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Books are heavy; Kindles are not

May 30, 2008 |  3:08 pm


At the Amazon Kindle booth in the L.A. Convention Center, there are just two Kindles, which is not quite enough. People don't give them up easily, no matter how closely other Book Expo attendees gather. Scrums of conventioneers form. Everyone wants to hold it, to "turn" the "pages" of the electronic books within.

Kathy Schalk-Greene (above), a librarian from New Jersey, had seen the Kindle -- an electronic reader that can download and hold 200 books -- before, but this was the first one she'd gotten to hold. "It's very cool," she says. "I can really see the advantage of having that much content in that small space." Better than a bag of books, I suppose.

But Shalk-Greene sees this as just one more reading tool, one good for "convenience and mobility," rather than something that would replace books. Like so many book lovers, she has a fondness for the physicality of the books themselves.

Yesterday I heard a new term for these lovers of books with pages and binding: "Ink Sniffers." Add "Paper Caressers" and count me in.

Carolyn Kellogg