Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The future of books?

What do you make of this?

Amazon Kindle - YouTube

Could it be the future of books? I can't imagine replacing the 'real thing,' somehow, but that's me all over. I would never want to see the demise of the local bookshop for a start - there's been enough of that round here as it is (ooh, get me!) I'd forget to charge the battery as well, knowing me. Wouldn't be any good in the bath, either - I'd drop the bloomin' thing and, unlike a book, wouldn't be able to prop it over the radiator to dry (not that I've ever done that, you understand) - but I quite like the idea of being able to simply download a book, wherever you are, and it's no more expensive than buying them in the 'normal' way. Although there's the cost of the gadget to take into account, of course.

Say you were stuck somewhere, at an airport or in a HUGE traffic jam, for instance (happens to me quite often) and there was nothing on the radio and you wanted a read to pass the time, but didn't have anything with you, it would be useful. (Unless you'd left it at home, obviously, which I definitely would have). Looks quite easy to operate too, which is a bonus.

Plus, if it meant someone buying and reading something I'd written I wouldn't give a doo-dah if they copied it out in biro, backwards, all over their body and read it in a mirror, quite frankly. Whatever butters your parsnips.

That's funny...I seem to have somehow talked myself into thinking they're quite a good idea.


Sarah Dunnakey said...

Hmm it's defintely got its attractions and I do like my gadgets, but not sure it would rid me of my desire for mooching around in book shops and my tactile love of the paperyness of real books. Also - the slow (slightly creepy in a 1984-ish way)voiced man made no mention of libraries. Most of my books are borrowed not bought so I wonder how that would work? Also didn't like the way he suggested that reading a real book is hard work! And finally (sorry this is such a long comment but it was a really interesting post),I think if I had left my book at home I almost certainly would also have left my 'kindle'.

FPDuck said...

I've heard of the kindle... it's not something that appeals to me. I was about to say something about eye strain, but the vid mentions it manages to avoid that problem, so onto point 2!

I like physical possessions over digital ones. I prefer CDs over MP3s (although I have more digital tracks than CDs). I prefer actual books to e-books. It's not about having the book, it's about being able to pick it up feel the book in my hands, not a lump of non-cellular plastic, silicon and metal.

But I see your point about where it would be useful. After all, my mp3 player is invaluable to me because it slips in my pocket and I can listen to it anywhere.

I'd still prefer paper books.


P.S. Space opera refers to science fiction on an epic scale- Star Wars being the best-known example. It's a bit of a geeky term, so don't worry about not knowing it.

Alis said...

Hmmm. I do love gadgets. And this was a really interesting clip - I've heard of the Kindle before but never bothered to find out about it. My thinking was - e-readers have been around for years, they've never taken off so why should this one? And the answer is - the whole wireless, read your blogs on the go thing. Now that is appealing!
Also, I suspect it would be easier to read lying down in bed so as not to disturb the other half - no more holding the book up to read the 'bottom' page as you're lying there.
I suspect I might just have to acquire one of these if I was doing a lot of travelling - would save a lot of weight allowance in the suitcase and let me keep up with my beloved blogs. But for general sitting around reading I don't think you can beat a real book.
Then again the environmentalist in me says 'go for this - it's paperless, therefore greener'. As you can see I'm hopelessly conflicted. But one thing I'm definite about - IT'S A WEIRD NAME!

Lily Sheehan said...

I am ALWAYS forgetting to charge my mp3 player I can't see it being much good to me. Plus when I drop the book in the bath (and I aways do) I like when the pages go all crinkly. Dont think Id get the same effect with the kindle. Perhaps a bit of crackling and a few sparks. Other than that though I think its a great space saving device and think of all those trees that will be saved.


Sarah - I know what you mean about the creepy man! Good point about libraries - been a librarian you'd have thought I'd have picked up on that!! Maybe libraries could somehow make their books available to download for a short time, making sure authors still qualify for PLR or something?

Mike - I know what you mean about preferring 'proper' books. Maybe I'd have a Kindle as a back-up.
Like the sound of Space-opera, by the way :o)

Alis - It is a weird name, isn't it? Maybe they're hoping the idea will 'catch fire' HO HO! I agree though, that there's something irreplaceable about actually holding a book.

lily - That's a good point about saving paper, but overall I can't see me using one anytime soon. Unless someone buys me one, of course...!!

Debs said...

I'm not a gadget person - still can't work my phone properly and I've had it since Christmas 07!!! I never say never but I do love the feel of a real book and can't imagine preferring a Kindle to a paperback.

HelenMH said...

It's amazing what you can talk yourself into! I'd miss the smell of books - new books and old books - weird? me?!

Annieye said...

I agree with you Karen. It would have its uses, but I don't think it'd ever replace books.

Don't you just love the feeling of having a crisp new paperback in your bag, having browsed Waterstones at lunchtime, and looking forward to settling down in the evening all afternoon at work?

Having said that, I love my MP3 player - it goes everywhere with me. I resisted getting one for ages.

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

Clarkey, go and see a shrink, talk yourself out if it NOW!
Kindle = start burning, throw it in the fire! TFX

Poetess said...

A book shop in my home I would be in heaven. I would not want to replace bookshops however. I love being able to go in and feel them, smell them and just being able to get lost within their pages.

Thanks for the award by the way. I have not picked it up yet.


Lane said...

I can see it would have its uses but I can't imagine snuggling down in bed with it:-)

And yes, Kindle is a weird word for it!

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