Reality Check…

Some friends came over for dinner the other night– they’re the type of people that buy lots of books, read even more books and talk about them incessantly. So, of course we started chatting about what the kids were reading. Which followed a Christmas Day discussion with some family friends about how young people don’t read complex narratives anymore. (I won’t go there now though.)

Anyhow I started going off about the length of the first sentence of Anne of Green Gables (check it out if you haven’t already) and brought out the Sony Reader which had the Project Gutenberg edition installed. Our friends hadn’t really seen the Reader before and they were *totally* unimpressed. The screen elicited no positive comments, and the feedback was more about the glacial pace of the interface (and flicking through the Gutenberg credits did take forever). What’s more, showing off the ability to increase the font size (no reading glasses at dinner parties) took so long that we all gave up and moved on to the next rant for the evening.

Of course, the Reader’s screen is brilliant and it’s a very cool device – at least to us e-book geeks. But to these folk, the Sony was a non-event and definitely not enough to provoke a switch to electronic reading. Despite the fact that they love their Macs and spend half their time in front of their computers…


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