books in the digital age?

latin-ext-01-600e-reader in home made cover

I love books as objects, and own many; but I also love the convenience of e-readers for commuting and holidays. E-readers are also not as comfortable to hold as a book, so my first impetus was to make a book-cover for my sony e-reader (2nd-hand from ebay) to make reading in bed more comfortable.

It was quite difficult to sacrifice a book – even the esoteric ‘Friday Afternoon Latin Book’, bought for the day I would learn Latin again – but I take great pleasure from using this e-reader cover: it makes the generic ereader technology unique, unusual, ironic, somehow specifically mine.

The only problem with this first cover is that the Latin book was not really thick enough, so the spine is wearing out quickly with the fatter ereader inside.


So cover #2 is an upgrade – a leather cover, and one that’s a bit deeper, to fit the e-reader better. This time the book was £1 from a charity shop, and although I feel bad mutilating it, it’s up-cycling, better than landfill. As I damaged my right hand while on the way to the Eisteddfod, (hence no blog report – sorry!), my brother-in-law kindly followed my instructions to physically make it – thank you Andy!

My nephew Joss Ferguson had the best idea, though, for his kobo e-reader. He glued together the pages of a book, then cut out a space for the reader. It’s snug enough to hold it without any elastic and protects it beautifully.


My next idea is to take another leather-covered book and re-make it with blank pages inside – the hardest part of bookbinding’s making the cover, so I hope this will work pretty well to give me a new sketch-book with my selected papers inside.


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