The Kindle Effect

by Roger Pynn

Books on tape are a nice way to pass the time on a long road trip … particularly when you are driving alone. They usually feature the melodious voices of some of the world’s best known celebrities … or, at least a radio announcer with incredible pipes and the ability to bring the words to life as if you were in a theater.

Now comes Kindle version 2.0. The Kindle is an amazing little toy (yes, in this day and age toys can cost $359) for those who would rather not have books stack up beside their bed and gather dust after they have finished them.

However, the latest version of this electronic book (“wireless reading device”) from the folks at – in addition to a lot of neat features that techies will love – takes the electronic book to a new level: it reads to you in what someone described as “staccato clarity.” I think that means it sounds like a robot.

You know: “thank, you, for, calling, AT&T … please, listen, carefully, as, our, menu, has, changed.”

If you’re like me and were already worried that the demise of daily newspapers is going to have a chilling effect on literacy and citizenship, you should disable this feature if you buy the latest Kindle. You see, in addition to buying and downloading “books” to your device from Amazon, you can also subscribe to and receive from some digital newspaper boy a copy of today’s “newspaper.”

No. No! No! No! Don’t take away my newsprint and turn it into the voice of Oz!

Would someone please invent a pill that makes us all forever dependent upon the sensory pleasures of pulp?

2 Responses to The Kindle Effect

  1. Hi Mr. Pynn, since I’ve spoken to you on the phone, I’ve been following this blog. You and your co-workers have very interesting things to say! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Kindle. I’ve heard of this device, but have never heard about anyone’s first hand experience. What a terrific way to make life easier while saving trees! I am a fan!

  2. roger says:

    Whether it is a Kindle or an Iphone, technology today is stunning … but if we lose touch with the art of reading we lose touch with what makes us intellectually sound. If we “twiiterize” everything we think how much will we have said? Twitter’s 140 characters are just the opposite of the bikini … plenty left to the imagination.

    I pray we never see the day when the sensual pleasure of a Sunday morning paper and a cup of coffee are replaced by the smooth plastic lines of a book reader powered by rechargeable AA batteries.

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