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Kindle: the last chapter for books?
Man Booker prize judge Chris Mullin has turned down the use of a Kindle – but former Orange prize judge Daisy Goodwin thinks he's a bit of a luddite ...

Chris Mullin, the former MP and writer, and one of the judges of this year's Man Booker prize, has refused to use a Kindle to read the submissions. Daisy Goodwin, the television producer and writer, who loves her e-reader, thinks he's wrong. Is this next chapter in book publishing a good thing? Emine Saner got the conversation started by asking the black-and-white TV-owning Mullin if he was simply a technophobe . . .

Chris Mullin I don't want to disappoint you, but I don't have a fundamental objection to new technology. I was offered the opportunity, as all judges of the Man Booker prize were, and I declined it on the grounds that I like to feel a book, see the look of it.

Daisy Goodwin I'm interested that you didn't leap at the idea of having a Kindle for the Booker. I chaired the Orange prize last year and would have given my eye teeth to have had one, because I spent months where everywhere I went I was carrying two or three hardbacks. I'd be interested to see if it changes the judging process, because you inevitably make judgments about the book from its cover, the author photograph, all that kind of stuff. You don't get any of that on a Kindle, so it may be that you end up judging the book purely on the words it contains. I think you're being unnecessarily luddite if you have to read 130 novels for the Booker.

CM I don't find a problem with it. I travel up and down the country on the train, and I have two or three books in my case. I'll ask the other judges soon [if they are using theirs] and I expect they will tell me what an idiot I am . . .

DG I do share your reservations about whether the reading experience is the same. I don't read continuously in the way I read with a book. When you have a book you have a real tactile sense of how far you're getting. With a Kindle, there's just an indication of how far you've got, which doesn't feel the same. It feels much easier to pick up and put down. The novels I've read on [my Kindle] are probably not the novels I was absolutely concentrating on.

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Source: the Guardian