A wise quote from Stephen Fry

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As a bookseller I have mixed feelings about this.

Kindles are fine for novels and other things things that are only read sequentially. They suck for references. They are really slow to navigate, and you can’t have enough links to overcome this. Their formating options are too limited. They handle images poorly. And their character sets are too limited.

They’re fine for disposable fiction.

They are more costly. The ‘books’ cost about the same amount as a mass market paperback, which can handle three or four careful readings before it is unsellable. If you buy used and trade in for your next purchase, you can feed a reading habit for about one fourth the kindle price, and that is not counting the cost of the kindle.

There are very few better gifts of a signed first of a book that the recipient especially loves.

Many people like to keep their books as trophies.

A visible book cover is also good for social signaling. If I see a woman reading something like ‘Manipulating Your Man with Astrology’ I know to just move on, no matte how hot she is.

On the other hand if real books do become a niche item, the decline in physical quality will be halted and probably reversed. No perfect binding, half cloth covers, acidic or otherwise shitty paper.

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