Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Please Turn Off All Electronic Devices

The Amazon Kindle is an electronic device. Thus, the familiar airline directive to "turn off and stow" left me with NOTHING TO READ during takeoff and landing, and worst of all, nothing to read during the entire flight from Madison to Milwaukee, which is of too short duration to allow for the use of any devices at all (let alone handouts of free soda and peanuts).

Well that was on the way to Philadelphia last week. This week, for the return trip, I had the foresight to buy a magazine (Vanity Fair) and got to read all about Stuxnet. The book I am (intermittently) reading on the Kindle is The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, which started off slowly but is picking up steam. I remain ambivalent about reading on the Kindle. While it was convenient not to lug around a 600-page hardback, I still miss holding the book, turning the pages, and looking at the cover. And long time blog readers may remember that I really like it when a book has maps. I don't know whether the print version of The Invisible Bridge has maps, but the Kindle version sure doesn't, so I was left wondering where, exactly, was Carpathian Ruthenia.

6 comments:

Candyce said...

My brother was kind and got me a Kindle--but I am having the same feelings as you. I miss holding the book and turning the pages. I miss being able to pass it on. The kindle is hard and cold and not as comfy to read in bed.

Carin S. said...

I have mentioned this problem with Kindles (and their ilk) many, many times when people talk about how great eReaders are for travelling, and I am constantly shocked at how many people have never thought of it. Of course you have to turn it off!

The lack of additional material also bugs me on audiobooks. Why would it be so hard to include? Seriously? I feel ripped off when I don't get all the photos/maps/charts that are in the print book.

nomadreader said...

I'm the opposite: I would read only on my Kindle if I could. In my experience, the Kindle includes maps when they're in books, so you shouldn't be missing out. I enjoyed The Invisible Bridge and hope you do too. I'm hoping airlines will relax the rule on e-readers. You can't turn the Kindle off. I can put it to sleep, but it's not the same thing.

Candyce said...

Another thought comes to mind...when one is reading a book it is not considered rude to look and see what one is reading...whereas on a Kindle I would not feel so comfortable to look and try and see...if I even could.

I have had many a nice conversation with another while checking out what they are reading. If I haven't read it, I enjoy their thoughts. If I have I enjoy discussing it with them.

Shelley said...

As a writer, I'm totally in the physical-book-in-your-hand camp, but here's something I hadn't thought about: Kindle can be great for older readers for the simple reason that you can instantly make the print larger. People over 40 can get pretty mad at the tiny tiny print seemingly preferred by publishers now.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Thanks for this post. Don't have an ereader but had not thought about the fact that you would have to turn it off on airplanes.

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