Monday, 1 February 2010


I greatly enjoyed Simon Jenkins' combative and intelligent defence of the traditional book format (that's ink on paper, for our younger readers) in The Guardian last Friday. Simon headed his piece:
Palms, Kindles, Nooks, iPads – none are as cool as Gutenberg's gadget
and unleashes a wonderful first salvo thus:
Ohmygod the book is dead – yet again. Another assassin, the iPad, wings its way across the Atlantic, sowing shock and awe and bringing angels of death to mainstream everything. Those still smearing black gunge on dead trees are portrayed as Hare Krishna nutters, banging the drum for the old religion. They are so completely yesterday. Whataboy, Jobs. Buy Apple. Gimme another freebie.
He then goes on to place the current e-books phenomenon within sensible perspectives of economics and the history of technology, and ends by proclaiming:
I am amused that each development of the e-book renders its pages more like print on paper. Its LED gets more like daylight, its page-turning more finger-friendly, its packaging more appealing. I am sure a Californian boffin will one day invent an e-book that needs no electricity and has floppy pages you can dog-ear. He might even call it a book.

It's well worth reading the whole article and the responses, across the whole spectrum of opinion, that it has provoked.


1 comment:

Lulu said...

Stuart Maconie once called Dido 'music for people who don't like music'. E-readers are books for people who don't like books.