Arguing With Kindle Haterz

I have started being a smartarse with Kindle haterz. I actually have no objection to people not liking Kindles, several of my best mates can’t stand them, but I feel that their impassioned defences of books overlooks something - books are oppressive, art-form murderers too!

What’s interesting to note is that books have only existed for a relatively short proportion of human history - does their existence not crush the wonderful oral culture tradition, especially as books reduce stories to a private, isolated experience, rather than a communal, shared one? Books also cause stories to freeze and become static rather than their continued evolutionary form as existed under the oral tradition. If you reread a book it will be the same, but a story retold orally may be slightly different.


Of course the oral tradition still exists, but it is either in forms which are taken less seriously (stand up comedy, which is ace but comedy is not taken as seriously as an art-form, hence why comedy films never win Best Film Oscars) or which are considered aloof and niche (lectures, mostly academic in form). Books have squeezed the oral tradition out. Naughty books.

Kindles and eReaders are only the next stage, here to overtake books just as books overtook vellum, scrolls, tablets and orators.

Of course the typical pro-book lobbyist will want to deflect attention away from the oral tradition as it is the book’s dirty secret that it crushed it.

Or maybe, just maybe, books, Kindles and spoken word will get along just fine?