I’ve now owned a Kindle for a little over a day and my relationship with it remains cautious. I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to deprogram it and make it my own. The first thing I did was turn off the highlight feature that let me know the aggregate opinion of favorite passages highlighted by everyone else who read the book before me. I haven’t even bought a book yet, but the idea that a brand new book would be sullied with highlighted passages makes me ill. I loathe that in physical books and no more desire it in an electronic version.
More troublesome are the pop up screen savers of literary classics. I have nothing against Jane Austen, but I really don’t want to be programmed by a device. Maybe I once dated a girl named Jane Austen and she broke my heart. Did Amazon ever think of that? Now I have to be reminded of that shattered relationship all over again. Damn you Jane Austen! Luckily, I’ve never dated anyone named Jane Austen, but I’m still single and it’s still possible.
I think it’s becoming more apparent to me why I did resist this long. I’m having to decide if I am comfortable with giving up the truly intimate relationship I have with a book and trade it for something more intrusive, no matter how well intentioned all the bells and whistles are meant to be. It’s still too soon to anticipate how this is going to go, but I see myself using the Kindle more as a reader of manuscripts (mine and for work) as well as other documents I download from my computer for research, and less for reading books. I just don’t like the feeling of someone looking over my shoulder.
And yes, future Jane Austen I might one day date, I’m talking to you.