that thing out of paper so it feels like a book we’d be in business.”
For those of us non-Luddites, here is an interesting “read” on the future of the book: