Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B


I mentioned in my last update that I downloaded Frankenstein, and I did that by getting a free copy on Kindle for Mac which is the software equivalent of using a Kindle. I'd installed the software a couple of weeks ago since I found a new book by one of my favourite authors (Guy Gavriel Kay) and since from previous experience I know it's unlikely to get into my local bookshops I'd have had to order it anyway. Initially I found it a little difficult to read the text since when you page down it takes a moment for your eyes to track to where they should be, but after about half-an-hour I'd got the knack (or should I say "knally"!) of it.
I'm pondering getting a physical Kindle, but I'm a bit concerned that the size of the page means I'll have to scroll down a lot since I read quickly, or if I make the font smaller I'll have to take my reading glasses with me everywhere. But it would be useful on holidays since you can load several books, including travel guides on one device.

I am a bit ambivalent about ebook readers, since on the one hand they cut down on clutter, and they could be better for the environment if you read a lot (the jury's still out on this argument.) On the other hand it will certainly mean job losses for publishers and book shops, although I think secondhand book shops will continue since there's bound to be books that never make it to electronic status. For example this weekend I went into my local secondhand shop to see if they had any "Worrals" books. Worrals was the heroine of a set of books by Captain W. E. Johns famous for Biggles. I think I read all of his books I could find when I was younger, and although you can still come across Biggles books, the Worrals are a lot rarer. The assistant in the shop not only knew what I was talking about but remembered seeing one of the series in a box of books they'd just bought.

And if I go for the Kindle and not one of the other e-readers, is that abetting Amazon's plans to create a monopoly? At the moment popular ebooks are cheaper than paperbacks, but if Amazon cuts out the publishers and gets the majority of the market, how long before it puts prices up? There's an interesting article in the New Yorker about what's going on in this area.

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