Sony are hoping that they’ve come up with the book-equivalent of the iPod with their new hand-held reader.
Remember all the fuss a few years back about e-books?
At the time there were claims that we’d have an e-book winning the Booker prize (an E-Booker?) but after a lot of fuss and hype, they didn’t really take off.
Apparently Sony think the reason was the quality of the technology, but I’m not so sure.
What about the smell of a new book?
The sound of a page turning?
Knowing how far you have read by the thickness of the remaining pages?
The bereavement of turning the last page.
And the extravagance of time spent reading in the bath.
Compare that to what the Sony Reader can offer you:
View from nearly any angle, in any light
Increased text size, up to 200%
Even though previous attempts to market e-book readers have not done well, there are some advantages – for people who need large text, or people who want to carry many books (or other files) around with them.
But at $300 -$400 – plus the price of the books, I’m sticking with the sensuous pleasure of reading a real book.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.