A Little More Than Kindle, A Little Less Than Kind

I just thought of another reason you don’t want a Kindle.

I do not, honestly, go around looking for these things. This is not intended to be an anti-Kindle website. Kindles exist, whatever I may think of them (and the fact is that I don’t) and we must roll along.

But I had a person looking for a book last week. It was the usual sort of thing: somebody threw it in the bag not knowing she hadn’t finished it yet and she wanted to take it back so she could find out what happened in the end.

“I don’t remember the title or the author,” she said, “But it’s got kind of a blue cover and these two girls playing, I think, leapfrog.”

She was very good at this (there is a secret rule we were taught in library school that if a patron says the book was red, check the red ones, the brown ones, and a couple of green ones just for insurance.) From her description I KNEW she was looking for The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (it helps to have seen so many) and was able to find her bag, and her book with the bookmark still intact (it was an expired Starbucks card.)

HOW are these people going to keep track of their books with a Kindle? What about that book with the orange flowers all around the cover? How about that history book you bought two years ago and all you can remember now is how thick it was? What about that book of poetry that has that poem you read every year at Thanksgiving? You know: the thin black volume with the tear at the top, third from the left on the top shelf?

Some people, black bean muffin, are simply not designed to remember titles or authors. They remember what the book LOOKS like, or that it has a coupon for Pillsbury flour from 1973 sticking out at a crucial place. THAT one: that one lying on its side on the top of the piano because it’s too big for the bookcase. (True, with Kindle, nothing will be too big for the bookcase. But then where will you store that certificate that shows a tree was planted in your honor in Lompoc? Or will that be digital, too?)

Until Kindle can look up a book under subject headings like, “The one with the grease stain on the page where Gandalf reappears”, it will not be able to serve ALL book people.

Neither can I, by the way. If you’re looking for a book with a red cover and a triangle on it and part of the Mona Lisa, don’t ask me. I’m busy arranging a Kindle bonfire. Again, as I say, I have nothing against Kindles and accept their existence and I am opposed to public burning of any cultural artifact.

It’s just that I want one of the T-shirts that say, “I kindled a Kindle.” 

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