It's the age of the internet right? Access to You Tube, Vimeo, cheap digital VCRs, iPhones, a plethora of multimedia options to paste onto your blog and high speed broadband (sorry, that doesn't mean you Australia) mean that your website should be bustling with techni-colour, dancing images to titilate, stimulate and entertain.
Surely this spells the death of books, right? Wikipedia killed the weighty encyclopedias of our childhoods, so surely this boom of online communication spells the end of the print era?
Well, not according to Amazon book sales. See that stack to the right? This is just a sample of what has come through my Amazon Shopping Cart in the last six months.
The size of my online shopping receipts is a direct result of now being able to browse and order hundreds of thousands of titles from the convenience of my home. In fact, make that the convenience of my palm. Let me give you an example.
I was at a friend's place, raving, as a I do, about how excited I was about my new found passion for writing. My learned friend then gave some advice that had been passed on to him by an Australian author whose work you will undoubtedly know.
It was simple, you can write a book if you can write a letter. (The calibre of the book, presumably reflecting that of the letter.) Further, he recommended that if I was serious about writing, I should buy myself a copy of "Les Liaisons dangereuses" by Choderlos de Laclos which is comprised entirely of letters between the characters.
Delighted to follow the advice of a good friend, I thanked him and trotted happily up his driveway. As I walked, I reached for my iPhone. Within several deft swipes I was transcribing the title from a scribbled note into Amazon's search bar. With the help of one-click-ordering, this took a total of 45 seconds, approximately the time to walk back to my car. Minus the seconds lost to trying to find my keys in the bottom of my handbag, it took me under two minutes to search, browse and complete my purchase.
Within an hour, a receipt confirming my purchase and notifying me of the book's despatch had arrived in my inbox. Les Liasons Dangereuses arrived on my doorstep 10 days later.
Now, with the ability to shop literally anywhere I can receive phone coverage, comes the ability to shop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The stack on my bedside table adds weighty testimony to this.
This thirst for books may come from an insatiable curiosity about the world, but it is aided and abetted by the ever-prolific presence of the internet in our lives. I can literally shop in my sleep by way of my iPhone. Can't sleep? Try browsing Amazon for a title or two.