The New "Kindles for Books" Trade Is a Bad Idea The New "Kindles for Books" Trade Is a Bad Idea

The New "Kindles for Books" Trade Is a Bad Idea

by Cord Jefferson

February 4, 2011
A bookstore in Portland, Oregon, Microcosm Publishing, is running a promotion in which it will trade customers new and used books and zines in exchange for their Kindles or other e-readers. Calling Kindles "soulless," the Microcosm website says:

Why let fad technology kill print when you can take a stand and fill up your shelves in the process. ... And make sure to bring a friend to help you carry all your loot; most of the store's books are priced in the $2-$6 range so a $139-$189 trade-in (note: going retail for the Kindle at Amazon's site) you might be carrying your books out in a fleet of wheelbarrows!

On its face, this offer seems great: Many things for the price one and a tongue-in-cheek, snarky jab at a major corporation. But upon further evaluation, we can't help but think Microcosm's promotion is one of the most glaring cases of sour grapes we've seen in the wake of Kindle's advent.

Simply put, e-readers are good ideas that can significantly help conserve paper and trees; they've also been shown to diminish carbon emissions. Advocating against Kindles rather than adapting to the new technology not only attempts to sabotage emerging technologies, it makes you look like a sore loser.

Nobody wants to "put the nail in print media's coffin," as Microcosm asserts. People just want better, technologically advanced options. It's not a zero-sum game.

photo (cc) via Flickr user bfishadow

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The New "Kindles for Books" Trade Is a Bad Idea