Wednesday, 11 March 2009

One of Those Twitter Moments

If anyone every asks me about the point of Twitter again I'll add it brings light to the occasional day like the following exchange between me and another Stephen.

Just a little bit of connectivity that made a gentleman and a scholar, who does understand Twitter, titter in the mid of a little debate this evening.


  1. How bizarre, and delightful, to find a piece on your blog this morning about a topic I was involved in debating yesterday at a meeting with several Scottish publishers. The discussion was largely around the emergence of new technologies and whether they would replace or augment the traditional mediums of reading.

    I consider myself to be a bit of a book fetishist; I love the aesthetic appearance of a book, the experience of holding it and turning the pages, the joy of rediscovering an old dusty favourite on the bookshelf. Electronic books just don't do it for me. To my mind the benefits of the increasing availability of a multi-medium experience of reading is that it will hopefully attract and ensnare a whole new generation of book lovers who seem to be enslaved to screens of all shapes and sizes. It's about choice ultimately.

    I won't witter on endlessly about this, although I'm sorely tempted. Let me just tell you one of the remarkable gems of information I discovered yesterday from the commissioning editor of Cannongate Books (who described his role as being a literary midwife!). There are currently over 1 million 'm books' in circulation in Japan - books written in text messages on mobile phones and then uploaded to blogs. Through the blogs the authors then develop an interactive relationship with their readers that has previously never been acheived anywhere near as successfully by traditional publishing. That's incredible! Text messaging, which has been so criticised for degrading linguistic skills, has spawned a whole new genre of reading material and a new generation of authors.

    I believe books in print are a wonderful legacy, a tangible legacy. But I'll watch these exciting developments with interest.

  2. As Mr Fry later pointed out one further advantage of a book is that you can enjoy it in the bath. Yeah it may get wet but far easier to dry out than an e-book.