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Old 11-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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British novelist doesn't want a Kindle for Christmas

Well, really, who is going to complain given the current shortage of Kindle readers? But if do you care, Andrew Norman Wilson explained today in a short column in the Daily Telegraph why nothing is going to replace the good old dusty, crumbling, smelly paper book any time soon.

Quote:
Alone with my book, I am impregnable. It beats any drug, and it is so cheap. Eyes do the scrolling, and you do not need to recharge their batteries. As for reading a newspaper on a Kindle - how do you scribble telephone numbers on it, or half-finish the crossword?
Mr. Wilson turns out to be one of the more visible literary figures in Britain. Do your kids use the Internet? Watch out. You may have just turned them into thieving mind-numbed sex-addicted little monsters. Paper children books to the rescue.

Thanks to eagle-eyed Jorgen for the tip!

(image courtesy of New York Times)
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:22 AM   #2
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A.N.Wilson: 'The internet is destroying the world as we know it'.
Mr. Wilson is quite right, the internet is destroying the world as THEY know it. Should we mourn such a world? I do not think so (of course, this comment is NOT about books). The books may be cheap and ubiquitous from his point of view but it is no so from everyone's perspective. Books will always have a special charm and I hope they will always stay with us but, ultimately, electronic readers will provide a better reading experience, for less money, to more people.
Quote: 'Kindles flip from page to page. Presumably you can flip back a page, but even if you can do so in seconds, this will be longer than the split second that it takes us to turn back a page when you want to check the name of a character in a novel or to refresh your memory of who is speaking.'. It is a very safe bet that the paper book will lose the fast page flipping contest very soon. As for the memory refreshing, I expect the next gen. of e-readers to find me all occurrences of a specific word or a phrase in the read part of a book. It is a thing where a paper book definitely does not excel and never will.
In short, Mr. Wilson may be a writer, but I do not think he is a visionary.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:04 AM   #3
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I agree with his comments about the internet. Every time I download an ebook from the internet I have to watch those ugly sex-oriented advertisements and I hate it! Why can't they just advertise ringtones or t-shirts?

Otherwise I disagree with him on e-readers, but that's maybe because I am not a visible literary figure.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:12 AM   #4
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I am about to retire for the evening and read a serious e-boook downloaded from Fictionwise regarding treatment for depression (written by a reputable psychiatrist and recommended to me by my doctor). I really appreciate that I can do this without having to go out and find a bookstore that may or may not stock the book in question. I would most likely have to drive for about 50 minutes and struggle with parking to get to such a store. However thanks to this (according to Mr Wilson) evil entity called the internet, I can access this information readily, no matter where I might reside. Yes the internet does have an evil side to it, however this can be mediated by people being aware that there is a lot of misinformation out there and also parents monitoring their children's on-line access and activities.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:42 AM   #5
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Please tell me the name of the book on depression.

The internet will end the world as we know it? The world never was the world that we knew anyway. What a load of drivel.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #6
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It's already been proven by Baen and others that electronic publishing works best in parallel to hardcopy, not as a replacement.

People can surf the cheap ebooks, and what they like, they will buy in hardcopy.

Also, it's particularly amusing to me that he mentions the Bible as one of his irreplaceable books, as I stopped carrying mine in favor of MyBible on my Palm years ago. If you're actually using the Bible for something more than a Sunday morning fashion statement, the electronic version is so much better, what with full text search, faster indexing by chapter and verse, and all the reference materials you could ask for.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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If you want more of this sort of "technology is ending the world/civilization," try Neil Postman's Technopoly. For the extreme of the other point of view, see Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital.

Myself, I tend to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I regret the "sound-bite" pace the world seems to move at now, but I love being able to exchange opinions and info with people all over the world.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycropht View Post
A.N.Wilson:Mr. Wilson is quite right, the internet is destroying the world as THEY know it. Should we mourn such a world? I do not think so (of course, this comment is NOT about books). ....
Ha, great line! Yes, it's destroying the world as THEY know it. Thank goodness. These people that are so afraid of change are the ones left behind. I mean, seriously, is opening the reading world to more options a bad thing? He's a joke.
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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This guy is a real idiot. He assumes the Kindle has a lit-up screen and is concerned that it may not be as clear as printed type. He has obviously never been near one. Then again, look at his picture. I think he still uses LP records and gets up to change channels on his TV.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #10
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ANW has obviously decided that he just doesn't want to join us in the 21st century. That's fine... just so he stays out of the way, and doesn't whine too loudly about getting left behind.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo View Post
I agree with his comments about the internet. Every time I download an ebook from the internet I have to watch those ugly sex-oriented advertisements and I hate it! Why can't they just advertise ringtones or t-shirts?
Maybe the answer to that is only download legit e-books?
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:31 PM   #12
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Oh, be nice! And I was going to ask him what those naughty, naughty e-book sites were. (Just for the sake of avoiding them, you understand.)
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:48 PM   #13
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"how do you scribble telephone numbers on it, or half-finish the crossword?"

I couldn't help laughing about the above comment. I don't know about u but on my reader I just pull out the stylus and start writing - its no big deal.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:52 PM   #14
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If you look through my entire collection of novels, magazines and comics, you won't find a single scribbled phone number or half-finished crossword. Phone numbers go into my phone or PDA, and crosswords... like ANW... are so last century. Somebody clue 'em to sudoku.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #15
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A N Wilson is well-known for his old-fashioned, almost Victorian attitudes. I would have been amazed if he had liked an electonic reader.
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