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03/02/2002 Entry: "Diamonds"
I've been suffering from something of a book drought these last few days and have consequently had to resort to re-reading White Mars (which is as bad a book as I remembered it to be) and selected parts of The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (which is as good as I remembered it to be).
But my brain needed new material, so I went off to my favourite bookshop to investigate; unfortunately, while they did have some great value books, I already owned them. A bit depressed from this lack of reading material, I sat in front of my computer and typed in "diamond age" etext into Google. A few clicks later and I had a full copy of The Diamond Age (an excellent SF novel by Neal Stephenson) on my computer, as well as a copy of Neuromancer by William Gibson for later perusal.
How do I feel about this? Well, my immediate feeling was of pleasure that I had something decent to read. Then came the faint nagging suspicion that perhaps the download of novels from the Internet isn't the most moral behaviour you can engage in (and let us not talk of MP3s either!). So I eventually resolved to buy these books when I have the chance - reading books on acomputer using an LCD screen and Cleartype is perfectly good on the eyes, but the experience of actually owning a physical book is something that won't be readily replaced by a bunch of bits on a solid state device, and this is coming from someone who'll be the first in line to buy a flexible electronic ink reader.