Monday, 5 December 2011

Kindle

I’ve owned a Kindle for two months now and I’m already convinced its going to change the way we read books for ever.
People who bemoan the popularity of this format often like to talk about the ‘feel’ of books or even their smell but for me the absence of these things can take nothing away from a good story. Was the soft crackle you used to get at the start of an LP really better than the ability to create a seamless playlist of all your favourite tracks? Was the enjoyment to be had in dusting the vinyl somehow worth more than being able to store your entire music collection on a device the size of a kitkat that also happens to be a phone?
And will anyone genuinely miss finding out that the Blackadder tape they had spent the last six weeks recording had been inadvertently videoed over with an hour’s worth of random channel surfing?
Books will be a tough habit to break, they are our most long lived format for conveying  and storing the written word, but the rise of digital media is hardly its death knell. A tremendous number of our best loved classics are available on Kindle very cheaply – or even for free.
As a boy I read ‘For the Term of His natural Life’ by Marcus Clarke and was enthralled by the struggles of the indomitable Rufus Dawes against the brutal gaoler Captain Frere and was chilled by the descriptions of the brutal penal colony of Van Dieman’s land.
With my Kindle I was able to find and download it with no trouble, it took me nearly four minutes and cost 96p.

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