If like myself you are of an age to have spent decades browsing through bookshops to choose and cherish books which have brightened your life, then the ambush represented by E-books has perhaps impacted your life too.
I have lived in the south Paris area for several decades and read indifferently in French or in English, my English library coming from my many business trips to the English speaking world (5 to 10 books at a time), I guess I sensed the change coming in 2009, but with the shutting in one fell swoop of the 624 Borders bookstores in the US in 2011, I knew the world would wait for no man.
I was made a present of a Kindle around this time and of course did not imagine that this screen could replace the sensory and sentimental feel of a real book.
3 years on and force to note that I read from either medium with a slight preference for the digital ( lighter easier to manipulate), the use of an I-pad in parallel giving the colour and feel of the cover. And finally of course I no longer need to carry heavy bags of books on business trips!
All of this however only represents the easy part of the change.
How will I choose my books? I can’t in all honesty accept to browse in a bookshop and then purchase through Amazon. Finally I now accept that this has been an opportunity to change my relationship to my hobby and to become a better informed, more varied and better satisfied reader, both in French and in English.
I’ll run through how exactly I now manage this in my next post