I aired my mixed views on e-readers a while ago but one thing I didn’t mention was the joy of nosing around someone else’s bookshelves. Or the use of bookshelves for showing off. How will academics and intellectuals persuade visitors how clever they are without being able to surround themselves with a particular calibre of book? How will authors position themselves in front of the serious and deep section of their bookcase for photos? And how will people pick over their choices by peering at the blurred spines on the shelves behind them? Probably the first thing I do in a strange house is go to the bookcase. Actually that’s about the first thing I do in a familiar house too.
People are full of ingenuity, I’m sure we’ll find a way round it. Until then I expect sales of Kindle cases in the shape of the must-read book of the moment to be strong.