Because I am so up to date: A Twitter exchange

@adamkotsko: How many e-book purchases are impulse buys? The Kindle has room for a lot of stuff you were never realistically going to read.

@emiliawrites: I dunno, 90%?

@adamkotsko: When I see the huge numbers e-books put up, I assume it HAS to be that. There can’t be a sudden upsurge in reading.

@emiliawrites: I think the upsurge is proportional to the *decrease* in reading

@adamkotsko: Just like the upsurge in huge mp3 collections might correspond to a decrease in concentrated attention to music?

@emiliawrites: Absolutely – the drive to accumulate without even use-value. And then finally boredom with even that.

14 thoughts on “Because I am so up to date: A Twitter exchange

  1. I was struck by how baldly a long-running Kindle ad in the New Yorker pushed the buy-not-read aesthetic — it went something like “In the time it takes to read that review, you could download a full-length book.”

  2. Looking at the box of books I’m planning on donating to the library, I’m not sure the accumulate-but-not-read phenomenon is any less true for bound volumes either. I’ve no clue where some of these even came from. It’s like books on my shelves mated, and these are the unread spawn.

  3. Having gone through some weeding of books recently, I wonder if you (Brad) had a system? The books to donate are still in boxes and I am contemplating quietly sneaking them back unto shelves… Getting rid of books is hard!

  4. It’s a violent process. Lots of weeping & gnashing of teeth. A disapproving spouse tired of not having any room for her books helps. I had to finally accept that in all likelihood I’m simply not ever going to read again Van der Leeuw’s Religion in Essence & Manifestation; and that enormous, mysteriously obtained Encyclopedia of Evangelical Theology, yes, that can go, too. Basically anything that my very kind but woefully behind the times comparative religion professor gave me upon his retirement back in the late-90s — gone. What I’m saying is this: I had a lot of crap on my shelves, so a system wasn’t actually that necessary. Weeding them out did solidify the need for a new bookshelf, though, as I didn’t actually free up that much space.

  5. That sounds about right. Our solution is IKEA all-the-way-to-the-ceiling bookshelves plan, but I am quite certain that despite doubling our book shelves space it will still not free up any space. It’ll probably be less piles-of-books-on-floor, books that were there because “I’m currently reading them all” but sort of stayed there permanently.

  6. I wish I had thought of that before I gave McCormack to my friend for $10. Have you seen what ‘Critically Realistic…’ is going for?

  7. I too massively dig my Kindle.

    My observations are:
    1. There is a potential for purchases being quite spurious as it is extremely easy. But not something I have done yet.
    2. I seem to read books much faster.

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