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Only two weeks ago, I wrote excitedly about the Kindle.  But now this article comes along, making me realize that digital books might not be the Godsend I think they are. Or at least not if Amazon eventually ends up as the behemoth retailer that holds worldwide distribution rights to almost everything.

The ongoing digitization of the world’s artistic & intellectual output also poses an environmental problem. If we consume all of our literature and music by way of digital devices, we then become even more dependent on electricity, not to mention all the countless components in devices such as computers, iPhones, and yes, the Kindle. These devices are consumed with ever-greater consumeristic fervour. In the 1970s, how often were telephones thrown away, to end up in massive mound of garbage in China, leeching toxins into the ground soil and rivers? But this is exactly what happens all the time nowadays, as you’ll see here.

The Kindle is the only new technology in years that genuinely excites me. Within several months, I am sure I am going to own one. The Kindle permits the owner to download novels or other texts and read them on a device that is practically as reader-friendly as a book. This weekend, it occurred to me that it makes no sense that I can immediately download a song, get instant access to the news, watch a video, but that I cannot similarly access, within seconds, the hundreds and thousands of wonderful books that are available out there. And my current lack of access makes me disgruntled. Because I am lazy. I don’t want to go to the bookstore; I don’t want to go the library. But I love reading like almost nothing else.

I am going to buy a Kindle just as soon as I’ve got about $300 kicking around with no immediate claim on. This video has inspired me!

Yet again, I am probably months behind everyone else getting to this parade. But at least I got there!

RSS News from the Guardian

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    Ian Black, Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem, and Dan Roberts in Washington

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