MLA Session: E-Books as Bibliographic Objects- Reading on Amazon.com

Yung-Hsing Wu, U of LA, Lafayette, “Virtual Reading on Amazon.com

This is a live blogging of the session.

Belief in the moral good of reading…

Have changes in reading like book clubs (and Oprah) minimalized the ability to discuss reading?

Online reading is an “untoward concession” said critics.

Digital ink, clouds of text.

Amazon.com has a magical reading. Can get in and read online and carry them in Kindles.

Narrative, bibliographic biography… Amazon.com focuses on what happens when one opens up, flips through, and reads.

Amazon’s trajectory towards the Kindle sees reading as consumption. Amazon promotes an ethos of reading, but an act of consumerism.

Yung-Hsing Wu is offering a discourse such as what Frank Gaughan and Peter Khost were suggesting in their panel (21). This narrative as biography is exactly the type of scholarly discourse that is non-traditional, I think. She spent time introducing it, to say how it fits academic understandings.

Spiritual immersiveness… of reading.

Dream of comprehensiveness. Fluid infrastructure is a library, accepting and transcending the understanding of what a book is.

Touted the Search the Book feature. (Similar to iTunes.)

Online access to a purchased paper book… I can see where that would be VERY useful for scholarly studying. I have several books that I left at work that I would have used this week, if I had online access to them. I would still want the paper book. And Search the Book, unlike the Kindle version, would give me relevant page numbers.

Discussion of the materiality of reading.
Impulse/logic/desire:

Design, lack of design. Plain in shape, color, and material.
Amazon refuses and defends the design of the Kindle.
No, it’s not as sexy as Apple.
Key feature of the book is that it disappears.
Reading aligns with form, says Amazon person. (Missed who and what their position is.)
kindle-computer-or-paperAmazon asserts that the page is as “sharp and natural” as ink on paper and not on the computer.

Kindle holds a lot of books.
Reader figured as Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

Reading services… 2-day delivery. This delivery option is really good and useful if you are looking for a book.

Remember an e-book version of the handwritten copy of Harry Potter…

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