Monday, October 25, 2010

Crushing Kindle with Defeat?

I stepped on a Kindle Sunday morning.

I was coming down a ladder and didn't see it on the ground in front of the ladder.  I know it sounds bad but it didn't feel bad - I thought everything was okay.   No cracking sounds or broken plastic.  A minor mishap.  So I kept my mouth shut and went about my business.  (And there was a perfectly good reason why it was on the floor so there's no blame there.)

Sunday night my wife sat down to read on her Kindle before going to work and that's when we discovered that the screen was broken.  (Imagine Picasso working in E-Ink.)   I immediately confessed.   Then I ordered a new third generation Kindle right away.  I figured I was in the dog house (she really loves her Kindle) but I barely got in trouble at all.  (Which is remarkable given the fit I would've pitched if somebody broke my stuff.)

Technology is wonderful - but there are still some very practical limits to e-readers.  I destroyed a Kindle by accident - but all the books on it are still safe in the clouds or on a server somewhere.  I've stepped on books before, too.  But they all survived.  Given the damage e-readers are inflicting on real world book stores and publishers,  I think I know which force is more destructive.

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