bye bye Books !

May 18

Technology evolves, that much is certain. More and more we see the
advancement of technology in our daily lives and all around us. Like a
never receding tide the digital age rises higher and higher onto the
shore of the analog world. One by one my media havesuccumbed to this
digital uprising, this digital evolution that flows through my life.
Records where replaced by Cd’s more then ten years ago. Cd’s moved to
the archives as i digitized my entire collection. Paper made way for pdf’s, Polaroids for Jpg’s. Come to think of it 99 percent of every media that we have in our house is stored on a harddrive. The only things that I still enjoyed in analogue form where books. From time to time my interests in Star trek Novels
or technology books used to drive me from store to store, looking for
the things I needed. Since I mostly read English books, but live in a
Dutch-speaking country, it was very hard for me to find the stuff I
wanted to read.

Pretty soon I started to find books and txt’s online and even in 2001 started porting them to my palm. I have read countless books on my Palm and Ipaq PDA’s (the entire series of 2001 a space oddisey
and so on). I didn’t mind the small screen , I didn’t mind the fact
that I had to scroll every 2 minutes to go to the next page etc. I
loved the portability and the AVAILABILITY of the content that I loved.
Over the last few years my digital library has only grown. Pdf E-zines, Good blog posts, Pdf"s
of books and so forth. I have a countless collection that surely dwarfs
my "normal" book collection. When I wanted to read something I had to
print it out, put it in a clipmap
and read it that way. Not very tree friendly, expensive, time consuming
and impractical. So this year I decided to let go of the books and get
me an Ebook reader. Until now there where a few readers available but none had a price tag
that was interesting to me. ( Read : they where too expensive ) When
the kindle came out I was very curious and was feeling the urge to buy
one. But since they are not available inEurope, they where not an option.

A few weeks ago, when we where on our little holiday to Hull, I found myself eye to eye with the sony
PR-505. Taking a look at the E-paper I was struck by the fact how
"normal" it looks. Instead of staring at a palm’s LCD screen, it looked
more like ‘real paper’. The fact that power consumption was very low
and the storage capacity was high made me think … think hard ! And
want one. The Sony PR-505 ( I swore I was never going to buy a Sony
Device since the whole root-kit scandal a few years ago) is sexy
looking,relatively cheap (250 euro’s
is quite a bit of money, but if i don’t need to buy imported paper
books again, it will save me money) and is going to serve as a text
version of my ipod.

Opening up a digital gateway to free content online ( Free books, pdf’s , e-magazines and so forth) Its going to be another digital platform I can cary with me anywhere. I know some say its a drm-locked device. It does not allow you to put any books on it with a DRM that is not SONY’s Drm (just like the Kindle won’t let you read DRM’d books that are not DRM’d by amazon) Well gues what bunny’s ! I NEVER EVER BUY DRM"d content anyway. I would rather pirate than be forced into some kind of "rent-a-book-until-your-rights-are-revoked"
policy. Not that I need to. There is SO much content available online.
Never mind the fact that I have a copier at work that reverts paper
into pdf’s so i can just re-digitise any printed material that I own. This, to me, is my personal future. People who tell me it "doesn"t
‘feel’ like a book , or doesn’t smell" like a book can go live in the
library for all I care ( remember those ? Those places with books you
have to GO TO) My digital reader is just another evolutionary step. So
as I close up i’m going to head out and check my mailbox to see if my reader has arrived yet.

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