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How to Prove You’re Refined and Full O’ Fancy Book Learnin’ in a Post-Kindle Age

In High Fidelity, Nick Hornby’s pop culture-obsessed protagonist posited that “What really matters is what you like, not what you’re like.” If we accept that our very identities are intertwined with our taste in music, movies and books, the advent of Amazon’s Kindle (now a steal at $299) does start to seem a bit worrisome. In August’s Vanity Fair, James Wolcott laments the passing of a time when every New York City subway ride presented “an opportunity to spy on the reading tastes of fellow passengers and make snap judgments that probably wouldn’t hold up in court.”

Wolcott poses an important question: “How can I impress strangers with the gem-like flame of my literary passion if it’s a digital slate I’m carrying around, trying not to get it all thumbprinty?” Tricky, but not impossible! We’ve got a few ideas.

1. Hold your Kindle as you would a tea cup — pinkie finger turned out.

2. Make like it’s 1993 and your Kindle is a Trapper Keeper, which you can cover in esoteric stickers to your heart’s content. (Remember to heed this sage sticker design advice from Clueless: “I was thinking it was too cluttered. You know, I wanna wipe all of this out and concentrate on one main decorative statement. Like, uh, Marvin the Martian. Right there.”)

3. Embrace the futuristic element of reading on your Kindle and adopt a more minimalist style (for inspiration, check out these New Yorkers who only wear one color).  Sometimes less is more.

4. This is complicated, but if you care that much about letting everyone know how well-read you are, maybe you can set up a system that, iTunes-style, shows everyone on your wireless network what you’re reading. That’ll impress the ladies for sure.

5. Unfortunately this one’s only for Kindle 2 owners: Accidentally have your device read out loud in quiet, public situations — like in a hushed train car in your morning commute or the waiting room of a doctor’s office.

[Via Idea of the Day]

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