Tinder, Kindle (ing), Fuel

When I was a Brownie Scout, we learned that to build a fire you needed tinder, kindling, and fuel + spark + oxygen.

I never “flew up” to Girl Scouts since my troop leader abdicated (thanks, Mom!) and no one else stepped in to take us girls to the next level. I will say that the tools I picked up both in Brownies and 4H have enabled me to build many successful fires in the ensuing years.

That’s what Amazon’s aiming to do with the introduction of their new Kindle Reader.

If creating a buzz is like gathering up your tinder (in case you don’t know, that is dry, brittle material like paper, leaves and very small twigs which both ignite and expire rapidly), the first phase is complete.

The kindling (finger-sized twigs and sticks added to grow the fire) is the vast amount of press and public comment the product has garnered in just two weeks’ time.

The fuel (logs, the stuff that can turn a promising little campfire into a full-on conflagration), however, will be the resulting sales and consumer buy-in to a product that just, well, makes some bibliophiles feel a little cringey.

If it’s for newspaper and magazine content, hmmm… might just make sense so that you can have that handy for reading wherever you find yourself. As for books, thus far I prefer those made of paper & ink.

If you have somehow missed the unfolding Kindle drama, you can get the specs, read some preliminary reviews, and get up to speed on some of the reactions here:

CNET
Engadget
BuzzMachine

Why is Loosely Speaking evening addressing this topic when it is raging just fine already? Well, I discovered that some like-minded colleagues hadn’t heard of the device yet, so, clearly not everyone in the world is up to speed.

And, why am I promoting it with a link to the Amazon store if I’m not sure if I’m fer it or agin it? Well, Amazon is paying a healthy 10% commission right now, so that’s enticing. Along with thousands of other Amazon affiliates, I might just be adding the needed spark to get the sales going. And, for the record, I am FOR reading and therefore, in my view, any item, be it a book, or electronic device that opens up the world of literature deserves a look.

As for the oxygen part of the formula: can this device breathe new life into great fiction for a new generation? If the Kindle does that, I am all in favor of it.

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