Bad News For Gadget Hounds (And Potential Terrorists) Is Good News For Books

Posted on December 30th, 2009 in Uncategorized by Gerry

In the wake of a terrorist attempt on Christmas Day to blow up a passenger airliner, the Transportation Security Administration has been issuing erratic and, admittedly wacky new passenger guidelines.

Most of these are being announced for the first time by pilots and flight crews on various flights, resulting in a very inconsistent comprehension of what is and isn’t permitted on airplanes.

Some flights have prohibited the use of electronic device during all stages of the flight, others permit their use until the last hour or half-hour of the flight.

Many flights were forced to shut down their in-flight entertainment programs, meaning no sitcom reruns or poorly produced infotainment.

The tech site Gizmodo has the following advice in their Unofficial Guide to Flying After the Underwear Bomb :

Bring a book. Not a Kindle, not a Nook, not any other sort of ebook reader, but a plain ol’ low-tech book. Because apparently books are pretty much the only thing you can have in your hands during the final hour of your flight (”the government says ok”) and how the hell else will you keep from falling into a cold and uncomfortable slumber?

Score one for traditional print media.

While I would hate to be seen capitalizing on a potential tragedy (that’s the job of elected officials), it does serve to reinforce one thing that I’ve always felt books had going for them over e-readers, that you didn’t have to shut them down a half-hour before landing (well that and books don’t require charging, copy-protection technology, backlighting, etc.).

But here’s to hoping that the skies become a lot more friendly in the near future. If all we can do is twiddle our thumbs or read Sky Mall, then the terrorists win.

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