The Kindle Windmill

Hay on Wye is home to the Hay Festival, the “Woodstock of the mind”, one of the world’s most celebrated literary festivals. To get himself some attention ahead of this year’s festival, one of the town’s booksellers is calling for a ban on Kindles at event.

Apparently ebook readers are “soulless” and are destroying the written word. Or, at least, putting some bookshops out of business.

As someone who makes a little bit of money publishing books for the Kindle (and other ereaders) I’m bound to defend the little grey tablet. Ebooks and readers are a boon for writers and readers- indie writers can deliver stories to readers for less and still make a decent amount on each sale. They’re not so great for bookshops or publishers. I like wandering around a bookshop, and I’d hate to see any good ones close, but that’s not enough to persuade me to ban ereaders. If the Luddites want to find something to get really angry about which could cause long term damage to the nation’s literacy, they should worry about library closures.