Digital books: Yea or nay?

Amazon announced the release of the Kindle today, the Kindle being their new digital reading device. (Actually, it appears it is officially referred to as not “the Kindle,” but just “Kindle.” How awkward. I suspect that won’t last.) Anyway, it is, in any case, a new attempt to create a workable digital book that people will actually use for more than a few months, before they put it down as a curiosity and go back to reading real, physical books.

Now, I have to admit, the descriptions of this thing that I heard on NPRon my drive home sound pretty good. It’s not backlit, which will presumably cut down on the “I stare at a flickering screen all day already, this gives me a headache” factor. It uses digital paper with electronic “ink” dots that rearrange themselves when you “turn” the page and then go inert. It can also purportedly store up to 200 books in its memory, and can download more wirelessly.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this. I admit, when I heard it could store 200 books, I briefly entertained a vision of reducing all my bookshelves and piles of books all around the house into three or four Kindles. How futuristic! How sci-fi! If I were going to be moving abroad a lot again, I’d be sorely, sorely tempted. Plus, no more trips to the used bookstore to dispose of all the bestseller mysteries I’ll never read more than once.

But what about the books? Here’s what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says about his vision for (the) Kindle in the letter he posted on Amazon’s front page today:

I love slipping into a comfortable chair for a long read – as I relax into the chair, I also relax into the author’s words, stories, and ideas. The physical book is so elegant that the artifact itself disappears into the background. The paper, glue, ink, and stitching that make up the book vanish, and what remains is the author’s world.

I’ve also been infatuated with the idea of electronic books. The booklover in me often has asked the nerd in me, “Is there a way to get the emotions and experiences I love from books, but combined with the possibilities of advanced technology? Can something as evolved as the book be improved?”…

Kindle does indeed “disappear” like a physical book – it won’t get between you and your reading. I think you’ll also be genuinely amazed by the convenience of books in less than a minute.

And this is where I start to doubt that Kindle will truly be all that different from its various digital book predecessors, because all the true book lovers I know, myself included, also have a love for the form of the book. I have been known to import books from other countries, just so I can a whole series all in the same cover art style. (I am not alone in this, I swear!) There’s something very comforting about being able to see the books all lined up together, to see the kind of paper they were printed on, to see their covers and spines every time you close them, to compare different editions from different points in time, to be able to rearrange them, or have several open at once, or to loan them to other people. And I remain skeptical that Kindle will feel as natural and comfortable in my hands as a real book, but I can’t say, as I’ve never seen one in person. (I feel I’m making a pretty good guess, based on what it looks like on the Amazon product page, though.)

I don’t know. Maybe Kindle will appeal to people who really do just value the words that make up the story over the actual book, and I can really understand why. Maybe I’d own fewer actual books if I kept the ones I didn’t care that much about on a Kindle. Maybe this really will interest more “young people” in reading, as was proposed in that NPR interview, because now there will be an associated gadget. Maybe this is how the shift to more digital forms of music happened, and real music junkies insisted they would never let go of their vinyl/tapes/CDs/physical media. And how will we ever get to that Star Trek future, where everyone has a wafer-thin, shiny, multimedia, clipboard-like thingy with all the information they could ever want, in any form they could ever want it, on their person at all times, if we don’t start now?

Other thoughts? Would you want one? Do you think you’d use one? Have you used digital readers in the past? What has been your experience?

-posted by Dana

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22 Responses to Digital books: Yea or nay?

  1. kidsilkhaze says:

    No backlight means you can’t read it in the dark! What’s the point?! I understand the eye strain thing, but seriously, a backlight you can turn on and off at your discretion couldn’t be *that* hard.

    That said, I totally hate digital books! It’s so hard just to flip back quickly and look something up from the last chapter. And I couldn’t take one of these new gadgets into the bathtub with me. That just sounds like a bad idea, but a paper book in the bathtub? Classic! Nor could I use a gadget like this to prop up my coffee table, or as a coaster…

    How well will art and illustrations be displayed?

    I can see them being nice in some situations (it would eliminate my “what books to pack on vacation” dilemma) but it would never be able to replace all my paper-books.

    Plus, paper books smell like books. yummy.

  2. Mike says:

    In 2000, my college roommate told me: “If I like a band, I’ll buy their album. I want to look at the cover art. I want to read the liner notes.” Therefore, he proposed, the music industry was not threatened by the threat of illegal downloads.

