When people first started really talking about e-books I thought the idea was abhorrent, a book is, well a book, pages of paper bound and true, coming with the weight and feel of a genuine solid thing. The whisper of the pages turning, the feel and colour of them is all part of the experience and pleasure, seeing your passage through the book as the bookmark gets closer to the end. Just how could an e-book compare to that? But... I love books, I collect them, and my favourite authors just have to be hardbacks, it is something that I have done for years, and nothing compares to the sight of them back to back on the shelf. Of course I still read paperbacks and like to see them on the shelf to, but my favourite authors and writers have to be hardback There seemed to be a time when I flew through books at a great rate, I averaged a book a week, no matter what the size, sometimes more. But as I got older I found that there was less time to read, I became ill, was too tired to read; became a dad, had less time and was really too tired to read! Suddenly I looked and I was lucky if I was reading a book a month, let alone one a week. The trouble with reading hardbacks is they are bigger and heavier than paperbacks, true the smaller books can get damaged more, the spines split, but at least they are manageable. Sometimes lugging a heavy hardback around and trying to read it when you have a few moments to spare is virtually impossible, more effort than it is worth. This became even more clear to me as I was making my way through Reaper's Gale, a 900 page doorstop by Steven Erikson, part of the Malazan cycle. I was really enjoying it, carrying the book to work and reading it when I had a break, but it was far too big, and reading it in bed was just as awkward. And then I thought... e-reader. I downloaded the software, installed it on my home, laptop and work computer, got hold of a copy of RG and started to read. I did not have to worry about carrying the book around, and I could call it up on front of me just like that. And I noticed something else, I was reading faster than I had in a long, long time, and suddenly there I was considering getting a proper e-reader so I could read on the move... So is there a place for an e-reader, rather than replacing it's paper counterpart could it be used in conjunction with it, enhancing and apparently improving the reading experience? I still want to see the hardbacks on my shelf, but I could stop risking damage, and the awkwardness of the big ones... (I have to point out that it seems a tad unfair that you have to buy a hardback and an e-book in order to do this -does anyone know whether you can get an e-copy free if you by the err hardcopy?) So is there a place for e-readers afterall?