The Slipstream

A degree of the surreal,

The not-entirely-real,

And the markedly anti-real.

Pop-ups, Playaways, and Cruising for Kindles

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I can’t resist starting with a book in a different form that I’m totally in love with—namely, my pop-up book of Bram Stoker’s Dracula! When I was in Paris for the Liberator tour, I wandered into a quirky bookshop selling every imaginable art book at a discount price—and I discovered a pop-up version of Dracula in English. It’s a work of art in itself: the sheer intricacy and variety of the way the pop-up flaps rise up off the page is amazing.

The Wolf Leaps Out On Board the SS Demeter

It’s also amazing in the sheer economy of the way it tells the story. I’ve always had a problem with graphic novels – they move at the wrong pace for me. Mostly they’re just too slow, so many different frames for every single action and movement. Whereas my Dracula tells the story in only seven big double-page pop-up pictures and about a hundred small comic-s size pictures ( some of which have their own small pop-ups). Seriously, the whole story of the original novel! It zooms in on the heart of key scenes and lets them spread out like a ripple in a pond, giving information through different aspects of the image. Normally, I only ever read books once, but I’ve read/viewed Dracula a dozen times already.

Lucy In Her Bedroom, While Dracula Lurks In Bat-form On The Roof

On to ebooks and audio books … A few months ago, I’d have had nothing much to say about either; I’d read a novel, some short stories and a couple of PhD theses on my iPad, but only because I couldn’t carry the weight of print material around. I’ve always loved the physical feel of a real book; the look of the cover and the smell of the pages are part of the reading experience to me. But for the last six weeks, I haven’t been able to read ordinary print. I had an operation on one eye (which was a total success, I’m glad to report) and the eye changed from shortsighted to longsighted. Now I need reading glasses as never before—but I’ve had to wait for the eye to settle down before even getting tested for new specs. So for the past six weeks, I’ve had to experiment with books in other forms.

My first experiment was with audio books – I especially like the Playaway ones, which are the size of an iPod, and you listen to them in an iPod way, attaching your own ear-buds. I tried non-fiction, The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge. I’m really fascinated by those new discoveries—about how the brain isn’t fixed, one part for each function, but can re-wire itself from the synapses available. It wasn’t great as audio book, though, and I found myself often wanting to fast forward and skip to the interesting bits. I’m not sure whether it was the fault of Dodge’s writing or the audio book form. It couldn’t have been my fault, of course!

I had an entirely different experience when I bought a Playaway of The Spook’s Apprentice, by Joseph Delaney. It’s a wonderful supernatural story for YA readers, and contains some truly eerie scenes and creepy old-style tension. I‘m sure it was all the more scary because I listened to it. Hearing someone telling a ghost story is so much better than reading it on the page! The pauses, the lowered voice, the thrilling delivery that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck … the fear transmits directly, like vibrations through floorboards.

I can prove how much it sucked me in: I did some of my listening when I was out walking for exercise, and I’ve never done so much exercise in my life. I had to keep walking so that I could hear what happened next!

My second experiment was with ebooks. Instead of reading at an ordinary print size, I blew the font up larger than large on my iPad. I’ve just finished reading A Darkling Plain, number four in Phillip Reeve’s “Mortal Engines” series—great steampunk fantasy, though maybe you need to have read the three previous novels to enjoy it. I not only enjoyed it, I enjoyed reading it on my iPad because the (enlarged) pages whizzed past so fast. My wrist would be aching if I’d had to turn so many pages, but a tap on the side of the screen, and the story just soared and flew along!

Now I’m a convert, and I’m planning to buy myself an e-reader. My iPad is fine, but it’s still a backlit screen, and I want an e-reader with e-ink for all the e-fiction I now expect to read. I wasn’t impressed by the Kindles I saw in the past, but I’ve since seen a Sony e-reader (belonging to Jessica Francis, just before the launch of Kate Forsyth’s latest, Bitter Greens), and my eyes almost fell out of my head. The print on the screen was so sharp and clear, and the unit itself so unbelievably slim!

But what kind of e-reader? I want to download Kindle books and iBooks—can the Sony do that without problems? Or conversely, have the latest Kindles improved since the early ones? I don’t want to make a choice I’ll regret, so if anyone with experience of e-readers can give me some guidance, please help me out!

