One of the incendiary comments (maybe the only one) from BookExpo this year was Sherman Alexie's remark on an author panel that when he saw a woman on his plane reading a Kindle he "wanted to hit her." (He said the "expensive reading devices" (the Times' words) were "elitist" (his word), and he hasn't yet let his books be digitized.) Fair enough (though those metal-backed devices might double pretty well as a weapon if the Kindle reader wanted to fight back)--we Seattleites know our neighbor Alexie as a heartfelt, shoot-from-the-hip advocate for what he loves (e.g. the former SuperSonics) and hates.
On his own site, Alexie has posted a note about the responses he's gotten to the quote:
And following comments by Kassia Kroszer, among others, Edward Champion (no stranger to rhetorical pugilism himself) took the initiative to ask Alexie to expand on his sound bite, and the result was a more nuanced and surprising exchange (Alexie "loves" both his iPod and Amazon.com, for one thing, but ebooks still cause a visceral reaction):
Would that I could sit in on that Alexie-Kindle meeting... --Tom