    Though I’m curious whether Matt Wilson still feels this way, I think it’s safe to say that owning physical CDs haven’t turned out to be a priority for today’s teenagers.

  3. Mike says:

    Also, did I read the article correctly that they all ship with a free copy of the OED?

    ?!?

    And Jennie, I’d gladly sacrifice the ease of flipping backwards through a book if I could gain the ability to instantly search its text. Wouldn’t you?

    Anyway, I’m moderately pro-Kindle.

  4. Will says:

    Dana, no matter how many books you’ve got, you’d only need one Kindle. It has an SD memory slot, so you can add books that way (also, books you download from Amazon can be downloaded again anytime, so you can use that as a separate storage).

    There’s a great (if long) article in Newsweek about the device and Bezos’ design goals. He actually addresses the “I love the feel of books” argument by saying that he doesn’t enjoy those aspects of books inherently but because they remind him of pleasurable experiences reading books. I think there’s some value to that. I’ve certainly had unpleasant physical experiences with books (smelling musty/smoky, etc.) as well as positive ones.

    I’m with Mike about people’s gut reaction to the device, which seems to be “it isn’t exactly like a paperback, so it’s doomed to failure.” They remind me of the people who poo-pooed Netflix when it first debuted. Yes, Netflix is dumb if you try to map its system onto your current Blockbuster-driven behaviors. However, it’s a much better match for your natural inclinations once you try it. The Blockbuster experience only seemed good because it was what people were used to.

    In the short term, I think Kindle will be used to complement books and access them in ways that are difficult now. For example, Kindle seems hugely geared towards people on the move, with its on always-on Internet access. Down the road, though, I expect something like Kindle to take off much like Netflix or the iPod has. At that point, people will start saying the same things about books.

    “What do you mean you don’t have your entire library with you at all times?” “How can you live without being able to look thing up in Wikipedia anywhere?” “WIsn’t it annoying not to be able to find your favorite Don Norman passage instantly?”

  5. Mary says:

    I think such a device has its place (vacation, etc.) but it just ultimately seems soulless to me. I like electronic things well enough, but books just seem like the last bastion of civilization. They feel good. They smell good. They sometimes have nice paper and construction and lovely art on the covers. They look nice and cozy on a shelf (although I admit my own collection, like most material aspects of my life, needs a lot of weeding.)

    I think we need to stop letting children drive the marketplace. They’re cute and all, but they’re philistines.

    That said, if and when this Kindle is around for a year or two, I will probably want one really, really bad. And I will lose it (probably in the same place my iPod is.)

  6. Kevin says:

    I’m not quite the early adopter some people on this list are, but once I adopt, I tend to *really* adopt. I take as many of my class notes as feasible on my laptop, using my favorite kind of USB flash drive, a U3 drive, which lets me use my Firefox and Thunderbird wherever I happen to be. Once I get home, I frequently transfer those notes from my flash drive to my iPod, which I can thus study wherever I might happen to be, like on the train or waiting in a line or something. That’s in addition to keeping all my music on my iPod, all my digital photos, and several of my favorite movies (Superman Returns, Transformers, Serenity, for example). One of the things that drew me to my Scion xB was the fact that I could get an inexpensive iPod adapter. The list goes on and on.

    In other words, I REALLY like technology that makes it possible to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it. I watched Superman Returns in bed while staying in NC this summer. I show people pictures of my epic lightsaber battles with my niece. If it weren’t for hating phones, I’d probably have all that fancy technology, too.

    So every time they come out with a new digital book viewer, I get a little excited inside. Because while I respect the attachments many of you have to the physical books you read, I find them cumbersome frequently. Who else has gotten cramps from trying to read Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter in bed or on the couch? Or a big textbook? If I can read what I want, when I want, in a compact, easy-to-use format, I’m on board. Especially if there’s some way to integrate it into another product so that I only have to carry one.

    But is this the one? I don’t know. I’ll have to hold it for myself. See what the text looks like. All that stuff.

    Also, as it looks like the overwhelming majority of my reading will be academic for the next several years, I wonder how useful an item like this will be for me. If I could take notes and highlight on the page, like you can with some PDF programs, that would be awesome, but then you have to deal with more complicated and less user-friendly technologies that take a lot more battery power. So it might not be the kind of thing that would appeal to a broad array of people.

