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AND another thing!


So readers of this blog will already know some of this.  Kindles!  What a lovely idea.  A world of literature on the go, the future of books, an infinity of possibilities, cheap, accessible, reasonably environmental and so on and so forth; what a lovely idea the kindle is.


Columns!  It can’t do friggin’ columns!  And as readers of the Minority Council will now know, columns are really useful!  (For those who haven’t read the Minority Council, that particular notion won’t make much sense until you do… and then it really, really will…)

And now, something else to make me LOATHE kindles so far that emphatic capital letters actually seem like a perfectly rational grammatical norm!  Which is a big thing for me!

So my Dad had a kindle.  And the kindle was something bequeathed to my Mum.  It was loaded up with exciting books, all sorts of groovy stuff, and getting it transferred over to my Mum wasn’t actually that hard.  Well, I say that… I needed to create an amazon account for my Mum, and send in a copy of a death certificate to make amazon believe that all was as I said it was, but still…

However, it turns out, that while the kindle itself can be transferred without too much difficulty, the actual books on it, can’t be.  Amazon refuses.  When the owner of the kindle dies, so does the content – including books my Mum was half way through reading.  It’s a notion that just strikes some bitter, literary part of me.  Books are a fantastic gift, and more than that – they are one of the few gifts which we delight in handing down from generation to generation, the sums of our knowledge, an expression of who we were, what we enjoyed, the tales we appreciated and the lives we led.  Is that to cease?  What happens when all our books are online, when there’s no paper whatsoever, and amazon decides to wipe the bookshelves clean of every person who dies?  We live in a society where we by things that don’t exist, summoned into being out of the air… and back into the air, it seems, is where they go at the earliest opportunity, just bits of data with a passcode attached.  Am I the only one who finds this idea utterly, utterly horrific?  Give my family back my father’s books!