Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The never-ending march of technology

Can anybody really see this take off? Or this? I mean, really?

(Good comments if you scroll down - what kind of person reads Crime and Punishment on a PDA?)


  1. I can see that it would be extremely useful for things like legal or medical textbooks - the sort of enormous reference library that students and practitionares would love to have at their fingertips and be able to cross-reference, but can't at the moment, as would mean carting around an entire trailer full of books. Also getting instant updates would be very useful in those fields.

    For the rest of us, though - sigh. Why not just read a book?

  2. Exactly. Perfect for schools and universities. No more tiny children running round ruining their spines with rucksacks full of books.

    But for the rest of us - sigh indeed...

  3. Agree with Marie. But they are not touting them as for students/medics etc. they are touting them as alternatives to books which we read. It has not yet dawned on any of them that people who read books for pleasure love the feel, format, smell, size, shape in the hand, compactness, ease of access and storage, illustrative and typographical features of the book. These objects are as attractive as mobile phones - more bits of grey plastic stuff and unpleasant to read from...we do not want, need or like them. We love books.
    But they won`t give up until they have designed and made masses of the things and they have failed to sell to the market they are targeting. Which is the wrong market.

  4. If I depended upon Yummy Mummy customers with their fashion accessory add-ons then I might be worried about losing sales : the palm reader customers are more likely to be those who purchase (discounted) on line and never enter real bookshops.

    You can just see them queuing up in Tesco to get a (discounted) download of the latest Stephen King on their palm reader, in much the same way as a teenager getting a top-up card for their mobile phone.

  5. We have to rely on heavy book buyers being as weird about books as we are really.

    I would never read a book off an e-reader!

    Just as with the argument re libraries and books there are always going to be those (who don't love books) who fail to understand why others (who do love them) get upset about measures that appear to be designed to get rid of the book as we know it - a fantastic technology that has worked for thousands of years as a method of spreading the written word...

  6. I love the way it says there are several different ways of turning a page.

    I mean, what's wrong with, er, turning pages?