On Friday Oprah promoted the Amazon Kindle, her new favorite gadget, something she says has changed her life. One of the exciting things about this ebook reader from my perspective is that the type of screen and the ink used to display on the screen are actually easier on the eye than a real live book. And you can adjust the font size for your reading pleasure and perhaps read without reading glasses. In addition, before buying a book for the Kindle, you can read the first chapter for free, then decide. I'm pretty impressed! FYI, Oprah is offering $50 off the pretty steep $359 pricetag for 5 more days.
In addition, here is an article from Newsweek by Steven Levy called "The Future of Reading". It is in this article that I first read about what the author calls "Book 2.0"---what comes next after we evolve past printed books into the post-Gutenberg era. Right. When I first heard about this, I thought "Never!" and then I spent some time looking into it. Readers and writers, this is information you'll want to know. Here is a quote from the article:
"'The key feature of a book is that it disappears,' he [Jeff Bezos] says. While those who take fetishlike pleasure in physical books may resist the notion, that vanishing act is what makes electronic reading devices into viable competitors to the printed page: a subsuming connection to the author that is really the basis of our book passion. "I've actually asked myself, 'Why do I love these physical objects?' " says Bezos. " 'Why do I love the smell of glue and ink?' The answer is that I associate that smell with all those worlds I have been transported to. What we love is the words and ideas."
Long before there was cyberspace, books led us to a magical nether-zone. "Books are all the dreams we would most like to have, and like dreams they have the power to change consciousness," wrote Victor Nell in a 1988 tome called "Lost in a Book." Nell coined a name for that trancelike state that heavy readers enter when consuming books for pleasure—"ludic reading" (from the Latin ludo, meaning "I play"). Annie Proulx's claim was that an electronic device would never create that hypnotic state. But technologists are disproving that. Bill Hill, Microsoft's point person on e-reading, has delved deep into the mysteries of this lost zone, in an epic quest to best emulate the conditions on a computer. He attempted to frame a "General Theory of Readability," which would demystify the mysteries of ludic reading and why books could uniquely draw you into a rabbit hole of absorption."---Steven Levy in "The Future of Reading"
I'm going to leave you hanging---it's a great article, so please read the rest if you are interested. If you do, you might be as excited as I am about going "down the rabbit hole"! It's mind-blowing...
A very informative video about reading, the future of publishing, and the Kindle can be found here. Page down to "Hear Jeff Bezos, Bestselling Authors, Charlie Rose, and Martha Stewart discuss Kindle" and click on "Hear journalist Charlie Rose talk to Jeff Bezos about Kindle on the Charlie Rose show" to the right of the video. The conversation of Charlie and Jeff will be interesting to all readers, ebook or non. They discuss "improving" on "the book". Wow.