In yesterday’s Guardian, an article in the technology section caught my attention. The article is mainly about how there are a number of different formats for e-books at present, including The Kindle and the Sony Reader and whether, in the future, there will be a standard e-book reader which is flexible enough to cope with a range of different publishing formats. What’s very interesting of course is that these e-book readers are designed to be of a similar size to a paperback novel and to look like a standard print book. I guess the psychology here is that we are more likely to buy something which, while not the same as what we are used to and like, is very similar. This of course raises the question about what we really like about print books e.g. is it turning the pages? Or is it more to do with having physical objects on your shelves which not only decorate your room but give you a feeling of being physically near intellectually creative works?
I’m touching wood before I write this, as my back has recovered a good deal and I can go out cycling for a couple of hours without coming back feeling as if I’ve been subject to a session on one of those medieval contraptions which stretched the innocent until they not only said they were guilty, but also felt guilty. Spring time cycling hereabouts is made easier because there is more to see along the country lanes – the hawthorn blossom (see picture below), the new leaves on the trees and bright yellow gorse on the hillsides. It’s easier because it can take your mind off the strain of getting up the hills. Of course, there is that well known song so familiar to cyclists – The Last Hill is the Steepest.