Commentary Magazine


Light the Fire

So much in our hectic, 21st century lives takes place onscreen, why not literature?

Jeff Bezos and his company Amazon have treaded where all other such attempts have failed: into the land of e-book readers. Bezos’s device is called the “Kindle” and features a six-inch screen and a $400 price tag. Mediabistro’s GalleyCat blog today displays the headline, “Two Weeks In, Kindle Still ‘Fugly’ & Expensive.”

It seems the Kindle could become a kind of iPod for books, where content can be catalogued and shared. Personally, I find it difficult to read at length onscreen. But if the device were comfortable to use, I would do so. And let’s face it, books are dirty and take up space. Why not get rid of them?

According to an opinion column in last week’s Wall Street Journal, reading is on the way out. Do electronics like the Kindle have what it takes to save reading?