Continuing with our theme of e Reader appreciation from last week, we started discussing how e Readers, or lets be precise, Kindles (since that is what we use) have changed the mind set of readers. Normally when people have OCDs, the Universe conspires not to pander to them. But readers somehow have turned out to be fortunate in this regard because their obsessions have been indulged by one of the biggest corporations in the world (it may in fact be trying to take over the world). We have a different theory, since the Universe likes readers, it is rewarding Amazon for staying true to its readers. Which Flipkart and countless others did not.
LL: It’s amazing how our reading habits have changed since we accustomed ourselves to reading on the Kindle.
PS: I remember a time, not so long ago, when the anticipated release of every new book would cause more trauma than joy because we had no idea when and if the book would be available in India.
LL: Particularly genre books like fantasy, or authors not on the usual best seller lists unless they suddenly were shortlisted and won awards.
PS: It wasn’t so long ago when it was so difficult to get hold of books like Donna Leon and Sarah Caudwell’s murder mysteries or fantasy writers like Ursula K. LeGuin. Out best bet was someone who had bought those books abroad and then sold it to one of the second hand bookstores here.
LL: I used to get such strange looks when I would request visiting relatives to get me books by Diana Wynne Jones who is basically a children’s author. At least with the Kindle I don’t have to explain my reading choices to others.
PS: The reading of reviews from around the world and not being able to get hold of the books was absolute agony.
LL: Thanks to the Kindle that’s all gone now. Instant gratification is the order of the day. And buying habits have undergone a sea change. I would be interested to see a survey on how many books are bought late in the night. There is nothing else that we buy online which comes instantaneously as no shipping is involved.
PS: The anxiety of something becoming available has completely gone and a comfort level has set in. Does that take away from the charm of anticipation?
LL: Anticipation having a charm is an unheard of concept now.
PS: I prefer it this way. At least when it comes to buying books.
And the Universe is obliging us. Long may e Readers last.