IF the pundits are right, by now we should be at the start of a boom in the reading of the literary classics as all of those people who unwrapped an e-reader for Christmas download a free library of out-of -copyright books to put on it.
Chez Bookworm, no such present was received, not least because Ma Bookworm knows that I take a somewhat curmudgeonly view of e-readers.
But when my neighbour let me borrow his iPad last week, I must admit that I did feel the hot breath of the green-eyed monster on my neck. Here at last is a platform for electronic reading that can do far more than the book itself. Sony Readers, Kindles and all the other e-readers don't, I think, have anything like the iPad's potential.
All of which is why I really need to read David Eagleman's 4.99 app, Why The Net Matters, which publishers Canongate claim is a zingingly interactive manifesto arguing why the internet will save civilisation. I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt because I enjoyed Eagleman's last work, Sum, when I read it on what technophiles, I regret to say, are starting to call a p-book (ie printed book).
The new Eagleman, I hear, is only going to be available on iPad. Canongate haven't even got anything they can give me on paper.
For the first time, I'm starting to take this e-reader business seriously. I'll take it even more seriously, though, when they can make giving an app or an e-book as pleasurable as handing over its old-fashioned equivalent.
A NEW LEAF …
FINALLY, for those still in search of resolutions, two quick ideas. The first, is to get down to Edinburgh's "Resolution Square" (ie by the National Galleries on the Mound) from 1-6pm today, where you can hear specially commissioned haikus from writers such as AL Kennedy and Janice Galloway, along with performances from some of our finest musicians and singer-songwriters to celebrate. It's free, too …
And if you've no time for that, you've got until Tuesday to be one of the 20,000 people who will be giving away four dozen free copies of a favourite book on World Book Night in March. Log on to worldbooknight.org, and all will be revealed.
But no matter which of those ideas you like – if any – allow me to wish all our readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.