The Saturday Evening Post

REAL BOOKS, MADE OF PAPER

When Jeff Bezos unvei led t he f i r st Kindle in 2007, I ordered it straightaway. As a lifelong fetishist of the book, this didn’t quite feel right. But I withstood a surge of guilt about my small role in the metamorphosis of reading. In truth, the device was the invention of my dreams. The bookstore and the book, two of my favorite things, had merged into one piece of hardware. There was the promise that every volume in existence could be downloaded to the hand in less time than it took to yawn.

The device itself was wonky. It came with a keyboard that barely worked and an inelegant joystick that tested manual dexterity. Pages flipped at the wrong moment. The Kindle, however, was magic. I went on a spending spree — and unlike trips to the bookstore, the binges didn’t culminate in messy piles and never filled me with guilt about all the unread volumes staring at my desk. For a year, the Kindle traveled in the outside pocket of my tote and slept on my side

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