In the good old days if you’d asked me what I was reading I would give you the title of my current book. Ask me the author and I’d know that, too. Ask me the publisher and you’d have yourself a hat trick.
So what’s changed, apart from my age - and seriously, I’m not anywhere near old enough to start blaming that for a poor memory.
Well, I think it’s the way I’m reading. In the good old days I bought books. Lots of them. My guilty pleasure was to have a stack of books, lying horizontally on the shelf, all waiting to be read.
These days I read on a Kindle. It’s SO transportable. When I go on a journey I can take as many books as I like and all in the one handbag. It’s much easier to buy books. I finish one and can purchase and download the next, immediately. And (I’m VERY ashamed to admit to this – probably a post for another blog!) e-books are cheap.
And here lies the problem with my poor memory. When you put a book down the cover is there, waving. Goodbye. It winks each time you pass it. Remember me? We were having such fun together. When are you coming back? It shouts LOUDLY at you when you finally pick it up again. Yay! Knew you couldn’t resist me.
The author’s name plays along. On the cover, nudging you gently. Whispering in your ear. My name’s…..Can we be friends?
The publisher’s name is there, too, a little more discrete, often on the spine, but still a presence. Ahem, excuse me for butting in, but did you know that The Little Fox Paw Printing Press brought you this story?
There are many excellent things about the e-reader, but trust me, the cover isn’t one. For a start, unless you read on a tablet or something similar, the cover is grey. It’s also very shy. You see it once, at the start, and sometimes not even then if the book automatically opens on the first page.
So here’s a challenge to any clever inventors or techie types out there. Design a cover for an e-reader that displays the book currently being read and in colour. Can it be done? Is there a market for it? What do you think?
ps My current reading book is a real one. Bits of its lovely cover are shown here in the text. If you haven’t guessed by now, then it’s I’ll give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson, published in the UK by Walker Books.
I knew all that without having to think about it!