Sony Reader v. Newspaper - old and new a day after "the world changed".
Photograph by Ernesto Priego, Metropolitan line, November 5.
There is something of an E-book buzz right now, and after all the wait I'm pleased. Oprah went big on Amazon's Kindle a couple of weeks ago, and last night Harper Collins CEO Victoria Barnsley told a crowd at the LSE that the instant shopping angle of wireless enabled e-books such as the Kindle (in the USA) is a vital part of the e-book tipping point.
Forget the e-books can't furnish a room arguments (AKA male bookshelf status anxiety) and even the tactile angles. So much of the snobbery about e-books sounds just like journalists talking about the web a decade or so ago. They are coming.
Books, like newspapers, aren't about to vanish, but the lastest e-readers, like the Kindle and the Sony Reader (and even, just about, literary texts on the IPhone) are increasingly warm experiences. They are also amazing academic resources: imagine travelling with your entire doctoral bibliography, or every literary influence on the writings of - say - Doris Lessing.
So here, if you are going to go E-reader this Christmas, is a great South African - and culturally early - crime (e)-novel with 2020 dystopia, corporate apartheid, a rave review from Andre Brink AND...an added soundtrack. The novel, by Lauren Beukes, is called Moxyland. It is...
...the first ebook to contain an embedded music soundtrack. The soundtrack was compiled by African Dope Records to suit the mood and feel of the book's storyline. Arthur Attwell, Publishing Director of Electric Book Works says "To be worth buying and reading, an ebook should offer something that the print book can't offer. Ebooks offer many possibilities, including sound, links, colour, interactivity, and an almost unlimited number of pages. It’s important to take advantage of these."
So says publishers, Electric Book Works, of Cape Town, South Africa. And here's the publishers of the soundtrack. Did you know PDFs could embed sound? Me neither.
Full text of Victoria Barnsley's lecture at the LSE, via The Bookseller.