I have known Richard Harland since his editor Dmetri Kakmi wrote to ask if I would write a copy line for his book. I almost never do that, mostly because I am not much into the process and perhaps because I fear being asked by someone I like to comment on something I don’t like. But in this case, Dmetri was persuasive and I am glad, because when I read Ferren and the Angel, I ADORED it, and I said so in the copy line. Richard wrote to thank me and that sealed a friendship and led to a devoted pen palship that has lasted ever since.

Richard is a very successful author, with 16 novels under his belt. He has won 6 Aurealis awards and the prestigious Tam Tam Je Bouquine Prize in France. His most successful books are his latest, the YA steampunk fantasies Worldshaker and the latest and greatest, Liberator, published in Australia, US, UK, France and Germany.

Richard has recently been awarded the 2012 Bertram Chandler Award – Australia’s premier award for lifetime achievement in science fiction.

In between being a writer, he is a brilliant university lecturer, and one of the most articulate people I know, so I was looking forward to his take on the eBook explosion.

52 Responses

  1. vauny says:

    I love my kindle. I too had no choice but to turn to ebooks while I was living in Japan and limited in access to English books (not to mention where was I to fit the amount of books I read in a Japanese apartment!). I spent most of my time reading fan-fiction just to have something to read. Then my kindle came along and saved my sanity.

    If you’re looking to get an e-reader I would say get a kindle simply for ease of use (amazon whispernet, the range available on the amazon site) thought I would avoid the kindle touch, since I just think is easier to keep your finger on a button than just have to keep moving it on and off he screen and if you get the 3G version. you can buy books pretty much anywhere (warning this can be super addicting and cause unwell credit cards!).

    If I were you though, I’d wait a bit longer since the rumour mill says amazon is releasing a kindle with coloured E-ink later ths year.

    • Maureen says:

      When I was on exchange in England and didn’t have an ereader, I read so much fan fiction just to have something to read. It was a revelation, let’s just say. Some was so bad and some was actually pretty good. I think I ended up reading every single Doctor Who fic I could find before I gave up and shelled out money at a book store and begged my aunt for something to read.

    • Richard Harland says:

      ALL the Doc Who fan fic? Your brain must have expanded to the size of a zeppelin!! How could you ever take it all in?

    • Maureen says:

      Haha well maybe not ALL. But I was overseas for 6 months.It was a long time. It might be fairer to say, I read all of the new Dr Who fan fic, and some old stuff too on the side 😉

  2. Richard Harland says:

    So a kindle for ease of use? But can I purchase e-books from non-amazon sources if I have a kindle? Someone told me the other day I’d be locked into the mason store.

    • Vauny says:

      I think the kindle format is an amazon only file type but you can put ebooks on there using a freeware program called calibre, which will convert and automatically load ePub (which is the more common format you get from places like dymocks) and a few other file formats to your kindle.

      One thing though is that is doesn’t handle PDFs as well as the iPad. Though supposedly other eink based readers (like the nook) have the same problem. Supposedly the best option to read PDFs on e readers ate to go for the large screen version – like the kindle dx

    • Richard Harland says:

      I’ve made a note of ‘calibre’. I guess there’s always an answer … Though I know the software for file conversion can sometimes be clunky (I’m thinking of the software for converting between video formats.)

    • Richard Harland says:

      Whoops! That should’ve read Amazon store. My iPad’s so smart, it always thinks it knows better than me …

    • Min Dean says:

      This is going to sound like a digression but stick with me. I remember seeing a TV show where someone was remarking how wristwatches were going to be phased out of society, and when a father asked his daughter why this might be, she answered (to the effect of) “all it does is tell the time”.
      I sort of took this on board; why do we have a device that does only one thing when you can have a device that performs many functions?

      So, as a tech junkie, I’ll freely admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of kindles. They are single-use devices; you can only read books on them, and you are constrained to a single store (aren’t you?) and format.

      If I have one of those, I’ll still need to take my phone with me to get emails, browse the web, listen to music, take notes, play games, take photos, etc. If someone sends me a PDF or DOC to read, I can’t just port it to a kindle; I’ll need something else to read it on.
      So…why not just read books on my phone; and if I really want ‘kindle’, get the kindle for iDevices app? Then that’s one less thing to carry.

