MODERN TIMES: Cranwell author James Snee has begun to be solely published for e-platforms. Picture: John Jenkins. Picture Ref: LI-09-2392_01.
Digital books which download books and use electronic ink rather than a computer screen could change the way we read forever, according to a Lincolnshire author.
Instead of a paperback to read on the train or the beach, books can now be stored on nifty gadgets called 'e-readers' which can hold up to 250,000 books, newspapers and magazines.
And at the forefront of this new way of thinking is Cranwell author James Snee, 39, who writes 'penny dreadfuls' for Steampulp Publishing's Steampunk Tales, under the name Arkwright.
He has begun to be solely published for e-platforms, rather than producing a physical read and his work can already be downloaded onto the i-phone.
"I feel very strongly that we could have people downloading books and then texting their friends and using social networking tools to encourage others to read – that's got to be an improvement," he said.
Jane Rylands-Bolton, deputy headteacher of Lincoln Christ's Hospital School said: "It is interesting stuff but I am committed to books you can hold in your hand. I don't believe books are dead.
"In school, we promote books very highly and we have got a huge library and are about to start a reading scheme and one of the objectives is to get students reading more. It is a challenge, I would not deny that and still with boys more than girls.
"I think there's a place for e-books but being able to select a book and see the pictures and smell it is not the same experience."
The main console contenders are the Sony Reader, which is available at Waterstones and the Kindle, which has just been made available online through Amazon. They all cost somewhere in the region of £200.
The Kindle uses the same wireless 3G technology as high-tech mobile phones, which means ebooks can be downloaded straight off the Internet for free without having to plug into a computer or even find a wireless hotspot.