Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I just finished reading Tina Fey's book, Bossypants. Now, I could do the whole book review thing, and and discuss the topic of female comedy, which probably involve Ellen DeGeneres' book, and I'd probably find a way to work in Terry Jones' discussion in Douglas Adam's Starship Titanic, and the whole thing would be tied to some deeply meaningful event from my past, but... eh. If you like books by comedians, this is a very good book by a comedian. And if you like funny women, there's a lot of those things too.

That aside, there are two further things I'd to discuss. First, I not only read the book, I read it on Kindle. That's right, Kindle! Between that and my new Twitter account, I'm finally ready to join 2008. Not bad for a multimedia scholar. (It is, in fact, very bad for a multimedia scholar.) And I have to say... I don't like it. I appreciate the search feature very much, as well as the highlighting and the notes. And the adjustable font size does a very nice job of breaking up sections of text so that you don't get the same fatigue you get when staring at text on the average computer screen. As someone who spends a lot of time staring at a screen, it is a great feature.

But what really irks me is that the casualty of text-scaling is that the page number has become obsolete. Time was, I could use the page number as a measure of my dedication. "Oh, I'm 5 pages into Harry Potter, so I'm not really interested." "Look, I got 600 pages into War and Peace, and I can tell you, not much happens." "You've read the first 100 pages of Ulysses? How darling. Of course, it doesn't really start getting difficult until page 157." (I'm sure there are uses for page numbers that don't involve being literary-pretentious, but they don't come to my mind as quickly, for some reason.) Sure, Kindle has a percentage button, which is nice for the book at hand, and a location value, but neither translate to easily comparable features--I want to know when I've slogged through a 600 page tome. It's an accomplishment, damn it.

A search through the internet, however, tells me that I'm not the only one who feels this way, and that the good people at Amazon have created an updated version of Kindle that does page number as well. One problem: I don't have Kindle. What I actually have, sadly, is Kindle for PC, a freeware product that lets people try out a Kindle-like app before actually buying a Kindle. So basically, my complaints regarding the quality of this service is somewhat akin to someone complaining that the Nike shoes he found in a dumpster don't let him run much faster than he did before. (Yes, they're faster, but not *much* faster.)

Really, I should get one. Or a laptop. Or a new computer. Or something. But there's some part of me that feels I should stick with any possession I own until one of us falls off this mortal coil. And as I stare at my scratch-laden monitor and it stares at my pasty white skin, it's really a toss-up as to which one of us it'll be.

Oh right--the second thing about Tina Fey's book--I guess we'll do that tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Later Days.

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