Even though I love getting my hands on shiny new bits of technology, from fancy phones to sleek laptops, e-book readers – and e-books in general – have never really appealed to me. There’s something so satisfying about the tactile sensation of a book and when I find books with unusual typefaces or that are interestingly bound I’m instantly attracted to them. And it because of this possibility for endless textural variety (when it comes to paper, ink and font choices) that I see e-books as limiting possibilities rather than expanding them.
I know that e-books could actually provide a more environmentally friendly alternative than the ridiculously massive collection of ‘real’ books I own, but I don’t know if I’m un-selfish enough to give them up. Although maybe I won’t have to, and maybe e-books will end up coming to me far before I would’ve gotten round to them.
Just in the last month it seems like everyone is jumping on the Kindle bandwagon, what with Samsung announcing plans for their own reader and Google partnering with Sony to take on Amazon. But the news that really got me thinking was Amazon’s release of an e-book reader iPhone, a free app that means your phone works just like an e-reader.
Not having to specifically spend money on a dedicated reader is obviously a bonus and so is the thought that, should I accidentally forget to pick up novel I’m reading on the way out the house, I’d have dozens of novels to choose from in my pocket. No more bus journeys cursing my forgetfulness and staring out the window in a sulk – that sounds pretty tempting.
On the other hand, I’m pretty certain that no matter how snazzy the e-book readers become, even if they end up good for curling up with and sturdy enough to be used when you’re in the bath, they are never going to surpass paper and ink for me. But just maybe they could complement it.