The book that isn’t really thereDecember 18, 2008
Waterstones recently saved me from myself by selling out of the new Sony reader before I got to the shop. One of the reasons I didn’t pursue it was that the reader itself is scarily near to £200 and, apart from the free classics (many of which we already have mouldering away in the loft) the books themselves didn’t seem to be any cheaper than the paper versions. So unless you were planning to go on a long journey with a very small amount of luggage, it seemed like an expensive way of not being able to read in the bath.
However… I was wrong about the cost of the e-books. Penguin are selling Ruso and the Demented Doctor for £6.99, which is pretty darned cheap considering that it’s only available in hardback at the moment – and I guess it would save on shelf space.
For the uncomputered (who by definition won’t read this anyway) audiobooks are now being produced on little plastic players not much bigger than a box of matches. Hopefully, they’ll be coming soon to a library near you.
None of them is likely to be much good for handing down to the grandchildren in years to come, though. Especially if you’ve tried reading it in the bath.