I, for one, won’t be buying an Amazon ‘Kindle’, at least for some time yet. I think the prediction of this being ‘iPod for books’ is way off for the simple reason that the media are totally different. Music is not physical. Sure, you could thumb through the album artwork, and that was a great bonus with a 12″ gatefold. But it was always subsiduary to the actual thing: the music. And music is simply to be listened to. In stereo. No more.
With a book, the text is the object. Fine – the text can be inked digitally, but what I don’t think can be replicated is the ‘flick value’ of a book. I never just read a book – I read a bit, flick around, look at the cover again, turn back… It’s a much more physical experience than we often think. And I just don’t want to give that up.
With music, the emotional centre is the listening. With a book, the whole object – the spine, the binding, the font, the leading, the stock – all of these things are tied up with the emotional content of the actual text.
I read news online. But a novel? Forget it. Won’t kindle no spark for me.