Hide Your Kindle or face the wrath of Hay-on-Wye

What are your feelings about the ebook versus the traditional paper book? In a previous post entitled Entering Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards, I discussed my mixed views on the coming age of ebooks. Most likely there are some paper books that may never make it onto the screen of a Kindle and wouldn’t be the same if they did—such as my yellowed vintage science fiction paperbacks. Paper books have their place and surely will for a long time. However, ebooks are making books more inexpensive, more accessible, and are opening doors for small publishers and self-publishing. In my opinion, each type has its place, its pros and cons.

Perhaps much of the controversy arises from our individual definitions of a book. Is it defined by bound paper, the weight in our hands, the fresh smell of a newly printed book or a musty library basement? Or is it the story inside, the experience we get from a fantastic novel or an inspired cookbook?

As with any new technology, there are the naysayers and skeptics. Some scoffed at the horseless carriage, rolled their eyes at the “talkies,” and said aviation had no place in the military. And now there are the residents of Hay-on-Wye, who threaten to destroy any Kindles in their town with lightsabers. Is it satire? A publicity stunt? Or an honest-to-goodness case of fear of change? Just to be safe, you might want to hide your Kindle away if you attend the Hay Festival of Literature, lest you be tarred and feathered and run out of town!

Also check out this post at The Passive Voice: Warning: You are welcome, but your Kindle is not