Fahrenheit 1200

As the Kindle prepares for its second iteration, Luddite bibliophiles are perhaps stoking their blowtorches to a toasty 1200 degrees Fahrenehit–the temperature at which plastic burns.  Take that, Montag.

Seriously, though, hardly a day passes without an, ahem, conflagration on the interwebs over the “death of print media” at the hands of e-book readers like Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle.  These discussions inevitably lead to the general decline in American literacy; a notable example is a recent press conference held by Steve Jobs, who doubted the Kindle would succeed because Americans don’t read anymore.  “The whole conception is flawed at the top,” says Jobs, “because people don’t read anymore.”

Jobs’s very recognition of the Kindle was enough to set speculators and gossipers a-tittering.  With a pronouncement from the father of iCulture, the question no longer became whether or not Apple would produce an e-reader, but whether Steve Jobs could save American literacy.

In the Guardian Book Review, voices sound off on the iLiad (for shame!): Peter Conrad against, Naomi Alderman for.

Kirsten Reach, the progressive bibliophile, pipes up from the back with a few suggestions.  She has, of course, baked cookies for the occasion.

I’m withholding an opinion on e-readers until I can get my hands on one.  The sheer implications of its success make my head spin.  Oprah put Marquez on the bestseller list and made Faulkner summer reading–could a mainstream predilection for expensive, shiny things give reading a jump start in America?

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One Response to “Fahrenheit 1200”

  1. Nice picture.

    I think we should bake Kindle-shaped cookies for the second time around. Just to wish it luck?

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