Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Now I wouldn't call myself a geek (who would?) but I flatter myself that I have a reasonable grasp of technology. I can find my way round 3G and Bluetooth. On the frequent occasions when Windows needs cleaning or repairing on my own or friends PCs, I'm your man. I'm always very quick (too quick in the case of Windows Millennium) to embrace new technology. However, it was not always so.

I well remember when mobile phones started to appear and both my wife and I were having none of it. What a ridiculous idea! Why on Earth would we want to be pestered by phone calls if we'd gone off to enjoy ourselves somewhere or were busy shopping or whatever? So for a while, we refused to turn the page of history.

Well I suppose we held out for a couple of years and then the clever sales gimmick about safety kicked in. Imagine your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. No sign of a phone box. No other traffic about. I'm toast right? Someday, my skeleton will be found in my rusting Ford and people will mutter about how stupid I was to set out without a mobile phone. Worse still, what if it were your dear wife or darling daughter? How would I feel if they became isolated on a dark night in a small country lane in deepest darkest rural England and were ravaged by molesting hordes? All because I hadn't bought them mobile phones for Christmas.

The rest is history. Mobile phones are now attached to the ears of 70% of people in the street and the other 30% are listening to their ipods.

So it is with some trepidation that I make my pronouncement on e-books. You know the things. Electronic tablets which can download every book known to man. One book for all. Carry the world's library in your handbag. Even if they bring out a new feature so that you can electronically turn down the corner of the page so you can virtually dog-ear your e-book to mark your place, I won't get one. Even if they bring out cubicles where you can wear a helmet which tricks your brain into believing you are browsing in a book shop. Even if they get e-books to emit puffs of book-smelling scent.

No, my head is firmly buried in the sand. It's no good trying to persuade me. Na na na na na - I'm not listening - can't hear you....


  1. oh but, but ...

    Actually, I resisted a mobile phone till 2003 (everyone thought I was in the Dark Ages) and then when I got one, I texted like a teenager for hours on end

    Ebooks? We'll see - I have spent a lot of my adult life getting dusty in historical archives, I love the romanticism of it all. And I couldn't curl up in bed with an ebook. Unless .... ;-)

  2. I held off for a long time on the mobile phone myself. I can remember my one grandmother told me it was a mistake going to the moon.

  3. I have to admit I've been intrigued by the shear enthusiam with which people speak of the Kindle. But I really like my books. I like turning the page. I like the feel of the book in my hand. I also admit that much of my "reading" these days is done by audio on my commute but I still always have a real live book with pages and binding at my bedside table. :-)

    Right now I'm "reading" 3 books at the same time. One on my ipod that I started while mowing this weekend, Another on cd that I'm "reading" to and from work and another real book for bedtime.

  4. There is nothing better than curling up with a book, the smell of the paper, the turning of the pages. There is no way any machine will replace that for me.

  5. I only got my mobile phone two days before my first baby was born in 2005. It has proved invaluable when trying to organise a family made up of a hard-working husband who's on travel a lot of the time and two small children.
    Like you, Tony, I cannot imagine ever getting a Kindle and reading e-books. On the other hand, I took out a subscription for audiobooks when I had my second baby and spent hours walking down country lanes, pushing the pram.
    I wonder how big the leap from audiobook to e-book is? ;-)

  6. I'm with you on the e-book debate, Tony. Unfortunately, my other half bought me a Sony e-book last Christmas, thinking he was buying me a brilliant present as I am usually into all things IT. I do try to bring it out now and again when he's around as I haven't the heart to tell him that it would never have been top of my 'to own' list.