Thursday, September 9, 2010

The future of books

After months of dithering, a writer fires up her e-reader and finds an electrifying narrative. " is precisely country mice like me who need remote access to books," she says.

For nearly a decade, George Eliot's Mill on the Floss was my favourite book. I read it once a year. My Penguin edition eventually cracked under the strain, but I also had a cloth-bound Macmillan pocket edition, printed in 1922 and owned by many others before me. It was the first gift I received from a boy. Recently I realised I had neglected this holy of holies, maybe because the type had somehow got much smaller.

So I downloaded it on my Kindle. Friends who know my low-tech habits are surprised that I own an electronic reader, but it is precisely country mice like me who need remote access to books. When the e-reader was first marketed, I planned to wait for the technology to reach India, find out where to order, and then boldly mull it over.

But the decision was made for me. My brother bought me the Kindle, set it up, gave me a demo and downloaded my first e-book. That was last December. I wish I could say, like the hero of The Time Machine, that “I flung myself into futurity.” Instead, my first e-book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, sat alone and unread on my Kindle for six months before I downloaded Mill.

Full report here Hindu

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