Today’s your last chance to go to 39th Street and Fifth Avenue and watch David Farrow speed-read in a window. (If you’re lazy you can watch him on a webcam.) Farrow has been ensconced at the Datavision store every day this month, reading like a fiend to promote (ostensibly) a “Reading Revolution” and (actually) the Sony Reader, one of those horrible digital booklike devices. Sony claims Farrow has “turned over 42,000 eBooks pages” in his ordeal, though we wonder if really got a feel for them.
Sony’s Reader Revolution has given 428,390 eBook downloads to U.S. schools, but the University of Minneapolis Daily remains disgusted: schools “likely already have physical versions of these books,” they say, and Farrow’s demo of the “excruciating joy of reading” is just a marketing ploy for their loathsome product. Besides, “if the audience that these devices are directed at doesn’t spend a dollar on books now,” the Daily asks, “why would they suddenly spend 400?” Why, because they’re Americans, who love shiny new geegaws and think if they teach their children to be volume rather than quality readers whose hands shan’t be sullied by paper, it will somehow improve their species.