Reviews

‘Christine Poulson’s wonderful sense of place brings Cambridge to life. Cassie overcomes the problems facing her with wit and guile aplenty and ensures the reader’s empathy from first word to last . . . an enthralling and engaging read that underlines Christine’s burgeoning reputation as a crime novelist to watch.’ [Stage Fright]

- SHOTS MAGAZINE

Death of a Kindle!

One of the books on my Christmas list was Shaun Bythell’s The Diary of a Book-Seller – and what a great read it turned out to be. The frustrations of the book-seller’s life are many and they include customers who browse and then buy the book from Amazon online. At one point he shoots a broken Kindle, mounts it in the style of a deer’s head, and hangs it on a wall in the bookshop with the inscription ‘Amazon Kindle Shot by Shaun Bythell, 24 August 2014, near Newton Stewart.’

I am not tempted to shoot my own Kindle, but this has got me thinking about little I use it. There was a honeymoon period when I first got it five years ago, when I used it a lot. I do still take it on holiday with me, and sometimes to read on the train to London, but at home weeks can go by without my opening it. At one time I used to read it in bed when I couldn’t sleep, but now I listened to an audiobook instead. I’ve realised that the light from the screen keeps me awake, and so I don’t read it last thing either. And it seems unwise to read it in the bath . . .

In all sorts of ways I am happier with a print version of a book, especially if is a book that I want to re-read. I like to be able to flip back and forward. I like the book as an object, the cover, the look of the type on the page. If it’s not a book I’ll want to read again, I still like a print version that I can take to a charity shop so that someone can buy it and perhaps be introduced to a new writer and go on to buy their other books.

It seems I am not alone. There was a lot of publicity last year about a drop in e-book sales and a resurgence of the printed book. So, how about you? E-book or (as I think of it) real book?