My editor-in-chief, Larry Dignan, posted earlier on today his take on the upcoming big screen Kindle, the essential book killer for our time. Whilst I applaud his efforts... I must disagree with him.
I present to you, in the highest form - banter.
The book has been around for longer than God himself, spreading knowledge and intellectual dialogue to billions of people. What gives a company, such as Amazon, the right to slowly minimise this ancient form of wisdom to be replaced with a clunky, electronic piece of junk which "saves the planet"?
Screw the planet. Here's why.
Students are arrogant, self-obsessed, radicalised and intelligent beings. We proclaim about being students, not directly, but indirectly through means of showing off. This can often be demonstrated with a young person, carrying an organic satchel, boasting badges such as "Save Iraq, stop the war", and "Leave Lindsey A-lohan", and suchlike. The look is carried then, by holding a selection of politically motivated books and novels held in one hand, whilst a rolled-up cigarette is grasped in the other.
The smugness of the stereotypical student is rated at approximately 132% of that of an ordinary "human being", according to the fictional Department of the Bleeding Obvious, which also claims it rains 109% of the time in England.
Now picture the scene, something of which I have seen many a time before.
Student 1: "Oh man, I'm so tired." Student 2: "Why? Have you been contemplating the inner-workings and dialogue expressional features combined with empathic context of Pinter?" Student 1: "Well, duh, of course, yeah, like, but also because of all these books because I'm a student, and all that, like." Student 2: "Yeah, oh man, we're so intellectual and cool."
And... scene. Do you see the problem there? The problem would be, if Student 1 had an Amazon Kindle, he wouldn't look so much like an idiot student, thus reducing the overall smug levels on campus to an unacceptable low.
Amazon, quit while you are ahead. Sure, the Kindle may well reduce the amount of books you have to take on holiday with you, and yes, things might well be cheaper in the long run. But the "image" of the quintessential, smug student is at serious risk. A student without a set of books in their hands, is merely an ordinary member of the public.
In the great, wise words of Harold Pinter, "who are you and why have you broken into my house?". Students need books, de facto.