    I guess all that means I’m optimistic, but it would probably only be able to do popular books for me, which I don’t have much time for, and something that would really make me happy would probably not work for most people. Oh well.

  7. poetloverrebelspy says:

    They show one illustration in the Gaiman interview and highlighting/note-taking features in the Morrison interview (at the Amazon page Dana linked to), for the two of you who asked about those things.

    No one’s mentioned the copyright issues that this will raise. Book sharing will become like music sharing. Right now they’ve got authors standing behind this thing, but at some point there will be plenty of authors (and publishers) angry they’re not profiting fully from the new technology.

    I wonder how durable it is, if it scratches easily, if it gets hot. I can’t imagine bringing this expensive device along to the beach (sand!!!). What happens if it gets wet? A book is one thing, a $400 “book” another.

    That said, if it can handle illustrations (maps) well, I can see this being a very practical alternative to lugging around travel guides and language dictionaries. Does it work across the entire planet?

  8. kidsilkhaze says:

    Mike– free text searching in a book is useless when you’re trying to remember the bulk of a conversation that happened three pages ago. Because unless you can remember a phrase used well enough, you’ll probably get hits throughout the portion of the book you’ve read so far.

    poetloverrebelspy–I’m not sure on the copyright issues at play. My guess is there is some hardcore DRM on these book downloads. Libraries have offered free e-book and audio book downloads for years without major issues. Publishers have learned from the music industry’s woes.

  9. Molly says:

    What happens when you’re half a page into the climax and the battery dies? And you’re on the train to your parents’ house for the holidays and you forgot your charger? Heavens.

    My SO sometimes makes me play Brain Age on DS, which asks you to draw a koala, a giraffe, the continent of Africa… but no matter how precise the stylus, my drawn-on-a-screen koalas always look vaguely demented. Drawn on paper? Cute. Brain Age makes you write your name; it took me three tries to write mine legibly. It is VERY hard to imagine digitally interacting with a text and taking notes on a screen in any sort of effective manner. (Maybe y’all are better at this than I, I don’t know.)

    On a sentimental level, I’ve been writing my name, the date, and the city where I bought it inside the front cover of every new book for more than ten years. I have a copy of Van Gogh’s letters I bought at Shakespeare Books in Paris, a copy of Franny and Zooey I found in a cafe, a lovely set of the Chronicles of Narnia I bought myself as a high school graduation present. These paper and ink artifacts remind me of who and where I’ve been. My iPod has no such sentiment for me — did I download “Harvest Moon” in 1999, or was it 2002? Then again, I still listen to mix tapes, and still believe they’re better than mix CDs in every way.

    Regardless of the success of digital books, I have a feeling I’ll still be crinkling the pages of the copy of “The Wasteland and Other Poems” that I inherited from my mother, still cherishing the ink of her tiny, precise handwriting and the meticulous notes she made in the margins in 1968.

  10. goshawk says:

    I actually have the Sony Digital Book Reader and have been trying it out for about a year. It seems to be the closest thing to the Amazon Kindle, although it does not have independent connectivity to the store. I agree with most of the comments here in terms of enjoyment of physical books and the advantages of being able to easily flip back to previous pages. However, there is one disadvantage of the electronic book that I had not thought of. That is that you are prohibited from using the electronic book on airplenes during the beginning and end of every flight just like any other electronic device. This amounts to at least 30 minutes a flight and is long enough that I have ended up carrying a paperback to read during that time and eventually I stoped carrying the electronic book reader because it was an additional thing to carry. The other issue that you have to learn through experience is that the Sony book reader software is easily confused and has to be rebooted. Nothing fatal, I never lost a book or anything like that. Just very annoying. If you want to read your book, you don’t want to have to fiddle with the device.

  11. TheGnat says:

    The copyright issues were long ago looked into by Baen Books, among others. eBook sharing is nothing new, and some publishers have discovered that instead of taking a hardline stance like the music industry, meeting people halfway or all the way is the more profitable route. Go read http://www.baen.com/library/. That “manifesto” was written in 2000. For that matter, people have been loaning books to each other for centuries, and we’ve had public lending libraries for a looooong time now. The publishing industry is catching on fast that there’s no real difference.

