Why do people who don’t read hate eReaders?

There’s an article on Gizmodo that hits all the classic anti-reading, anti-eReader sentiments. It’s literally titled – Why I think eInk Readers are dumb.

The key words here are – I, think, dumb. It’s one person’s perspective, not supported by facts (just his thinking) and he uses the word ‘dumb’ since obviously millions of eInk Reader owners can’t be right or smart.

The fundamental problem with the article is it’s totally from the ‘I’ perspective i.e.

  1. Number of times Brian Lam uses I, me, etc. – 19 times.
  2. Number of times Brian Lam uses we, us – 2 times.
  3. Number of times Brian Lam uses you – 8 times, often in a general sense. 

I (begrudgingly) have never ever seen an article online where the ratio of I’s to We’s was 19:2.

His lack of empathy for other living beings is highlighted by what he thinks of the main advantages of eInk -

  1. The battery life doesn’t appeal to Mr. Lam because ‘the kind of reading’ he does is around the house and his house has power plugs. 
  2. Less eyestrain with eInk is not an issue because Mr. Lam can stare 12 hours a day at the screen without problems.

Obviously, the fact that the rest of us would like to preserve our eyes and avoid being chained to power plugs escaped Mr. Lam’s attention.

We have all seen people argue for and against eReaders. However, taking your own personal perspective and making the assumption that it dictates what is right and wrong is hilarious. Take this statement -

I fell in love with the Kindle last year, but I think you’re a fool to buy one now

Guess the million or so people who’ll buy eInk based eReaders this holiday season are all fools – obviously reading does that. It messes up your priorities.  

Which brings us to the crowning achievement of the article (and Mr. Lam fittingly ends with it) -

when so much new technology is about to hit over the next six months. I’m giving up on it (Kindle and eReaders). I am waiting for a tablet …

And unless you love novels and non-fiction more than TV, movies, cookbooks and glossy magazines all together, you should, too.

Mr. Lam misses a few things  -

  1. People who read a lot love books more than anything else – they really do. 

    The unholiness of loving books more than TV – the horror. All of us are headed straight to TV hell where we’ll be forced to watch unending episodes of The Jerry Springer Show.

  2. Choosing between reading and TV/Movies is a loser’s choice. We can all have both – we can have our flat screen TVs for TV and Movies and a Kindle or Sony for reading.
  3. There is always ‘so much new technology’ right around the corner. If all of us kept waiting for new technology, we’d never buy anything.

Perhaps the biggest thing he misses is -

If us ‘fools and idiots’ hadn’t bought Kindles and ignited ebook sales we wouldn’t have a million companies jumping in now and we wouldn’t have a bright future for publishing and reading.

Perhaps that’s the end goal – perhaps people who don’t love/like to read want to stop other people from reading too. How dare we use our imaginations and think for ourselves.

Reasons people who don’t love reading want to tell those who do what to do?

  1. Not realizing that people are different.
  2. Lack of empathy and not realizing different people like different things.  
  3. Lack of Honesty to themselves about how things really are. 

Look at the comments on the Gizmodo article and you’ll see there are a LOT of people who love eInk and prefer it for reading.

Which brings us to Time and this little snippet from 2006 -

Gizmodo is one of the few blogs to take on the role of a viable media source with Lam’s recent coverage of the Sony Mylo, the result of an official deal with Sony’s corporate communications department.

Official, Corporate, Deal. Is that what this is about Mr. Lam? An official corporate deal with one (or more) Tablet manufacturers to talk down eInk readers.

Perhaps a little disclosure would be in order. For example, how much are Gizmodo’s advertising contributions from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Sony. That would set things straight.

Lets end on a good note – Free Kindle Book and Kindle Giveaways

For all of us who are blind to the true light the mighty Tablet shall shine down upon us (at some undisclosed date in the future) -

  1. 72 Hours by Shannon Stacey is free courtesy Samhain Publishing.
  2. Free 176 page booklet from the Knight Commission – Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age
  3. Amazon has expanded the number of free public domain books in the Kindle Store to 18K (courtesy Teleread). You can wade through those or start off with my Top 250 Kindle Public Domain Books List.
  4. SquareTrade is having a 10 Kindles in 10 Days Twitter Giveaway. How does a warranty company afford $2,500 in prizes? Google gave away something like 10-20 Sony Readers.
  5. Starting October 26th, Amazon will have 10 free Kindles as part of its Wishlist Sweepstakes.

Finally, a few books that used to be free on the Kindle are free again (courtesy MobileRead) -

  • Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson.
  • The Briar King by Greg Keyes
  • Queen of the Orcs: King’s Property.
  • Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning. 
  • Aah – all these free books. How we repent turning our backs on the true messiah of reading, the Tablet, and how we fear the day when his blinding light cleanses the earth of us non-believers (though the blinding light will start by damaging our eyes so we can no longer indulge in the sin of reading).

    3 Responses

    1. This is one of the many reasons I read Gizmodo’s sexier and much cooler friend. Engadget. They at least try to understand who would like a gadget and why.

    2. My Kindle was a birthday present. When I first read about these, I knew I had to have one. Reading the comments on Mr. Lam’s article inspires me to consider a piece on grammar and how its incorrect use diminish one’s credibility. It truly did make me wonder if he doesn’t read because reading is “too hard.”

    3. The real question is: “why do people who hate reading LOVE e-readers?” I have no patience for people who feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, even if that means paying good money for something that they aren’t really interested in, just for the sake of owning it so they can say they have it! I have THREE family members who got e-readers for Christmas, yet none of them are readers. Makes a LOT of sense. I prefer real books, most of which I can get for free from the library.

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