Sunday, 27 July 2008

E-books

There has been a lot of press about e-books lately and Philippa, my agent, contacted me about them on Friday in relation to Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror. I'm not really sure what I think about them. I suppose my overwhelming feeling is that there is a feeling of inevitability about it, whether personally I embrace it or not.

Will it be good for writers or not? I don't know. I certainly don't see why it should necessarily be bad. Owning an iPod has definitely rekindled my love of music, not diminished it. It has changed the way I listen and the way I buy, it's true, but so what?

I love books - the feel of them, the look of them, the smell of them. I can't see me giving them up for a lump of plastic, but there is something very appealing about having a machine that could house all the books I need for research or a few novels for long trips. As I say - it is going to happen, come what may. As a writer, the issue is how (and how much) will we be paid?

I suppose one result might be that it will be harder for reading crazes - like Harry Potter - to happen. That relies on everyone knowing what you are reading. It requires visibility. That needs book jackets.

And speaking of book jackets, of course - e-books aren't great news for graphic designers are they? I bought a brilliant book called Seven Hundred Penguins recently - a survey of Penguin book jackets. It saddens me to think that the book jacket might become a thing of the past.

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