Are you ready for the e-book?

In this piece, Robert McCrum looks at the up-sides and down-sides of the electronic book. Personally I love the feel of books and like to own all the ones I read, so I won’t be an early candidate for an e-reader.
But I can see the case for one, especially if one is going on a holiday and doesn’t want to take lots of heavy books.
When I read non-fiction, I often come across a person or an event about which I’d like to know more, so I use my PC or iPhone to search the web. When I read fiction, I sometimes come across a word that is new to me, so I go along to my massive dictionary or search on-line. Or sometimes it would be good to picture the person or place in the text.
With electronic books, it would be possible to tag all these words, so that the reader simply has to tap on the term and be advised of the information or image required. I’m sure that the e-book will evolve into something very special.


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