No, I haven't become a practitioner of nefarious dark arts or any such thing. Worse - I've bought a Kindle! This is probably not what counts as news to the vast majority of you. But it is something I've resisted for years. I love books. I love the thick, spotted pages and mildewy smell of old books - they may not be history books themselves, but they have a history. I love the smooth feel and shiny covers of new books. I love that feeling when your favourite author has written a new one and you're waiting for it to arrive. I always read all the dedications, acknowledgements, author biography etc. before I will even allow myself to start the story. And because of this love, I really don't want to contribute to the demise of the book.
However - and you knew there was a 'however' coming - one of the consequences of my love of books is that, unless I hated it, I find it almost impossible to pass a book on. My bookcases are overflowing with reading matter, I have piles of books on the floor, jammed on top of the books on the shelves, piling up in unexpected places ... none of which is good for the books. And I can't afford to move. ;)
Add that to the fact that more and more authors seem to be releasing digital-only material, as well as the fact that the digital versions of their full-length books are often significantly cheaper, and I was on the horns of a dilemma. Stick to my principles and eventually find myself on one of those chronic hoarder programmes, or back down and buy that sneaky piece of tech?
In the end, I was able to reconcile myself to my u-turn by reminding myself that this would mean I could read more books for the same price (and a lot less space) and that I would still be buying hard copies of my favourites, along with any reference books - I do not want to look at glossy pictures on a hand-held device - as well as my other favourite - blank books. I love sketchbooks and notebooks; the blank pages just cry out to be filled.
So the digital revolution has claimed another victim. I hold my hand up - I sold out. But I have to confess, I am really enjoying using the Kindle ... ;)