Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paul F Tompkins tells his astrologer he likes his Kindle



Freak Wharf [Explicit]When #PFTompkins tweeted this morning about a podcast he guested I was surprised and a little worried that the podcast was an astrologer. I would have been shocked and disappointed had he turned out to be a "believer". This was not the case, thank Jebus. He gently poked fun at astrology but was overall respectful and gently turned the reading into interesting stories about his career.

Astrology For DummiesHis jokes about misunderstanding the astrological T-square and the oily T-zone ("You must have heard that a thousand times!" "No, you're the first.") and the Libra scales (We used an actual scale to choose story ideas on the show but it always came out even because paper weighed the same.)

At about the 45 min mark of the second part of the interview (or "reading") Paul talks about his love of reading and how he loves his Kindle but misses real books. He had two arguments for real books over e-books. The first, that there was something to committing to actually carrying a book around with you that gave that book more "gravity" than just having it appear on a list of hundreds of books on your Kindle. The second argument was that there was something wrong with not being able to lend a book after you had finished reading it.

The first point makes sense and is different from the "sensual" argument that I find distasteful (leather binding and the smell of book glue does nothing for me). The idea that if you are bothered enough to lug a book around with you everywhere you go then it will have a greater impact when you read it makes sense. Perhaps if they added a Tamagotchi feature to the Kindle where only the books you fed and watered and exercised would live long enough to read to completion.

The second point is being addressed by Amazon with lending features added and tweaked as time goes by. Ancillary groups are even sprouting up on the internet to facilitate e-book lending in a social network framework.

The Pod F. Tompkcast shows up fortnightly or so, on Libsyn.