Yesterday I mentioned that while I usually enjoy the physical vibe of a book -- its heft, the layout, the cover -- at times the vibeless experience of Kindle reading had advantages. In addition to the obvious ones -- when you want to get a book right this second, and can do so via Kindle's wireless download; when you want to have ten books available but don't want to drag around 30 pounds of paper -- there's the one I recently encountered. Sometimes you'd rather that people not judge a book (and its reader) by its cover.
Three helpful replies from readers:
Problem: holding a Kindle leads to boring conversations.
"The example that you later gave was a reason to opt for a kindle. However, one of the many benefits of reading a book in a public place like an airport or plane is to strike up a conversation with others on what you are reading. In cramped spaces like airline seats, talking about what you are reading inevitably comes up. Bringing the right book can not only provide you with entertainment or knowledge, but potentially, an interesting conversation piece. Whenever I read from my Kindle Classic in a public place, the focus of the conversation is always on the device, rather than what I am reading."
Solution: a mini-cover display on the Kindle, though maybe not for this book.
"The flip side of your argument about lurid covers is the Kindle's anonymity. My wife is always asking me "what are you reading?" This gets a little annoying, though it's perfectly reasonable. I could be reading the NY Times, my email, or, yes, a lurid novel.
"This gets to my enhancement suggestion for the Kindle and its ilk: Let people know what you're reading through a low res back cover display taken from your book's slip jacket or equivalent. Better yet, a display that sits on top of my leather Kindle cover."
Another solution, including for this book.
"Pretend you're a Japanese man reading on the subway."
This last is an inside joke, which will be obvious to anyone who has spent time on the subways of Tokyo or Osaka. (Explanation here too.)