The Social Dilemma of E-Reading
Comment in the New Yorker Book Bench blog about the article How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write
Excerpt from comment: Johnson also ignores a more pressing obstacle for e-books: unattractiveness. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: books are sexy; electronic reading devices are not. As Michael Tamblyn, of BookNet, put it, “No one holding a Kindle at Starbucks has ever been asked for their phone number.” Certainly, the Kindle provokes stares—what a curious gadget!—but that guy reading an electronic device at a restaurant by himself? He just looks busy. The same guy reading a crumbly paperback? Attractive and approachable. Maybe you can see what he’s reading—that new play by Yasmina Reza, say. It’s a clue to your compatibility, and a means of striking up a conversation.