Wednesday, July 19, 2006

E-Books

Observant readers of this daily diatribe (and I’m sure you all are) will have noticed that I can come across as a bit old-fashioned in some ways. It’s a charge I will deny, vehemently, being one of the earliest users of computers. However, I must admit that one of my daughters used to refer to “her Victorian father” when describing me to her next prospective paramour.

But when it comes to technology, I’m all for it – provided it does represent a genuine advance and is not some idle techno-gimmick, here today and, with any luck, gone tomorrow.

With this in mind you can see why I’m concerned with the rise and apparent increasing popularity of the E-Book. I have to be careful how I phrase this, since my publishers make a bit of a killing with these, but why on earth anyone would wish to read off of a computer screen and not curled up somewhere with a good book and a drink is beyond me.

Even the economics don’t make a lot of sense (well, to me). Admittedly they’re cheaper initially but do the buyers sit glued to their computer displays for the several hundred pages? Not ergonomically desirable I would have thought. Or do they print out the whole shebang on their laser or inkjet printer? If the latter, the consumption of the cartridges must surely defeat the economic sense – and then there’s the cost of paper. Reading from A4 sheets, or quarto as we used to say in the good old days, is a pain as anyone who has proofread their own MS will testify.

So, bearing in mind the economic advantages to myself, to say nothing of my publishers, I suppose I should give the E-Book a thumbs up in the march of progress.

But for myself, I’ll just curl up with a good book, thank you.

2 Comments:

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