Sunday, January 24, 2010


I've had my Amazon Kindle for about six months now. Purchased it about six minutes before they lowered the price from $350 to $250. With timing onstage as an actor and director, I'm pretty good. With timing when it comes to buying new gadgets--not so good. I'm the guy who buys things first, tells other people about the things, and then watches as the other people buy the things at vastly reduced prices.

You're welcome. All of you.

Immediately after I bought the Kindle, I did what the Amazon people expected I would do. I bought a large number of books for the little device. I loved the damn thing. I still do. But for the first few weeks, I LOVED IT. Seemed to me there was no more economical way to purchase recently-published books, no quicker way to get them into my hot little hands, no easier way to sit and read them. Prop it up in front of your face, place the thumbs where they can most efficiently "turn" the "pages," and you're off to the races.

All of that is true.

Now, however, six months into my Kindlelife, I realize that there is definitely a place on my bookshelf for...yes, I'll admit it...books.

So, for those of you who have eschewed Kindleism because you cannot imagine yourself curled up beside the fire with an electronic doohickey whose textured pages you can neither riffle nor smell, I'm here to tell you that you can be both a Kindle owner and a real book reader.

It just takes about six months for the Kindle (or Nook or Sony Reader) newness to wear off.

I am now reading real books from my bookshelf, and electronic books on my Kindle, and enjoying all the reading. My Kindle no longer lifts its cybernose to the books, the books no longer turn envious leafs to the Kindle. We're all living in peaceful harmony.

It's just that, instead of walking through Barnes and Noble and looking at all those brand new, exciting best sellers and checking the calendar to anticipate when they'll be out in paperback, now I can zip them onto my Kindle for ten bucks in a matter of about sixty seconds. This is the major Kindle advantage. That, and if you play your cards right, you can actually find many classics for virtually no cost at all. All you sacrifice is the (admittedly important) self- promotional aspect of displaying the classics on your bookshelf. So, instead of displaying books so that your friends THINK you read them, you'll actually have to READ THEM in order to discuss them with your friends. It's a small (but time-consuming) price to pay for paying such a small price.

So, those of you on the Kindle/Nook/Sony Reader diving board, dipping your toe in the pool, trying to decide whether or not to do it, DO IT! Dive in!

Someday when you're sitting in an airport and your flight's delayed by three hours, you will thank me.

You're welcome.


  1. I am one of the slowest adapters to technology I know. I still like picking up the phone and calling someone rather than shooting them an email.

    Kindest regards,
    Tom Bailey

  2. Hey, Jack: what do you think of using Kindles as rehearsal tools, rather than printed scripts? Would make it easier to distribute rewrites, but maybe harder for the actors to write in their blocking...

  3. As a Kindle newbie, I say hear hear! to this most recent post. I still have 8 books made out of paper waiting to be read, but there's no reason they can't share the nightstand with my beautiful new e-reader. I'm sure they'll learn to play nice. :)