Here’s an interesting story that reports that the top-selling item on Amazon.com is the Kindle version of Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol. It makes me wonder whether we are on the cusp of one of the increasingly common, but nevertheless radical, changes in the technology of how we receive information or otherwise entertain ourselves — like when American culture transitioned from albums to CDs, from Walkmen to Ipods, or from VHS tapes to DVDs.
As more and more people become accustomed to reading documents on computer screens, inevitably they will become more inclined to use devices like the Kindle which allow them to get new reading material more cheaply and immediately than going out and buying a book or reserving it at the library. Only old fogies like me will continue to prefer books because the physical sensation of turning pages, easily flipping back to reread passages to clarify a point, or placing a well-worn bookmark are essential parts of the pleasure of reading.
Of course, after fighting my way to the finish of The Da Vinci Code years ago, in my view the most amazing part of the story linked to above is that so many people would want to read Dan Brown’s new book.