I have done it. I have purchased my first e-book. I realise I'm not being any sort of trail blazer with this announcement - e-books and readers have been around a while now. But up until today I've just not got round to joining this particular reading revolution. I'm not even sure why not, being a fan of books, reading and technology (with a particular penchant for gadgets that begin with 'i').
Perhaps it's because I have a pile (actually more than one) of books that I haven't yet read, I have ones that I look at and determine to re-read because I loved them first time round, I have a never ending list of 'books to read' and regularly add more to my creaking shelves despite promises to myself not to until I have read every single one I already own. Do I really need another way to lead me into temptation?
Then, when I was browsing for other apps I came across the Kindle one - and could not resist. I tend to binge buy, and there is something all too easy about online purchasing, so I limited myself to getting just two (for now) - uncharacteristically restrained of me. I bought Ben Hatch's 'Are We Nearly There Yet?' and Nicola Morgan's 'Write a Great Synopsis' - choices influenced by hearing about both of these on Twitter.
So here I am, iPad in hand reading my first e-book. It is a different experience of course. I love the feel and smell of books, the turn of the pages, but it's no less pleasurable (the choice of books obviously helps!). As with all things online, the accessibility and ease with which you can you can buy e-books, and the prices, make them an attractive option. And to me that's just what they are - another option.
This definitely does not mean the end of books as I know and love them. Like so many other things I now do, I believe this new electronic option will sit comfortably with the more traditional and I can pick and choose which I use according to circumstance, day or mood. I now, for example, tend to read newspapers online during the week, but my weekends aren't complete without a trip to the paper shop for the Guardian and the Observer, I have a growing iTunes collection but still buy and play CDs, I shop online but still regularly visit local shops.
Despite some gloomy previous predictions of damage the internet and all things online could cause, newspapers are still in business, shops are still open, and the world hasn't ended. Changed, yes - but isn't that just what happens? The world changes, progresses, evolves, it will always happen. I think e-books are actually more of an evolution rather than a revolution - and if it gets more people reading, surely that's got to be a good thing.
Now, I must get back to that e-book!