    As for the technology itself, besides being mostly “old news” to a technophile like myself, I would love to have two or three instead of two six-foot tall bookshelves. I think you’re being technophobic. =P I’m not about to ditch my second-printing copy of The Crisis, but for most of my books? An e-book will do just fine. It’s good to see there’s starting to be more variety in options, and that eInk is gaining in strength. Perhaps, unlike mp3 players, there will be a competitive market: optional backlighting, notetaking features, optional internet connectivity, etc. I really can only see a positive future for eBook readers, though there will always be a place for physical books and bookstores.

  12. laikal says:

    @Mike

    I still feel that way. I do not think that people who make music should feel threatened by downloadable digital music. The record companies should, though. I admit to being wrong about how a lot of specific things would play out back in 2000, but in general I remain comfortable with that. The music industry doesn’t need to worry. Mega-stars and mega-companies, maybe.
    I’ve actually purchased equivalent quantities of CDs since 2000 and more overall music since I now buy a lot of digital music.

    I can’t wait to get reliable data on Radiohead’s experiment.

    @Amazon
    I hope the Kindle dies. I’m sorry. I want you to succeed, Mr. Bezos, but ugh.

    The good:
    Integrated wireless/content downloader. Making it easy to get stuff to put on my reader.

    The largest digital paper screen yet. Digital paper is excellent. Backlights are very bad for long-term reading like you might want to do with a book. Digital paper is also low-power usage and higher resolution (160dpi vs. 72dpi), both are good, though I’d prefer 250-300dpi for anything with illustrations.

    (The low resolution is also why the people that don’t like writing on screens above don’t like it.)

    Annotations. Fine, cool. I can’t comment on the interface, which will make or break the deal. If it’s like acrobat, meh. Text searching? Meh. OED integration is cool, though.

    The bad:
    A small black and white screen that limits all books to the same format. Argh. Points for having the best screen yet, but it’s still not enough. I read, like Kevin, a lot of non-fiction from books that are 10-14″ diagonal, with illustrations etc. This thing is built for looking at mass market paperbacks two or three paragraphs at a time. Arglebargle.

    No matter where and how large the buttons are, you won’t be able to flip through it. Or apparently see more than two paragraphs at a time, if the teaser videos and pics are any indication. I’ll pass, thanks.

    DRM-locked “digital books” that shackle me to your reader and probably won’t be readable 10 years from now. No thanks. At least you can easily burn/convert your iTunes DRM stuff, and iTunes is moving away from DRM anyway. What if I want to give a book to a friend, which I can easily do (wholly legally) now? I’ll pass, thanks.

    Retro-battlestar-galactica-tech look? Seriously, this thing looks like it was conceived of in the 80s. Who’s responsible for that? I certainly don’t want to curl up with it: it fails to make an emotional connection with me.

    So, this is evolutionary. It adds one nice feature (easier access to [some] content), but then screws that part up my making everything expensive and long-term useless. I’d pay maybe 50 cents for a book in that form factor, not $10.

    I already happily buy non-DRM locked pdfs for $20-$25, so I’m not some weird content-should-be-free person. DRM is just plain unacceptable economically and legally. There is a slight chance that this product would be worthwhile if amazon threw in the ebook for free when you purchased a real book from them.

  13. Dana says:

    Goshawk: Thank you for commenting! I knew you had a digital book, and I was hoping you’d give your impressions. Good point about having to turn it off on the plane. I wonder if the Kindle is different, since it’s only using power during page turns? Then again, if it’s only displaying 2-3 paragraphs, as Laikal suggests, that won’t be very helpful after all.

    I think the 2-3 paragraph thing would be annoying anyway. You’d feel like you were constantly having to turn the page, or scroll, or whatever.

    Laikal: Thorough analysis, as always. Good points, all. I wonder when this technology will eventually advance far enough that people will want to use it on a regular basis. Probably when Apple designs it.

  14. akdmyers says:

    I’m sure none of you will be surprised to hear me say that I will always prefer the physical book to text on a screen, and I will spare you my impassioned speeches about how much more appealing physical books are – many of you have covered those points already anyhow.

