I have been obsessed with books since I can remember. The look of their covers, the smell of their pages, the feel of them between my fingers. I love it all! It is for these reasons that I was disgraced afew years ago when the concept of the kindle and other such technologies were revealed. To read is to experience and I just couldn’t see that there would be any experience when looking at a screen. I thought the idea would never take off, surely all avid readers would stick to their books? None the less, the handheld reading machines have become major business. It saddens me to hear repeatedly that the good old bookshops I can get lost in are going rapidly downhill due to this invention. This is a world that values convenience above all else. People want things here and now. The kindle offers this.
I must say, I have refused to purchase a kindle or any such machine myself and was disgraced last year when my dad became the proud owner of one. I was however impressed when he showed me that the screen is not that of a computer etc. etc. But still, not the same! I just can’t imagine being able to concentrate on something like that. You can’t even see how many pages you have read or how many are yet to come. I picked up the kindle myself for the first time yesterday and read a few pages. I have to say, it wasn’t half as unpleasant as I had previously thought and I definately feel I am being stubborn by not investing. One thing that does still, and always will upset me is how the writing world has embraced the kindle. Every month, when my glossy selection of writing magazines arrive, the pages are bombarded with e-book competitions. I feel that as writers, we should hold onto the idea of the book as much as possible. I cannot deny that the kindle seems to have made publishing more accesable for the masses but in a way, that isn’t a good thing. It may be near impossible to get a publisher to notice us, but there’s a reason for that. If someone is willing to invest in your book then it must be good right? I know that I’m full of self-doubt about my own writing and that would be the ultimate confidence booster. I’m sure many others feel the same way. I fear that the kindle will eventually wipe out the role of the publisher as, now I may be wrong here, it seems that self-publishing is much easier and cheaper when in e-book form. This may well also lead to a lot of unworthy books floating about. These things do need to be regulated else the good books could end up lost in cyberspace!
There we go, rant over. I fear I rambled so in summary: I have come slightly round to the kindle, my thusfar arch enemy. I am still however not completly convinced!