Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kindle That!

In Sunday's review of books, New York Times reviewer Marilyn Stasio has this to say about books vs. the Kindle:

"Honestly, the ideas some people try to put in our heads. Like the absurd notion that you shouldn’t choose a book by its cover. What better reason to reach for one of the compact, beautifully designed, irresistibly tactile Penguin paperback editions of Georges Simenon’s great Inspector Maigret mysteries than the pure desire to hold such a pretty thing in your hand? And then, maybe open it. Read a page or two. Get lost. I confess I made my first two selections (“The Hotel Majestic” and “The Bar on the Seine,” $12 each) on the sheer basis of looks because, regardless of the fact that classic Maigret is an incomparable pleasure even in a ratty edition, this particular series is a work of art. As executed by Jesse Marinoff Reyes, each cover is black, with the silvered lines and squared-off typography of Art Deco, and edged in color with a different geometric design. Many also have period cover photographs by Brassa├» that are their own invitation to step inside a long-lost Parisian world. To look is to lust; to touch is to swoon. So — Kindle that, people!"

I, personally, have nothing against the Kindle. I listen to audiobooks, after all. Still, I do love the tactile feel of turning the page, and seeing the words on the page. And while I don't usually buy books based on the covers, I do admire a well-crafted book. I've bought some vintage books based just on the "look" of them -- after all, I had no real need for that little yellow edition of "The Observer's Book of Common Fungi."

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