Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I beg you to consider in the bowels of your library that the ereader may be a mutation of the book that masks itself by taking on some of the properties of its bitty foe. I of course refer to the ereader that does not have any sort of connectivity other than that of the host womb. The magic hour is 1941 for legal download which means that Virginia Woolf is on, Jacob's Room, The Voyage Out, the hilarious miserabilism of Gissing The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, the marvellous Kierkegaard vs Regina in his Journals and the Michelmas Geese.
All this and more in a platen that I can shove in my coat pocket.

Add to that the capacity to 'underline' and to substitute for the sheaves of post-its that fatten the great texts eg. the table talk of S.T.C. and I think we have an 'extension' that is virtually prosthetic.


skholiast said...

Yes, but you can't bend down the page corners, or remember "it's about halfway through the book in the upper third of the page on the left," and (decisively, to my mind) you cannot read in the tub.

ombhurbhuva said...

With the Sony ereader you can virtually dog ear the page, scribble in the margins, underline, extract as a complete quote to be recalled by a tap. I downloaded Matter and Memory to reread today. Last time I read it on a monitor I boiled my eyes. It's fully 20 years since I last had a bath. 'All Ireland is washed by the gulf stream' said Joyce.

elisa freschi said...

What do you think of the increased risk of accumulating instead of reading? We all have more books than we will ever read (I do, at least), but we tend to be aware of that because of the rigid boundaries of their physical presence in our houses/offices. Does not one run the risk of downloading virtually *everything* only to discover that in the same time s/he could have at least read *something*?

ombhurbhuva said...

Hi Elisa,
I may be already at that point however it’s a great asset for someone such as myself without access to a scholarly library. I’ve downloaded the major works of Henri Bergson which I’m reading at the moment and I can flit from one to the other book marking and getting the sense of his thought which is by no means straightforward. His psychology is very akin to hatha yoga and the implication of some of his observations are borne out by Damasio in ‘The feeling of what happens’.

I have 40 books on the Reader at the moment ranging from Kierkegaard, Stevenson, Woolf, Carlyle to the 39 Steps of John Buchan and Shakespeare.