Do You Want a Kindle?

In the week’s context “Read an eBook” (2nd-8th March 2014), Faye Fragiskatou shares her article about e-reading. You may send your text as well, to the address:

Almost a year ago, in spring 2013, a friend of mine was about to go for a short trip to England. He asked me, if I was interested in buying a kindle, which he intended to bring to me on his way back home. At that time, the first thing that came to mind, was, “what is a kindle?”… I do not keep up with technological developments, but seeing the e-reader in the Amazon site, after our conversation, I was motivated and I bought it. When I received it I was staring at the rectangular little box, for quite some time. Despite the fact that friends offered to “put” 700 e-books in this device which weighed a few grams and had dimensions equal to a frame of a family photo, I did not feel like using it.

Last May they broke into my house and took all kinds of electronic equipment and personal belongings. The kindle box was thrown empty among other things and I assumed that the e-reader was stolen with the rest of the things, since it is not released for sale in Greece. Two days later, while tidying, I found it hidden in a closet under  a pile of clothes. Intrigued for the device by this conjuncture, I started using it tentatively. Little by little I found out that old books at the “age” over 70 are not subjected to copyright restrictions, thus I can find, for example, Emily Dinkinson’s poems legally for free; I discovered sites such as ‘Project Gutenberg’ or ‘Open Culture’ where someone can legally find plenty of books in English.
The e-reader device neither substitutes the printed book nor does it eliminate publishing industry. Just like the railway survived after industrial revolution and the substitution of steam engine did not result in train abolishment as a means of transportation, e-books supplement and push forward printed books. In a country that has been experiencing the economic crisis for four years it is very easy for someone to find e-books, which he or she cannot afford to buy in their printed version. Kindle is not released in Greece whereas it is subjected to commercial restrictions; however, hundreds of Greek books are posted in open access, freely dispensable to anyone who loves to read stories… The fact that people coming from countries which do not suffer severe economic crisis, unlike Greece, react similarly towards an e-book, proves that it is the message that matters, not the means.
Indisputably when, for example, the Greek version of a novel by R. Chandler (which I have already read but I lent it or lost it) costs 17 euros - I refer to a recently reprinted book - and at the same time I can find it for free so as to reread or see again its writing structure, it is reasonable for someone like me, who has been reading crime and detective fiction for over 20 years, that e-book is my only chance to carry on reading. Since reading is a necessity and not a hobby, I believe that, in an imaginative flashback of the past, Gutemberg would also wish to have a kindle…
Meet Faye…
Faye Fragiskatou was born in Athens, 1974. She has studied Political Science and she lives and works in Athens.

[The picture that accompanies the article is taken from this address.]

Translation from Greek: Labriana Oikonomou 
Editing-Proofreading: Tina Moschovi 

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