Judging a book without its cover

The New York Times has this story about electronic books.

\"It was Tuesday evening on the 6:26 in a Long Island-bound train crowded with weary commuters lurching in the aisles, elbow to elbow, briefcase to briefcase. Unfolding a newspaper was unthinkable. Flipping through a hardcover might form an instant but awkward book club of strangers. So I rummaged in my purse in search of something for just such a literary emergency. Even in a rush-hour commute there was ample reading room for a novel stored in a Palm Pilot, which is smaller than a paperback yet mighty enough to carry 12 digital titles.\"

Standing on the train, I set aside my Palm Pilot and check through the Microsoft bookshelf, clicking through the Hans Christian Andersen\'s classics \"The Emperor\'s New Clothes\" and \"The Match Girl.\"

The naked emperor failed to maintain my attention, but perhaps that story seemed all too familiar. The true test of e-book devices is whether a reader can plunge into another world with abandon. And for a few pages that retreat came with the scenes of the little match girl, who gave me a chill as I imagined her dying on a street corner, her frozen hands gripping spent matches.

I had forgotten the device in my hand and no longer heard the burr of strange clicks.\"

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