    I can see some applications for digital books; just as I use the library for some things now and buy other things, maybe at some point in the future I will use digital readers for some things and physical books for others. Since the current readers seem best formatted for mass-market paperbacks, and those are the things I am least likely to want to buy, maybe digital would be a good option for those. I would have thought it would be a good option for travel – less to pack, less weight, etc., but if I have to turn if off for take-off and landing, that’s a deal breaker for me.

    My biggest problems with the idea of a digital reader are two that have been mentioned already: not being able to flip pages, and the limited view to 2 or 3 paragraphs. I have a tendency to remember things based on where they were on a page, so if I’m reading fiction, and I want to double-check something that happened earlier, I generally have a pretty good idea of where to look, and I enjoy the physical act of flipping back. I also don’t always remember enough of what I’m looking for to form a good search query, and I think it would interrupt the flow of my reading experience.

    Another concern I have – Laikal mentioned the issue of whether these files will be readable in 10 years, and that should be a HUGE consideration. Barring fire or flood, you are most likely still going to be able to read even your mass market paperbacks in fifty years, let alone ten. What will happen when this technology becomes obsolete? Will we all have to migrate all our files to whatever new format has come along? Will we have to buy everything all over again? What will libraries have to do? Libraries (and individuals as well) already have problems with how to handle old formats: microfilm, floppy discs, VHS and cassette tapes, etc., and libraries in particular have to figure out how to preserve the information contained on those formats and make sure that it will still be available to patrons in another 10 years.

    This is an issue with any kind of digital media, so I’m not necessarily presenting this as a reason why we shouldn’t use digital books, but rather as a reason why we shouldn’t completely replace physical books. The current book format has literally stood the test of time, and well-preserved volumes are still as readable today as they were 550 years ago; I highly doubt we are ever going to be able to say that about any kind of digital media.

    Digital books do seem to be the wave of the future, and I’m sure the technology will continue to improve and evolve, but I am definitely not sold on it yet. Quite honestly, the thought of replacing my friendly, pretty books with an electronic device makes me want to cry.

  15. Mike says:

    Laikal, I’m not convinced that professional musicians have nothing to fear. But if they’re going to survive, it won’t be because people have clung to the physical properties of CDs; it’s because somebody’s found a way to make money (directly or indirectly) by distributing mp3s. Gonna be the same with books.

    You make a great case about screen size and DRM, though.

    Jennie, you’re right: text searching is probably not that useful in fiction. I’d use it all the time with nonfiction, though. Sometimes, when I’m trying to find a particular phrase in a printed book or magazine, my left pinkie and index finger will actually twitch in a “CTRL-F” motion.

  16. laikal says:

    Mike,

    Oh, sure, I agree that distributing digital copies of books is going to be important to survival; as indicated, I already buy numerous digital books (as pdfs) already — I estimate that the availability of material in pdf format has increased my personal expenditure on books by 50%. I’m not anti-e-book; I’m anti-this-format-of-e-book. Why do you think that professional musicians still have anything to fear from digital music distribution (not that it is particularly germane to this topic; oh, for a message board 😉 )?

    It is all about convenience and experience, and imo the Kindle provides some forward progress in convenience and an incremental experience improvement, but it is as-yet insufficient. And far too expensive. Seriously… $10 for a drm-locked bestseller? You’re also limited to a pre-selected list of news and blogs! Argh!

  17. Andrew says:

    I don’t know about the Kindle in particular, but I could definitely see myself using a digital ink device academically. I have a collection of papers, articles and books in my field saved in PDF format. It’s now over 2GB and around 625 files. (And those are just the ones I’ve found to be worth keeping.) I try to avoid printing them out, but sometimes its really nice to be able to bring some along in a portable format when I’m thinking about a particular problem. And sometimes its just easier to concentrate when it’s not on a screen, especially when I’m reviewing a paper. A digital ink device that could hold my entire collection and let me browse when I’m away from the computer would be a great compromise.

    And if it supported annotations, something like that could have been useful this weekend for proofreading a paper that I was working on. As we got close to the deadline, the revisions were moving swiftly and printing off a copy of each draft would have wasted excessive amounts of paper. It would have been great to be able to mark up a copy with a stylus, then go back and fix it on computer, merge the changes into the latest revision and then pull down an updated copy to the reader again.

