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Don’t mess with my dedicated e-reader device

I don’t want my Kindle connected to the internet (except when getting ebooks wireless delivered). In fact, I don’t really want an e-reader that does anything but store and display ebooks in a handy fashion. I don’t want email on my Kindle. I don’t want a browser or chat or music (Okay, maybe music, but that’s it!) or social networks or photos (except cover art!) or apps or games. None of that. Get away from my Kindle or whatever future ebook reading device I’ll purchase in the years to come.

Now, don’t take me for a Kindle purist or devotee. I’m not about to give the Kindle a tongue-bath or duel someone to the death because they prefer the Nook. We’re not talking slavish devotion here.

I enjoy my Kindle. It does what needs doing to give me my reading fix. Especially when I’m on the go and don’t want to heft a ton of books around. Trust me, I’ve gone through enough house and apartment movies with boxes of books to endure that particular back pain.

The thing is, I’m also easily distracted, especially when there’s an internet connection lurking about. When I’ve got a device hooked up to WiFi or cable, then my reading focus tends to take a sudden plunge. There’s email to be read/written, Twitter and Facebook to be checked and updated, blogs to be browsed, forums to comment on…etc…

So as e-readers evolve, I can already see more features being slapped on. Plenty of people also predict that All-In-One device like it’s some sort of technological Singularity. That one device that will do everything that our computers and phones and pads and pods and piddles and paddles (does Apple make those last two yet?) and whatever other gewgaws we lug around that have power buttons and flashy lights.

The reality is, though, I don’t want my ebooks caught up in all that tangled mess of electrons. I want them to remain in a nice virtual To-Read pile that is separate from the rest.

Mainly this is because reading, for me, has always been a way to disconnect from the stress and whirl of the world. It’s my way of checking out and enjoying the adventure that a good fantasy or science fiction novel offers. The joy of shucking off a few banal responsibilities until tomorrow while I let an evening slip by, lost in another world.

And so, if those other worlds, even in ebook form, are connected to all the other virtual scapes that I’m trying to get away from in the first place, I know the borders will get worn down eventually. The books will slip a bit on the priority list as there’d always be some other distraction offering itself. Another blinking light to attend to, or a bleeping update to silence.

Maybe it’s a stance I’ll adjust on later, once we’ve got contacts beaming text straight into our optic nerves. Until then, I’ll enjoy the benefits e-readers offer so far as the book-reading experience goes; but when all the frills and add-ons start edging in my ability to simply enjoy a good story (and write one, once a decent keyboard and word processor is developed) then I’m gonna have to dig in my heels.

What about you? Do you feel the need to keep your e-reader and ebooks sectioned off from the rest of your gadgets, or are you eagerly awaiting being able to do everything and anything with a unified device?

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  1. Debbie Maxwell Allen
    Debbie Maxwell Allen June 28, 2011

    I agree with you completely. I like having a dedicated reading device that won't tell me who posted on Facebook or Twitter. I don't even want a phone like that. When I read, I want to be immersed in it.


  2. Josh
    Josh June 28, 2011

    Exactly. Even though I'm a huge gadget geek and can understand the convenience of having Kindle books on smartphones and the like, there's something more engaging when the words are disconnected and in their own world.

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