For the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, it's been a "summer of e-reading":
A combination of being away from Cambridge with too few books receiving the Amazon Kindle as a birthday present from my wife [my emphasis], and the upgrading of iPhone software has meant that I have spent far too many hours reading electronic books -- first on the iPhone and then on the Kindle.
But all was not e-literary paradise:
[T]he ergonomics of the Kindle are a disaster. It is awkward to hold, with or without the case, and it is virtually impossible to use without pressing on the wrong buttons. The screen also took a while to adjust to. Not being backlit, it is obviously not as bright as the iPhone, but it doesn't quite feel natural either. And tables and figures are virtually illegible on the Kindle, as they cannot be enlarged (unlike the text size).
Wait a minute: Your wife gives you a $360 Kindle and you go about trashing it in a merciless, CNET-style online review? If he doesn't watch his step, after his next birthday, Rodrik may find himself reviewing a very nice, perfectly functional pair of socks.
There's been much talk recently about Internet-abetted "oversharing"; you might call this variant "over-reviewing."
The author is solely responsible for the content.
Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.