Prompted by the launch of Amazon’s new ebook reader, Gary Gibson has written an excellent and passionate post on the virtues of electronic books.
I’ve been feeling myself change my mind about this for some time, slowly shifting from a staunch paper’n’printer to acknowledging that with paper costs and all that, the future can only be in developing better and better devices of this sort. I agree with a lot of what Gary says, but still have major reservations.
1/ The book as the object. I *still* love the feel of books, the look of them on shelves, the smell of them, all that.
2/ Bath time. I’d say 75% of my reading for pleasure time is spent in the bath. Now, in all the years of pursuing this most delightful of pastimes, I’ve dropped the book in the water maybe twice, at a total cost of, say, a tenner. How relaxed am I going to be propping a £XXX ebook reader above the hungry waves, knowing that just one slip will render it less useful than soap on a rope?
The time of the ebook is coming. But it’s not here yet.