For the printed book purist, the mere suggestion of libraries lending eBooks conjures up images of empty shelves, redundant librarians and tumbleweeds drifting across abandoned buildings. However, leaving aside sentimental arguments about the superiority or inferiority of the different formats, the reality is that many libraries now offer a selection of eBooks available for download. Although eBook lending is growing, several questions need to be asked about the future development of this new technology. Most importantly, with so many libraries under significant financial pressure, are eBooks actually worth the investment?
Tag Archives: Kindle
Welcome to my 100th post! I got a Kindle for Christmas this year. I wasn’t that bothered about HD, 3G, colour screens and lights and all the other fancy accessories so I just got the standard model with an E Ink screen and bought a leather cover for less than £2 from eBay this morning. I haven’t put any eBooks on it yet but will make sure I get it well stocked very soon…
The eBook debate continues to rage incessantly and provoke some very important questions. Is the controversy less about the value of books and more about the development of modern technology? Who are the winners and the losers in this supposed eBook revolution? Does it really matter what format books are available in? For many people, it certainly does.
Although I don’t actually own an e-reader yet, I do plan to get a Kindle soon (hopefully for Christmas this year) after borrowing my sister’s one earlier this summer. I will be using it almost exclusively for when I’m commuting by train as it is the practical side of e-readers which appeals to me the most.
Disturbing, powerful and thought-provoking in equal measure, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess tells the story of Alex, a 15 year old anti-hero in a dystopian future who carries out theft, rape and murder before ending up in prison where he is put through an experiment in an attempt to cure him. Anyone who has tried to read my Kindle over my shoulder on the train to work this week will probably have regretted it. The book is pretty brutal. Continue reading
‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruis Zafón is a book that has been on my ‘Probably Won’t Buy But Might Borrow From Someone Someday’ book list for a very long time. As I am still in possession of my sister’s Kindle, I finally read it this week. Set in post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona, a young boy named Daniel comes across a novel by the mysterious author Julian Carax called ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ in the Cemetery of Lost Books. The story of what happened to Carax slowly unravels through the book. Continue reading
Today I read ‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins, the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy. This final installment sees Katniss become a Mockingjay leading all the Districts in a rebellion against the Capitol. Like with ‘Catching Fire’, I have slightly mixed feelings about ‘Mockingjay’. I think this was because I didn’t really feel sucked in to the story even though this was the grand finale of the series. For me, this was because Katniss was a pawn rather than an active participant in the war so I think it dragged a bit for that reason. As for the Katniss-Gale-Peeta triangle, it seems like Collins has been trying so hard to avoid the obvious clichés that she forgot to develop the male characters properly which is something that has bothered me since the beginning because as a reader, I didn’t really care who she ended up with. Continue reading
I don’t own an e-reader so I borrowed my sister’s Kindle this week. She lent it to me specifically so that I could read ‘Nothing to Envy’ by Barbara Demick which is based on accounts of life in North Korea. Unsurprisingly, it is an extremely harrowing read. Demick cleverly interweaves the stories of six North Korean defectors with descriptions of everyday life in North Korea including working in a hospital, life in a labour camp, reactions to the death of Kim Il-Sung, how people survived during the extreme food shortages in the mid-1990s and life after defecting from North Korea.
Demick’s absorbing account of a real life dystopia is both shocking and captivating. The opening of the book is particularly striking. At the beginning of the first chapter, the reader is confronted with a satellite image of North and South Korea taken at night-time (similar to the one below). North Korea is almost entirely in darkness because electricity is so scarce. But it didn’t always used to be like this. Continue reading