      I actually love reading on my iPad, with the added bonus that you can do everything else you’d ever need to do on it, too.
      The only thing I don’t like about the iPad is the size; it’s too big for a peak-hour commute. So rather than lug it around I fall back to reading on my iPhone, because I can hang on to the railing on the train, and read/browse with a single hand.
      And I know everyone says iPhone is too small to read on, but you should check out some of the great book apps that are out there. The font size is customisable and I have compared the size of the words on the iPhone to the size of the font in a book – they are nearly identical. You just have a lot more pages on the iPhone versions, but a page turn is just a tap of the thumb.
      Anyway *shrugs* that’s what works for me!

    • Richard Harland says:

      I like a large font size, especially if I’m not carrying my reading glasses. I’d be turning the page every half sentence!

      But yeah, I take the iPad with me for travelling, and I wouldn’t want to bother with extra devices. I’m thinking of an e-reader to replace print-book reading at home – I mean settling down to read for a few hours at a time.

  3. Maureen says:

    My brother went off fantasy as a genre for an age because he complained that fantasy writers weren’t concise enough in their story telling! He loves writers like Philip K Dick who write big concept ideas into short stories and novella’s. On a more humorous note, I remember when author Jim C Hines created Chuck Norris style jokes about Neil Gaiman, listing one as, “Neil Gaiman once wrote a Nebula-winning story using only the middle row of his keyboard,” various posters attempted to do just that… with some very creative results!

    One of my favourite books as a kid was Letters From Felix, about a bear who gets lost at an airport and has all of these travel adventures overseas, sending letters back to his owner as he goes. In the book, you could pull Felix’s letters out and read them and there was a cardboard suitcase at the back of the book to place the letters in if you liked, as well as the flags of the countries Felix visited. The story was so simple but I loved it because of the interaction and the mysteriousness of the different places Felix goes to. For me, reading is about a kind of immersion and interaction helps with that immersion.

    On the topic of audio books, as kids they were a firm favourite in the car on a holiday. My brother and I never read Deltora Quest as a book series- we listened to it on audio. I have some BBC ones now as well that I love to listen to on my ipod. A good reader or voice actor can really help sell a story to me. My family listened to Nicola Walker’s reading of Out of a Clear Sky by Sally Hinchcliffe as a BBC Book at Bedtime audio and it was very memorable. We all were thoroughly spooked by the way Nicola read the book on the audio.

    I have a kindle question too. I recently was sent pdf files of books for reviewing on my blog and I really would prefer to read them on my kindle but the books are not on amazon yet. Is there any way I can convert the pdf to an amazon kindle file type? This would help me out so much as at the moment I am reading a 130k approx. fantasy book on my computer. I find this so hard to do!

    • Emily Craven says:

      Hi Maureen,

      My thoughts in terms of that book you are reviewing is this: as a book blogger /reviewer, you are doing the author a favour by reviewing and writing about their work. You need to make a submissions section of your website, or perhaps state in an email that you will only take the book in kindle/mobi format. This is easy for the author to do (As stated above they can use the smashword conversion or hire a converter or do it with free softwear like calibre) and saves you the hastle. There’s no point in getting it in a format you don’t like, because you associate your hate with the book, which is bad on several accounts!

    • Maureen says:

      I was putting off making a submissions section till I had a bit more time but after this I think you are definitely right, Emily!

  4. Richard Harland says:

    It’s a worry – I’d like a e-reader that would last for life. Well, at least ten years. But who knows how much formats and the whole digital scene might change in ten years? I think of PDF as a fairly safe bet, and I’d like something with the flexibility to cope with that …

    • Min Dean says:

      Sounds like you’d enjoy an iDevice 🙂 (iPad or iPhone) – specifically for PDFs and even word documents (which I’ll be sent if I’m in editing mode and end up having to read through on the train).
      You can either get an app, or you can pull it into iBooks (a standard iDevice app). Plus you can install the (free) Kindle for iDevice app, if you want access to the kindle store on it.

    • Richard Harland says:

      I have the kindle app on my iPad, so I’m right there. For PDFs, my iPad will suggest opening in iBooks; for .doc(x)s, I have the Pages app (best $13 I ever spent) and my iPad offers to open in that.

    • Min Dean says:

      YES – the Pages app is brilliant!

      As for the brightness factor on the iPad that you mentioned in your article – do you have auto-brightness turned on? If no, give it a go – it’ll adjust automatically to whatever ambient light there is. If yes…then try turning the brightness slider right down, too.
      Also I’m looking forward to the new iPads with retina display – I’ve got a first-gen one but I’ll upgrade one day, when I can justify the cost. I’ve read some 3rd party reviews saying that the new iPad is the best device they’ve ever read on, period.

