There, I've said it.
I love gadgets. If I won the lottery my house would look like Q's laboratory but with a comfortable sofa. Streetlights in a 2 mile radius would dim slightly as I walked through the automatically operated front door after a busy day hobnobbing with Steve Jobs and Isaac Asimov*, due to the alarming array of devices that registered my presence and switched themselves on.
Despite this, I have never found a substitute for the humble paperback. I have tried using my laptop (too big and takes too long to switch on), my iPhone (always with me, but just too small a screen) and most recently an iPad (pretty good, but not really much use for reading in the sunshine due to the highly reflective screen).
Then I borrowed a Kindle to take on holiday with me. I wasn't full of hope as it looked like it had been designed during the early part of the 1980s by a YTS trainee. A non colour screen and a 'throw-a-six-to-start' menu system added fuel to the fire of my disdain.
I loved it. The non-colour screen that was the subject of my scorn uses a very clever 'e-ink' system and is as close to reading from a printed page as makes no difference. The menu system that had me tutting like Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was only necessary when picking which book to read in the first place. After that, it's just a case of pressing a button to turn the page. It was lighter than your average Mills & Boon paperback and the battery life seems to be measured in months. Lovely.
So I now own one. I have more books than I know what to do with on it and I'm happy that some bright spark designer within Amazon stuck to his guns throughout the process of getting this thing to market. In this world of sleek design and 'wow-factor' bells & whistles, I had almost forgotten the engineer's mantra. Form Follows Function. I'm really glad he or she hadn't.
* - Yes, I am aware that one (or depending when you're reading this, possibly both) of these people is dead. If the lottery win is big enough I intend to get him (or them) re-animated. That's the way I roll.