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Hate Your Kindle? Here's What You Can Do

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PULP FRICTION
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For many reading purists, the sharp, glare-free screen of Amazon's Kindle e-reader simply can't compare to the musty, pulpy, paper-cutty feel of a book. They are willing to forgo the ability to carry countless titles in a portable device for lovingly dog-eared copy of their favorite paperback. It's hard to fault them for that.

But in keeping up with technological trends, even the most staunch Luddite could have been seduced by the form and function of Amazon's popular device. Hell, Oprah endorsed it! And yet, upon bringing the Kindle home, firing it up, and loading a few classics, the love affair may have been short-lived -- if sparked at all.

In the end, the disappointed owners are left with a $190 book end.

But all is not lost. A bookstore in Portland, Oregon is now allowing customers to exchange used Amazon Kindles for their price in books. Referring to the device as "soulless faux-literary technology," Microcosm Publishing prices most of its books in the $2-$6 range and writes, "So a $139-$189 trade-in (note: going retail for the Kindle at Amazon's site) you might be carrying your books out in a fleet of wheelbarrows!"

Adding, "Long live the grain and pulp! Long live the PAGE."

You have to admire their enthusiasm, but it begs the question: Could this all be a ruse to unload their book stock for something more in demand? Shelves upon shelves of dusty tomes cleared away for a few dozen shiny Kindles?

Nah. That seems too garish for an independent bookstore from the Pacific Northwest. But then again, that's where Starbucks started. I'll reserve judgment until it starts accepting iPads.

Godspeed, Microcosm. Long live the page.
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