oh my, there is so much in these articles...
i very much appreciated Naomi Alder's conclusion :
What we're seeing isn't the death of the book, but the creation of a new art form.
That form is still in its infancy, but as a novelist I'm excited by the creative opportunities it will bring. Meanwhile, as a reader, I'm simply excited by the possibility of regaining some floorspace. The e-reader will never completely replace paper books, but it's got an awful lot to recommend it.
it's nothing new to us, but it's true and well put, and it's nice to see her recognizing the benefits and pointing out some of the real values of ebooks, whilst acknowledging that they can live side-by-side with paper books, to the benefit of everyone.
by contrast, Peter Conrad sounds like a real imbécile, with his silly, fantanstical doom and gloom scenario. i find it revealing that his strongest criticisms have nothing to do with either the device or the medium taken absolutely, but only, specifically (and more or less irrelevantly) with the *formatting* of the specific edition he is reading ; it's poorly done, unattractive, and that makes ebooks as a whole undesirable.
well, i don't know about you, but i've seen plenty of cheap paper books which were printed on low-quality paper, too-small typeface, dirty print, not well proofread, no illustrations or lovely cover... in the inverse of his example, i bought a cheap school (paper) edition of Pride and Prejudice to take on vacation last summer, but i was so rebuffed by the unattractive edition that i couldn't get started. i only got around to reading it when i got an ebook of it, which was infinitely more agreeable to look at (and i'm not even talking about harry's illustrated version available here, which is even *more* attractive than the one i first found, and orders of magnitude more agreeable than the paper book i had).
he calls the iliad "a fashion accessory". well naturally. i always choose my reading material to match my handbag, don't you ?
but my favorite part is his conclusion as well :
The Iliad is about the fall of a civilisation; the iLiad, aiming to render books made of paper obsolete, wants to bring about the end of a culture. Some hope!
good god !! man the pumps !!! alert the authorities !!! send up the bat-signal !!!! IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT !!!!
it sincerely amazes me how dense some people can be ! i honestly can't even understand how he could arrive at such a conclusion ; it doesn't seem to follow logically from *anything* you could possibly say about ebooks, liseuses, the act of reading... has he confused the iliad with WMDs ? seriously, who is this guy ? and where did they find him ???