According to Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively, e-books are for "bloodless nerds". Considering her somewhat advanced 78 years, one might assume that this was simply a reaction to new technology, but Lively owns an iPad (although she "wouldn't dream of reading a book on it" unless she was traveling or in hospital) and, for what it's worth, thirteen of her books are available as ebooks, including Moon Tiger (which won the Booker Prize in 1987).
To be fair, although the "bloodless nerd" soundbite is being quoted far and wide today, her full comment was, "It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd." Do you think she has a point? If a person's entire literary collection was contained within an electronic device, might their experience with reading be a tad soulless? Or does the written word rise above the confines of the media containing it?
Perhaps there's an argument that someone whose library consists of just a Kindle might appear to be a bloodless nerd, because it would be impossible to tell at a glance what a person's interests were (or more cynically, what books they choose to display on their shelves); but even that point of view doesn't seem to hold water as there are countless people I know to be readers but I have never seen their bookshelves or, for that matter, seen them reading a book, and I have never once thought to myself, "hmm, she seems like a bloodless nerd to me!"
What do you think?
Feel free to respond to our quick poll or, if you'd like to give a more nuanced response, post a comment.
The poll has now closed, see the results here.