    • Richard Harland says:

      I had to check, but yes, I already had the auto-brightness turned on. My iPad is first generation too, and I need to update my laptop before I can justify a later model of iPad. Though I salivate at the thought …

  5. The iPad is still the best all round eReader imo. The new iPad renders text incredibly. You are also not locked in to one format but can load eBooks into generic reader apps, and buy books from the iBookstore, Kobo, Amazon and Nook. However, there is some restricted access to these stores in Australia unfortunately.
    I do like the smaller form factor of the Kindle Fire, which takes standard Kindle files and Amazon’s new KF8 format for fixed layout. The software is a bit janky compared to the iPad – it runs a version of Android – but it can also function as a web device via wifi and allow you to install Android apps (although not in Australia yet).
    The Kobo app on iPad has always been sluggish for me and seems to want to delete and reinstall my book list now and then. The social sharing functions are cute, but I have found them quite annoying at times. The app has been slow to start up and constantly crashing on me lately so I’ve pretty much given up on it.
    Some of the books I have loaded into the Nook app seem to have trouble rendering text correctly, but I’m not sure if this an issue with the Kobo app or the ePub files.
    I like the option of visiting other stores from the iPad and find its screen size good for as well. I’ve never liked eInk readers – they remind me of the etchasketch and I find the page changing ‘flash’ to be very distracting.
    I think Kindles are a good option if you’re mostly reading novels, but the iPad is the best device if you don’t want to be locked in to Amazon and want access to standard ePub and enhanced or fixed-layout eBooks from more vendors.

    • Maureen says:

      I’m really wishing I’d gotten an ipad now as I wish I could read and access those different formats! I was given the kindle as a gift and though I am happy with its readability and look etc, I do miss the ability to use other ebook formats.

    • Richard Harland says:

      I guess I’ll have an iPad anyway – I type whole novels up on my iPad, plus a hundred other uses. I,m just not fond of reading whole novels with a backlit screen – that’s the only reason I’m looking for an e-reader.

    • Emily Craven says:

      Unfortunately Kindles will only read the mobi format which locks you into buying from the Amazon store. Places like Smashwords produce their own kindle format but I’m unsure how that translates when reading on a kindle as I read my ebooks on an Asus tablet (Similar to an iPad but longer). I have both a kindle app on the tablet as well as an adobe digital books app which reads epub formats. Along with the adobe pdf reader I can read all formats on my tablet. The epub format (the one used by the apple store) can be read on sony readers now (I think???) and nooks.

      As a generation Y-er I find I have little trouble reading from a back-lit screen, though the size of my tablet is a little large to be easily carried I like the fact it’s about the same size as a print book page. Also a table allows you to store audio books 🙂

    • Richard Harland says:

      The Sony reader I saw was the one that particularly knocked my socks off – but I’m wary until I know what formats it can or can’t read. Does anyone know anything about Soney ereaders?

    • Emily Craven says:

      Direct from Wikipedia…
      Sony sells e-books for the Reader from the Sony eBook Library store in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Austria, Canada and it will be coming to France, Italy and Spain starting in Spring 2012.[1] The Reader also can display Adobe PDFs, ePub format, RSS newsfeeds, JPEGs, and Sony’s proprietary BBeB (“BroadBand eBook”) format. The Reader can play MP3 and unencrypted AAC audio files.
      Compatibility with Adobe digital rights management (DRM) protected PDF and ePub files allows Sony Reader owners to borrow ebooks from lending libraries in many countries.

    • Jo Turner says:

      Actually owning a kindle does not lock you into only buying from Amazon alone. I have downloaded books from Mobi, gutenberg and some individual book publishers. You just have to check what format each company provides (usually multiple formats). I have kindle2 and I love it. I just replaced the battery last month, and should be good for another five years. I also have the new Kindle Fire, which now fixes the Pdf issue – I download a lot of files to it instead of printing them off. While I would love an iPad, the cost is too high to justify it, and all the other benefits of the iPad, I already have in the iPhone. I also have the issue of eye strain from reading too long on on a back lit screen, so the e-ink from the kindle is great because I will read for long periods of time. The only issue with the Kindle, is that I really recommend every person should do their own homework on them before buying one (or more like me). I spent many months deciding on what I wanted it for, and reading forums and information before buying one. I don’t regret either of my purchases, and the only regret I do have is that I don’t have more time to read all the books I have at home and the books I have on the kindle.

