Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Remembrance of jobs past

I do not have fond memories of Waterstone's. I don't shop there on principle now, having worked there after I graduated in 2001 and wanted somewhere to tread water while I made my first clumsy attempts at writing a novel. I have some sympathy therefore with Brian Appleyard who seems admirably pious in his dislike of the cretinisation wrought by the large chains in their seemingly endless desire to narrow the taste of the reading public. There's an interesting possible divergence of extreme here; on the one hand technology might lead to a day where we only possess one 'book' which can contain the text of any novel, periodical or newspaper you desire. On the other, we have the prospect that one day we might only be interested in a single book - endless stacks of the same garish, self-congratulatory ghost-written biography of a celebrity as yet unborn.

On a side note, as someone who takes quite openly excessive care of books, even if they are stickered remainders from the local branch of 'The Works', I welcome the day when we are all toting e-book readers, which hopefully will be expensive enough that I wont be the only person taking care of mine...


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