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'Stories are enough for me'

10 May 2010

'The sudden rush of Kindles, tablets and readers strikes me as strangely illogical. Reading is supposed to be in danger, in decline. And yet somehow these devices are going to make it more attractive. Isn't that a bit like putting sat nav into a horse and carriage? And although thousands of e-books have been sold, do you know anyone - anyone - who actually uses the bloody things? I've tried, but they're not fun.

I can understand the success of Jamie Oliver and his 20-minute recipes which became the number one application on the iPhone. And with 40 million of these devices in circulation, I can see the attraction for publishers. But storytelling, fiction, demands a deeper, more tactile interaction. And I don't necessarily believe that enhanced e-books will reach a larger audience. Quite the ocntrary. If you can zoom in on Alex Rider, manipulate him and dance with him to the music of Nick Cave (who pioneered the e-field with The Death of Bunny Munro), then why bother just reading him in the first place? ...

Call me old-fashioned or just call me old. But you can keep your e-book ancillaries. Stories are enough for me.'

Anthony Horowitz, author of The Power of the Necropolis in the Bookseller