Marieke Hardy is to be the first writer in Australia to release an M-Book – a serialised novel published via text message. They’re big in Japan. For the full story and details on subscribing, click here.
There’s a lot of talk about print media going digital. It seems inevitable that newspapers will be overtaken by webpages, which are interactive, provide up-to-date information and are accessible to office drones like myself. After e-readers had a few false starts, Amazon’s Kindle seems to be catching on. Distributing text in digital form is certainly more efficient, and personal libraries would no longer colonise whole rooms.
As for me, I’d miss the tactile experience of a book – the texture of paper; the glue smell of new books; the mildew smell of old books; cracking a paperback open for the first time. There’s something intimate about the object of a book that you lose with an electronic screen (except with blogs. Specifically this blog).
Cue scene: Melbourne, the year 2050. A crowd of protestors hold banners reading, “Paper books cost the earth” and “Large tomes destroy homes”. I arrive on stage and slowly raise above my head the 3,500 page Norton Shakespeare (probably made using an acre of virgin Amazon rainforest), and loudly proclaim, “From my cold dead hands.”