Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Just Heard a Lady on the Radio...

...saying that she loves her Kindle but that it doesn't replace books. If she likes a book enough on Kindle, she buys the paper copy.

It seems to me that this is quibbling over the word "replace". Kindles (or e-readers, I suppose I should so) may not make books obsolete but it seems to me inevitable that they will replace some books, or even many books, or even most books. What also seems inevitable to me is that only famous or best-selling books will be easily available in paper, while most-- and the most interesting and eccentric ones, much of the time-- will be relegated to cyberspace.

We constantly hear the analogy that, when TV became a popular medium, people fretted that it would be the death of cinema. Well, it wasn't the death of cinema, but it was certainly the death of cinema as it had existed until then. There were fifty-six cinemas in Dublin in 1956 (it says here). Today I doubt there are even twenty. Admittedly, the cinemas in the fifties would have been single-screen cinemas, and the cinemas today are mostly multiplex. But, on the other hand, Dublin was about half the size it is now in 1956.

I will never read an e-book. I'm resolved.

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