Monday, June 16, 2008
The end of the book?
Well. I don't know. I'm interested to see what others think.
Kindle is the new electronic book reader from Amazon. I just read about it on John Butler's Irish Times magazine column, can't find it as a blog post though.
I'm interested to see Toni Morrison endorsing it on the site, though she seems terribly bored by the whole thing - do you think they kidnapped and drugged her? She's very queenly, isn't she, aside from that?
Anyway, I don't know what to make of this. Of course books will never die, right? Though Butler is convincing in his analogy of what happened to vinyl. I'm strangely compelled by this gadget - I don't think I'd buy one, I haven't stretched to an Ipod yet, though after seeing it in action, I want one. I don't think I'd buy one but if someone gave me one I'd be happy. The whole instant download thing. And the fact that I live in a house that has no space for books. And it's cheaper, though not if you factor in the power, maybe.
The electronicness of it would put me off - I'm not sure how good it would be for you to hold a mobile phone as much as you'd be holding this, though I suppose you wouldn't have to have it all the time - still, I predict that we're going to start hearing more about effects of electromagnetic energy soon.
A lot of writers love to smell their new author copies! That would be gone. And the beauty of the covers, that modern matte finish, the feel of the book in your hand. I dunno.
Butler mentioned the ease of auto e-publishing too, though, and that's a big draw - no publisher and agent cuts. Though I can't seeing it being that easy if Amazon have such a grip on sales.
I'd love to know what people think about it. Are you half tempted or is it the Devil's gadget? Could books be on the way out?