I was a bit miffed. And a bit embarrassed, actually. Rejected by an op shop. In the season for giving. You see, I’d turned up to one of their big stores, with four boxes of well-loved books. Among them were treasured Bryce Courtenays and Jeffery Archers, well preserved political tomes and autobiographies. They were hard to part with. Books are precious to me. But we had no more room. It was time to make way for new volumes.
But this charity had embarked on a new chapter too. ”No more books!” The man at the back of the shop told me. “We have too many. People just don’t read anymore. Not books anyway.”
What? Could that really be true? Had the Mayan calendar been misinterpreted? Was it, in fact, the end of the physical word, not world?
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That private moment between you and your ebook whether it is in bed, at the beach, on the train or even on the toilet is no longer solitary. It has become quite public.
It is being shared with authors, publishers, advertisers and multinational companies.
They know what you’re reading, when you’re reading it and what quotes you happen to highlight. Even the battery life is accessible information. Previously publishers and authors were not privy to our intimate reading habits. Books were the last frontier left to conquer by advertisers. Now they know everything. They know your reading habits better than you do.
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