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Prof disses Kindle, life partner

Posted by Christopher Shea  September 11, 2008 04:02 PM

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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."

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