Well, I could lay the blame on my husband [or maybe even Santa?] - he did it without my really asking, though I may have been musing one day about the advantages of a kindle and ebooks for traveling times. So there it was sitting under the Christmas tree, in its Amazon box, a KINDLE and its cover… I confess it loud and clear – I, lover of BOOKS, a bookseller of collectible BOOKS, an avid collector of BOOKS and the resulting ever-ongoing need for more BOOKshelves, proponent of READING, a librarian and Library Trustee who believes that BOOKS can change lives – I am all these things, but now also the proud owner of a KINDLE… though I also confess it is still in its box – with no time to figure out yet another technological piece of equipment, just having gotten an iphone and still struggling with that user manual, also mostly a matter of time. I am working on a talk on carriages in Jane Austen’s time, and heaven forbid, I am using BOOKS for research! [though one must confess again the use of several Google BOOKS for this reading adventure...]
So I feel better telling everyone about this new shift in my life – there is an article from yesterday’s Guardian announcing that Amazon’s e-book sales have overtaken the real thing this holiday season – how this plays out with publishers and authors, I have yet to fully understand - the average book today costs at least $24.99 – but you can get it for your kindle for $9.99. Then there is the Barnes & Noble Nook, which is on backorder until February because sales vastly surpassed their expectations.
So, as my lovely little gift sits in its box waiting for a moment for me to figure it out, I have been musing again [this time to myself] about how many books I listen to on tape, how many books I read on the computer because it is the only way to access the information without an expensive trip to the British Library, how all this technology has only opened a much wider world of the book to me and everyone else, that perhaps this latest addition will only enhance reading and knowledge and not undermine the future of the book as we know it. How many books will I get on my Kindle that I would not have actually BOUGHT ? – I think there will be many – time will tell … and travel will be so much easier now that airlines forbid bags full of weighty books [books or shoes has been my latest dilemma...] - but alas! what about all the BOOKS I will buy when traveling from wandering into used book stores??
So, am I just trying to justify this new toy, or is it just another reading adventure, and I will still need to build new bookshelves? And the tactile / senses piece? I do hear that there is a book spray you can buy to enhance the air around you with that smell of a real book, just in case… [now will that be moldy-basement or Granny's-attic?!]