creators.com opinion web
Conservative Opinion General Opinion
Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop
11 Feb 2016
Some Sage Advice for Hillary Clinton

I come not to rebuke Hillary Clinton, who remains by far the most capable presidential candidate. I come … Read More.

9 Feb 2016
Our Love-Hate Relationship With Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is upon us. And to think we are still recuperating from Groundhog Day. That's February for you,… Read More.

4 Feb 2016
And the Oscar for Most Stunning Actress Goes to ...

We are here not to discuss the complex #OscarsSoWhite controversy but to address another sore point with … Read More.

Reading in Black and White

Comment

Such is our gadget obsession that the launch of a new electronic reader has set off a death match between two new-media gorillas, Apple and Amazon.com. Apple's iPad seeks to end the Amazon Kindle's domination of the market for devices that let you download books and read them on a screen.

The tech bloggers are taking sides, of course. (You can imagine the passion, invective and casual use of expletives.) Your correspondent started off as a disinterested observer, but the more the Apple partisans sang the praises of the iPad, the more she favored the Kindle.

One Apple enthusiast writes that the iPad offers "color and multimedia with the promise of moving video, color charts and pictures, and so on." He adds: "As a travel companion, all you can do on the (Kindle) DX is read." (Ignore the dangling modifier. He clearly means that the Kindle is your traveling companion, not the other way around.)

Hmmm, all you can do on the Kindle is read . I don't know about this fellow, but isn't the point of an e-reader to be a convenient medium for reading? It replaces traditional books. Sure, I've used books to flatten photographs or hold down tablecloths in the wind, but they are bought to be read.

The blogger can't be assuming that the gadgeteer who would plunk down hundreds for an e-reader doesn't already own a television and laptop — and perhaps a super-phone and game console. All are capable of fulfilling anyone's minimum daily requirement for exploding images.

Indeed, books have become an escape from the noise, clutter and flash of video. They ease the attention-deficit disorder that "screen sucking," as the kids call it, has visited on previously relaxed personalities. The Kindle uses "E-ink" technology, which mimics words on paper.

I have a hundred-plus cable channels, a Netflix subscription and a Roku to stream video on demand.

But all these options can't always fill my need for a good story the way a book can. Books let readers customize images and emotions. Furthermore, books don't have to be recharged — nor does one's brain (though I sometimes wish I could plug mine in for more juice).

A day of staring at TVs and computer monitors can strain the eyes. The iPad is another cornea-parching screen. By contrast, the Kindle does not have a backlit display, so it's easier on the peepers. Unlike the iPad, the Kindle can be read on a sunny beach (and one needs a light to read it in the dark). That it's not a video screen is a virtue, in my book.

The thinking goes that young people must, absolutely must , have color all the time. Some probably must, but black and white, which includes shades of gray, is the foundation of the youthful geek chic. I defy you to find an Apple Store "Genius" wearing fuchsia.

There was a big campaign starting in the '70s to colorize classic black-and-white films for a new audience raised on Technicolor. Movie lovers picked up their pitchforks. "Could you imagine watching 'Casablanca' or 'It's a Wonderful Life' in color?" they asked. As it turned out, younger audiences weren't clamoring to see a pink nose on Oliver Hardy, so the fervor for colorizing old movies faded.

This could be Tyrannosaurus rex issuing his last primal scream as the Cretaceous Period draws to a close, but here goes: Black letters on white paper-like backgrounds will always play a major role in our culture. Words on screens can change colors and dance, of course. However, the question remains: Why would anyone past "Sesame Street" age need a colorful screen to read "Moby Dick"?

To find out more about Froma Harrop, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CO.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

??

??

??

??



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
The Kindle is conservative and the iPad is leftist.
Comment: #1
Posted by: David Henricks
Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:20 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Froma Harrop
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Connie Schultz icon
Connie SchultzUpdated 11 Feb 2016
Joe Conason
Joe ConasonUpdated 11 Feb 2016
Froma Harrop
Froma HarropUpdated 11 Feb 2016

14 Jul 2015 The GOP Can Clear the Trump Dump

5 Apr 2007 Not That I Couldn't

3 Sep 2015 Why Don't We Try Staying Home?