    Another academic use that I could see is for grading student work. I’m in research rather than teaching at this point, but I could see having students submit their work electronically, then upload it all to a reader and carry it around with me to grade when I have a few free moments. Mark it up with a stylus and then send it all back electronically.

    I really like purely electronic workflows where possible, but I don’t always like reading things off a screen. So I can definitely see myself using digital readers in other ways once they mature a little more — just not for reading novels.

  18. Roads says:

    The physical form thing is important, up to a point. We all loved the feeling of sliding vinyl out of a stunningly decorated sleeve to play our music.

    But we’ve all got iPods now.

  19. Matthew Sayre says:

    I’m going to try and not sound silly alarmist with this post. I’m not very technologically savvy, and maybe someone can easily reassure me, but this discussion reminded me of a conversation with my wife. A while ago, my wife had an article published in an academic journal. I was pround and excited, course, but what I wanted to do most was hold the journal in my hand and look at it. I wanted to take the publications to friends and show it off and crow. However, my wife explained, this particular academic journal did not actually ‘publish’. The journal released and archived its articles entirely online.

    Part of me thinks a digital book reader and the conversion to a digital media would be kind of neat for a few reasons. One, my internal crunchy granola person thinks it could be rather nice for the environment not to churn out millions of books each year with the concurrent need for trees and other vegetation for publishing. Two, I think it would be cool to have whole libraries of books easily accessible for the general public over the internet. Three, my very small inner gadget geek wants to curl up with a Star Trek type back lit databook (I’m with Jennie, if it isn’t backlit, what’s the point).

    Still, something nags me. Let’s say that the electronic reader is a smash hit, and accelerates the digitilization of media. Where I get worried is when it starts to go all electronic. It’s already starting with a few academic journals, and I seem to dimly recall that Stephen King tried to write a serialized novel over the internet a few years back. I’m worried about the impact of more and more publications becoming entirely electronic on libraries.

    Presumably for a databook reader, one would pay a fee and download a book. How would this work for something like a library, which is founded on the idea that consumers don’t have to pay for information, giving access to those who might not otherwise be able to get to it? If hard copy books are slowly phased out over time will libraries be able to provide digital copies of books to its legitimate patrons, if the library has obtained the data legally? Seems like then no one would ever buy a digital book, because they could get the data free from the library. Instead of hard copy books, do they become hard discs, that you plug into your databook, and you can check out the discs from the library?

    Once something is only online, as several academic journals already are, what about those people who do not have ready access to the internet? If a book or magazine is only downloadable to your databook, and you can’t afford a databook, what will that mean for the populace? Even if libraries provide internet services, if it’s just online, you can only read in the library and can’t check it out. How do libraries handle things like this now?

  20. TheGnat says:

    Well, what if libraries loaned out databook readers? In other words, libraries would become mostly computer terminals, but if you wanted to take a book home and didn’t have ‘net, the library would have databook readers it could loan out, and you could put whatever books you wanted to borrow onto it.

    I personally don’t see databook readers really taking off until they’re well below $200. Once they’re $50 like a lot of other single-use appliances, then they might become the norm. And libraries work on trust in the first place. So, it could all work out. ^^

    Again, the copyright and piracy issues behind ebooks have been covered long ago by many publishers, and many are beginning to follow Baen Books’ example. People do buy things even when they’re available for free. A lot of people don’t, but enough *do*. The Radiohead experiment has seen about 40% of downloaders paying, and the average payment was around $6.50. You can see an article and the link to the research here: http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/5035 It might not sound like much, but that’s a lot of downloaders and no middleman, and no end production cost.

  21. kidsilkhaze says:

    Matt– many libraries, both academic and public, already allow you to “check out” ebooks. You can also download audio books and movies at a lot of public libraries. Publishers and libaries already have these contracts worked out. Think of it in the same way that libraries provide access to databases. They pay through the nose of those things, but the patrons get the information for free.

    I think, for the technology to really play out, and take off, it’s going to have to be relatively non-proprietary (not that non-proprietary has had an effect on the ipod.)

    And, we can freak out about digital divide all we want, but CDs aren’t being phased out yet, despite the fact that digital is outselling them by how much? Hard copies aren’t going anywhere for a long time.

  22. […] the literati hate you, or sing your praises. Two years ago, when the first version was released, Dana posted about them and I made my feelings clear in the comments section. Well, it’s been a few year and we now […]

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