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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Kindle - Dream or Disaster?

Seen a new novel you like the sound of?  Want  to read it now? Wait no longer - with Kindle you can.
That's the sort of copy I turned out regularly in the eighties when I worked for a small advertising agency. All of it was glib and no-one, I suspect, believed a word of it. So for some time now I  have remained unmoved by all the publicity generated by the Amazon Kindle.  Worse still, I  have treated the  e-book phenomenon with scorn, believing nothing could take the place of the trusty old book: the smell of new paper as you scan the pages, the lure of the cover as you hold it in your hands, the sight of your book shelves bulging with literary talent from every corner of the world... (sorry I'm back in advertising  land again)  How could this compare with the lowly Kindle?

But then, blog reader, (with apologies to Jane Eyre) I  bought one. (Or more accurately was given one as a present by my daughter.)

And now, I simply take a different view. I can read the latest books wherever I go and edit my own work at the same time. I can browse through great literature as if  I were in a library,  without  even moving from my chair.  And best of all, I can buy a book at the touch of a button.

I remember the first time I had a feature published in a mainstream magazine; I rushed into the newsagent and bought four copies, one of which I have to this day. It was real, tangible, something I could keep to hand on to the next generation.  These days my house is full of vintage books which reveal so much through their  smell,  feel, and texture. They are full of photographs -a mysterious sepia print or a delicate tapestry-passed down to us from another age.  How dull life would be without them.

So I still don't believe that e-books will ever entirely replace the real thing , but  I hope for now that the two can sit side by side in a rapidly changing world. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

E-publishing has put many more books out there that once would never have been seen. I think it's up to the reader to choose.