    • Richard Harland says:

      Hi Jo! I don’t get as much reading time as I’d like, but when I do, it’s for hours at a stretch, so I’m totally with you as regards e-ink. But does the kindle give a really sharp, really black typeface? The ones I saw were a bit grey in the typeface.
      Reading that E-pub website, I learned that Sony actually produced the first e-ink reader, but then got left behind while others brought their ereaders to market.

    • Jo Turner says:

      Hi Richard – sorry have to reply here as it won’t let me reply after your comment.
      You are right, the older kindles are very grey looking, but I bought my partner a kindle 3 and its face is much more black on grey rather than grey on grey (which is what the kindle 2 has). His is much clearer too, and slightly smaller in size but with the same screen size. I haven’t used the kindle touch but a friend of mine has one and likes it a lot, although I cannot say anything to its clarity. I would recommend finding out if anybody you know has one and ask to look at it – most people are more than happy to show of their kindle or e-reader.
      It is interesting you mention that Sony produced the first e-ink reader – I remember reading about it and wishing I had one, but with the large purchase (it was more expensive than the iPad is now) it didn’t really take off. While I understand the aversion to monopoly of large conglomerates like Amazon that others have expressed here, we do really have to appreciate that if the other producers like Amazon had not come up with their own e-readers, the prices would never have come down enough to make it an affordable everyday item, rather than an expensive and exclusive item.

    • Min Dean says:

      Hi Richard – sorry have to reply here as it won’t let me reply after your comment.

      By way of explanation – threading is turned off on comments after 4 levels – otherwise they get too hard to read, as the width is reduced on each additional comment level. You just reply to the 4th level comment, and it’ll add your response to the thread.

    • Richard Harland says:

      Hi Jo,
      The trouble with new tech is that things are always better and cheaper around the corner – butif you keep waiting or the corner, you never get anything! OK, I’ll check out the kindle 3.

      I guess the other thing about the new tech is that, although it keeps tending towards mega -monopolies, the mega-monopolies keep on getting left behind when the next big game-changing development comes along. In en years time, amazon will probably still be.there as an online bookstore, but it may have abandoned ereaders to smarter specialist companies.

    • Richard your comment about new tech reminded me of this article I read a few days ago: “It Never Gets Better – Why you should never buy a mediocre piece of technology expecting that it’ll be more amazing tomorrow than it is today.”

    • Jo Turner says:

      Thanks Min! will try to pay more attention to the prompts next time!
      Richard – yes I agree that advancing technology gets in the way of decision making – why have the old model when there is a new one just around the corner? However I think this leaves the realm of what is technologically acceptable or desirable and goes back to what an individual is content with, or at least that’s what I think anyway. I didn’t upgrade my Kindle2 to a Kindle Fire – I simply added to it, and kept the kindle2 even though I could have put it away (but obviously didn’t for the reason we discussed previously). I guess one question the eVolution discussion tends to lead us to, is “what are we content with?” which explains why many of us still hold tightly to our paper copy books.

    • The things that I love about eBook readers are (I’m reminded of this because I just downloaded an eBook I’d been waiting for that just came out):

      – instant access once it’s released no matter what time of day it is
      – the ability to just download the next book in a series and keep reading
      – search (+1)
      – in built dictionary
      – notes and multiple bookmarks
      – cut and paste for quotes

    • Richard Harland says:

      Hi Min!

      Thanks for that explanation. Told you I was antediluvian. Now I have one new bit of info that’ll last!

    • Richard Harland says:

      Interesting article, Liam.


  6. I must say the last thing I want to do is read a screen after a day of writing, which is why I love my kindle. It is the simplest, plainest, lightest, smallest version – an iPad is definitely bulkier, heavier and the back-lit screen is totally unappealing. A phone is smaller but to my eyesight, simply too small. The kindle seems ‘book sized’ and seemed the right size to read. I also don’t feel too precious about it- I will take it to the beach or the park and not feel I am risking something too valuable. For me, the kindle is the closest to a plain book, only lighter and smaller. I think if you are tech orientated you would prefer a kindle fire or an iPad, but for me, it is a book and I like my books basic. The only disadvantage is that there are some books I want that I can’t get on it- but so far there are so many books I can get via Amazon, that I have yet to feel really hampered by it.

