Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pogue said it

If you like new tech toys, how you feel about David Pogue probably says a world of other things about you, such as your clothing choices (Brooks Brothers or quirky designer?), your food preferences (three squares a day with meat, or vegan grazing?), and your voting habits (red or, um, you get the picture). The only problem is, I'm not sure whether liking or loathing Pogue makes you one way or the other. It just says something.

I like Pogue most of the time, and if he should fail to please me then I just don't keep reading him. But mostly he makes me smile, and today he did with his review of Amazon's new Kindle. I've had Amazon's old Kindle for about a year and a half now, and I love it. My only gripes are small -- I keep forgetting to bring it with me, and when I do remember it, such as on vacation, I keep forgetting to bring the charger. But the Kindle is convenient, easy to read, and (best blessing of all) you can download a book while stuck on a city bus without having to pay for a monthly account.

Nothing in Pogue's review made me want to buy the new Kindle. I'm fine with the one I have. But here's the nut graf (for me) when he discusses those who claim one type of e-reader will win out over all others, who will of necessity fade away: The point everyone is missing is that in Technoland, nothing ever replaces anything. E-book readers won’t replace books. The iPhone won’t replace e-book readers. Everything just splinters. They will all thrive, serving their respective audiences.

Amen, and I think that statement can be expanded to include the false dichotomy between paper books and e-books. I welcome e-books, but some who know my paper-loving, rare-books-buying ways are horrified. Am I nuts? A traitor? Nope, I simply agree with Pogue. Different products will serve different audiences in various specific applications.

Not scary at all.

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