The Kindle is sleek and stylish. It is Annette Benning in an elegant black dress. It is charming and seductive, like Pierce Brosnan as a superspy or an art thief. The Kindle woos me from an island in the middle of the ocean, tempting me to stay forever instead of returning home to Penelope as she awaits me in Ithaca, assuming of course that Penelope were a lesbian and I some sort of cross-dressing Greek warrior.
The point is that I have a terrible case of Kindle-Lust, a fire stoked a few months ago when I met Jen, who allowed me to fondle hers. (We won’t tell our partners.) Oh, that beautiful device that would allow me to buy a book in a matter of mere seconds, sparing the forests I will undoubtedly fell in my lifetime of book acquisition. The bookshelves we will save; the room we will have for other things, like tables and chairs. The money we will eventually save as I buy books for under ten bucks.
I want a fucking Kindle.
Kindle only buys books from Amazon. It consolidates the Great Amazonian Book Monopoly by making sure that its owners not only shell out several hundred bucks for the device, but also cease and desist all noxious purchasing of books at Other Stores. While this process clearly will not be halted if I deny myself a Kindle, somehow holding off feels a little like sticking it to The Man.
There are magnificent things about e-books, don’t get me wrong. I love that people can so easily self-publish, allowing a much wider range of voices space to be heard. This is clearly the future of publishing. Soon, college textbooks will all be electronic, as all those pre-meds rise up out of their dorm rooms and refuse to schlep about both Organic Chemistry and Biology 101. Once the textbook industry has been overtaken, there will be more and more books published only electronically, just like we all know that paper newspapers are soon to go the way of all good things. Much as we all bitch and moan about loving the feel of a real book, electronic books are greener, cheaper, and more chiropractically sound.
Think about how much easier high school would have been if you hadn’t needed to go to your locker between classes to get your math book.
I understand that the Kindle is the best book-reading device out there. But the thought of giving all that power to Amazon makes me shudder. Just look at what happens when we hand over the organization of our reading habits to one giant retailer. A little change in some classification, and suddenly LGBT books are classified as “adult.” Heather Has Two Mommies should be classified as boring, but it is definitely not adult.
I am just not comfortable handing that level of power over to Amazon this week.