    • Richard Harland says:

      I’m not tech-oriented either – everything I’ve learned has been force-fed into me by absolute inescapable necessity. Anything that does the job is fine by me. But I have a bit of a thing against the Amazon juggernaut, especially since they swallowed the Book Depository. Are they aiming for total world domination? I don’t want to be a part of that – and locked into the mobi format. (Thanks, Emily, I wouldn’t have known that except for your email!) At the moment, Amazon e-books are as cheap or cheaper than anyone’s … But how long will that last?

    • Richard Harland says:

      I’m replying to myself only because I can’t see a button to reply to your last email, Emily – just, thanks for the info on the Sony e-reader. I guess iit comes down to translation apps – because although I don’t want to be locked into Amazon, I don’t want to cut myself off from buying from the Amazon store either.

    • Emily Craven says:

      And there in lies the rub!!

  7. Well look who has entered the game. It is the mother ship, Google! Makes Kindle Fire look absolutely lame and from a world of rotary dialling telephones.

  8. Richard Harland says:

    I just found the very helpful E-pub reader site, at

    Apologies if anyone’s mentioned it in an earlier post.

  9. Hi Richard,

    Great post! I need to check out the Sony ereader too, because it has been getting great reviews, and I also need something that can read pdfs. (Manuscript reading doesn’t work with the kindle).

    I’m glad you mentioned the moral issues with buying a kindle and getting locked into the Amazon behemoth. Not only are readers force siphoned into the Amazon store, but you are then really at their mercy in terms of what books you can even search for. I would rather spend a couple of extra dollars and buy direct from the author or indie bookseller.

    Cheers, Alex

    • Richard Harland says:

      For example, Greylands! I know many many authors are watching with interest, because Greylands could be a trailblazer! As an author, I’m both excited and worried about e-books – and the worried part comes from the size of the royalties you can expect from Amazon e-publication (tiny!). Isobelle’s Greylands venture is what we all want to see taking off!

  10. Richard have a look at the list of links we are compiling on the right- there is one by Willian King where he reveals his modest eBook after a six month period- if you contact him he is very generous in answering queries and any day now he is going to publish his one year later essay, and we will feature that too- he believes that even with modest sales and modest prices, a writer who comes from a traditional print background with an established audience, can make a very decent living- he is basic this on his figures and his real world experience, so I am really curious to see what he will come up with – because things are changing even as this forum unfolds…

    • Thanks for the William King link. I hadn’t seen that.
      I’d also recommend looking at posts about his self-publishing experience.

    • Liam he is a really nice guy and just so generous if you want to contact him through his blog and ask anything – he has put up a great amazingly accessible post, complete with screen shots, showing exactly how to upload an eBook and he is eventually going to do another post about how to produce a good cover. But most of all I love his enthusiasm for eBooks. It was his positive attitude that prompted me to try it myself, not so much as a money making device as a means of learning. It has been one of the best things I have ever done. I am really looking forward to seeing his One Year On post,though- I hope it comes before this site self-destructs!

    • Emily Craven says:

      Hmm I shall have to check him out. It’s so very true though, if you have an established audience, and you charge a modest 4.99 etc you will make a lot more money then through traditional royalties. You just have to be willing to experiment.

    • Heather Giles says:

      Hi Liam,
      Lets Get Digital, How to Self Publish and Why you Should by David Gaughran I downloaded for free from Amazon and was quite informative, went through the process from start to finish and had some interesting links.

    • Gather ’round people
      Wherever you roam
      And admit that the waters
      Around you have grown
      And accept it that soon
      You’ll be drenched to the bone
      If your time to you
      Is worth savin’
      Then you better start swimmin’
      Or you’ll sink like a stone
      For the times they are a-changin’
      [B Dylan]

    • Perfect quote to sum up these discussions Peter. I haven’t personally gotten into the ereaders and kindles, etc…. I much prefer a book in my hands that I can pop post it notes in and fold the corners down on pages with exceptional quotes… but I am amazed at where this new media can take us, just hearing about poetry and short stories online where you can click a link and see and hear things that you just can’t do in a paper book… there is a purpose for both medias. I do love my audio books as it means that I can get through far more literature without having my eyes closing on me half way through a sentence… and I also enjoy reading online poetry journals like Cordite on my iphone… particularly when sitting in a boring lecture 😉 It is exciting that literature is becoming more and more accessible.

  11. Helen Chamberlin says:

    Rhiannon, so agree with you that anything that makes literature more accessible, especially to the digital generation(s), has to be a very good thing!