Thursday, November 29, 2007

Digital Reluctants

The Kindle. What's it good for?

Amazon's new e-book reader is a bit of an enigma—a backwards object for a forwards time. About a week and a half ago, I wondered if it might not become successful as a bridge device for the digitally reluctant. Up at the Digital Natives blog today, Jesse has done an amazing job exploring the idea of "your parents' e-book," putting the Kindle into context.

I've been working as a book intern on the Digital Natives project this semester, and it's been fascinating to delve into this question about the generational/experiential divide between kids who were "born digital"—born into a world where interconnectedness is the norm—and their parents.

And parents, as Jesse points out, tend to like book-books. Not all parents, of course, but we're talking in comparison to a generation of kids who may be just fine cradling laptops on their knees, or snuggling under the covers with an iPod. I know I am. The question is: who's buying what Amazon's selling?

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