Seriously, I am doubting my desire to ever have an e-reader or an iPad. Sure, they have a lot of really great uses: reading on the bus, reading when your relatives are bothering you, reading while walking around downtown to show off your e-reader or iPad. I still think that e-readers have the ability to revolutionize reading and reading devices by making it cool to have. Just look at the status symbol the iPhone has become. Heck, recent reports have it as a talisman of sexual… not prowess, but diversity? Actually, this sounds genius, create really sexy devices and market them to people who think they’ll get more sex if they own them (fetish? Or fetish? The links are SFW).
I digress… the simple reason that e-readers are dead is that you can’t use them when you are flying. Oh sure, once you get up to cruising altitude, you can switch on your device (one of kindle’s marketing points is that it turns on faster than any other device…). But the whole time you are buckled into your seat, either flying up to the magic 5000 feet or taxiing along the runway, all you can do with your slick reading device is stroke it. That’s not even the worst part; the thing that made me want to throw my feces at the FCC/airline/woman sitting next to me was the smug look on her face as she continued reading her book after I got told to turn my device off. Do you think that on the first carriage ride, everyone got told to put their books down before anyone could start their trip?
Further, they’ve stopped even pretending that there is any reason to have your electronic device off. It used to be the (obvious) lie that flight instrumentation would get disrupted. These days, they call out that your device will not in any way damage their ability to fly the plane. Please, just lie to me again, the maddening lack of any reason is worse.