On Monday the online retailer Amazon is tipped to release its electronic reading device known as the Kindle. This is not the first device of this kind. Sony have been trying out this market for several years now without great success. But as the technology develops I think these kinds of machines will be a great addition to my reading life. [Edit: here’s a lot more on this device from Newsweek].
Over at January Magazine Linda L. Richards has a thoughtful piece on how reading is changing and how despite all predictions, the book isn’t going away just yet:
Since the dawn of the electronic age, people have been talking about the death of the book. After all the book was designed centuries ago. It is a musty idea. Archaic. How is it possible it’s lasted even this long? Here we have electronic options. Hyperlinked hypertext accessible in hyperspace. Smooth, streamlined, you feel au courant just thinking about it. How can a musty old book compete with any of that?
And yet, here we are, fully 25 years beyond the point where I first heard someone forecast the death of the book. The book in traditional form survives — nay thrives — because it works. It’s a good design. It’s practical.