Friday, May 13, 2011


It seems these days everyone has an opinion on the ubiquitous nature of the ebook, its effects on our culture, and the power it has to shape our experience of reading a good book. Often times the least likely candidates to espouse a given opinion or come down strongly on the matter one way or the other do. (I know people who could build a small house with all the books they own and still send handwritten letters who can’t say enough about their ipad or e-reader or kindle, and a few technology junkies who just don’t understand how someone could give up the unmistakable pleasure of cracking a spine of a book for the first time, its glossy jacket yet to earn its first fingerprint smudge.) While the buzz the e-advancement created was at first limited to the publishing industry and its closest followers, it’s now a phenomenon the effects of which can be seen everywhere.

This great debate on the mode in which we absorb our literature has now apparently extended to two of New York’s finest institutions: The New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Just last night at my inaugural meeting of a delightful new book club, one of the girls there was indignant (rightly so) about a recent experience at Yankee Stadium. She was prohibited from entering the stadium with the e-reader she had in her bag. The security guard pointed out to her that it was a formal, written rule found in their official online guidelines and indeed, I just confirmed that they do explicitly prohibit “Tablets (eg Kindles or ipads)” on their website. This unlucky ticket holder suspected that the franchise just didn’t want the camera to pan to people in the stadium reading, an indication of a less than exciting game, but she couldn’t help but notice a girl who walked in just after her with an armload full of good old fashioned books.

Having just scoured the Met’s website, I can find no indication in their official rules that they have any similar restriction. As Ben pointed out to me, the Yankees just have more rules and tighter security in general. While this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that if you’re such an avid reader you like to sneak in a few pages (or screens) in between innings, there are less ways you’ll be able to do it over on Yankee Way. It seems the team with the longer history has also, whether intentionally or not, set the stage for doing things the old fashioned way.

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