Monday 8 September 2008

Having Sold My Soul to Google Will There Be Anything Left to Sell to Amazon

I lifted these from
Thank you!

It was Google's tenth birthday yesterday and I feel almost nostalgic.

I've pretty much sold my soul to Google ... my browser opens straight onto my iGoogle page so I can check out the latest things on my friends' blogs and my news subscriptions, I search the net with Google, I search my computer with Google Desktop, I keep my calendars on Google Calendars, I use Google Docs for my spreadsheets, I blog on Blogger (which belongs to Google), I even have a Picasa account (Google's photo service).

Google itself says it isn't quite decided when to celebrate

Google opened its doors in September 1998. The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake.
So happy birthday, Google, whenever you decide to have the cake!

Having sold my soul so comprehensively to Google, I wonder if I have a little something left for Amazon. Ebooks have been in the news with the recent launch of the Sony Ereader. The one I've got my sights on is the Amazon Kindle.

Some folk might accuse me of being party to the death of the book, but I'd rather take a cue from the FT Weekend's Jan Dailey:
So is this, finally, the death of the book? If so, it may be a death that heralds a rebirth of reading
Dailey predicts that digital readers will revolutionise not just the way we read books but the way they are published - indeed, we may have to re-invent the agent-writer-publisher relationship:
It’s more likely, though, that these devices will mean a substantial shift in the way books are published. Conventional publishers of treeware will be under pressure to create every title in e-book format at the same time as on paper; they’d be crazy not to. Soon the e-book market may overtake the other. And in that case, who really needs the publisher?

Writer’s agents are the principal quality-filter these days, as well as increasingly responsible for the editing that most British publishers no longer bother with – so what is to stop writers and their agents doing deals directly with (say) Sony/Waterstone’s? And if a few libraries and Luddites and the author’s mum want a paper version, that can be easily arranged in small-run special editions.

But I have no intention of abandoning the purchase of books.

Like Dailey, who writes how she "used to hug one in bed instead of a teddy", my family has a long history of bedding down with books.

Here is picture of my daughter Mia, age 2, sleeping with Jill Murphy's Peace at Last - such a lovely book, I am always giving away copies as presents!

Funnily enough, the thought of books was high on my mind this weekend. Husband has just finished an epic DIY job of installing these book shelves and I've been dusting off the books we've got in storage and putting them up.

The epic DIY job, finished at last.

A lot of these books have been tucked away for ages and suddenly I came face to face with these books from my childhood.

A set of Collier's Junior Classics (1962) and The Children's Classics (1961)

My parents purchased these sets from the Reader's Digest man who used to sell them from door to door in Manila. I smuggled them back to England from the Philippines in my hand carry luggage one year when my bookish brother (who would have nicked them first) wasn't looking.

I could of course, purchase most of the classics in the set from any Borders or even from Amazon. But there is a special something about these books, yellowing and ragged with age and survivors of typhoon flooding and childish ill-use. When I flick through them again, I am transported back to that FIRST time I read them, the thrill of the Prince and the Pauper or Tom Sawyer or Heidi or Robin Hood or Black Beauty unfolding for the first time.

And that's why I will never stop buying books.

Even after I get myself a Kindle.


  1. Can he make shelves for me now, please?

  2. I have kept all my favorite childhood books! They are still treasures. Thank goodness my Mom was a librarian...

  3. Nothing can compare to the excitement of opening a new book and making that first crease on the spine. I, for one, do not want to spend any more time staring at a computer screen.

    Long live books!

    Mariam Vossough


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