This isn’t a product endorsement, though I’m not above a shameless plug for the Nook version of The Wilson Quarterly. (Note that the original print version comes in a similar handy portable size.) No, count me more in the camp of Christine Rosen, who wrote a nice paean to print for us last fall.
I’m told (in too many places to list) that I’m a disappearing species, a traditional book reader who still buys books. So why did I buy a Nook? For my wife, who was celebrating a birthday and whose imperfect eyes make reading print books a labor (and makes the font-enlarging capabilities of e-readers very appealing). The Nook is itself an imperfect device—like most new users, we keep stabbing at the screen expecting it to respond like our cell phones, but only the bottom portion of the screen responds to touch—but I admire it as much for what it doesn’t as for what it does. It has only primitive web-browsing available, for instance, and mostly just provides a relatively easy (maybe too easy) way to purchase digital books and read them just about anywhere.
The Nook comes pre-loaded with a few freebie classics, tilting toward the chick-lit crowd and vampire fans: Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula. With other literary classics just clicks away, none costing more than $4.99, I was curious what my wife would buy first. Kitty Kelley's Oprah. LIterature's future remains uncertain.
Copyright 2010, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. All rights reserved.
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