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. . . a bleepin’ KINDLE . As Susan McWilliams observes, it amounts to a techno-surrender of “readerly independence” with no obvious benefit. I’m glad I don’t live on some agrarian frontier where all I have around the house are Shakespeare and the Bible (both very good!) in expensive, irreplaceable editions. I’m all for the technology that has made books really, really cheap—so cheap that I typically buy these days rather than mess with interlibrary loan. If they’re almost giving real books away, why mess with the machine? (Of course—I said similar bad things about my GPS machine, which turns out to have been a wonderful gift that actually makes me, the traveler, more bold and sort of self-reliant, if also stupider. It keeps MEN from having to do what they most hate—asking a real person for directions.)

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