Depending on your point of view the Kindle is either a miracle device, or the work of the Devil. While some people like their device – or love the ability to read Amazon’s Kindle ebooks on an iPad or other device – many see the move towards putting books into an electronic format as destroying the soul of books and something to be resisted at all costs.
I’m in the middle. I don’t think there is anything that can beat reading a novel in a paper format, particularly if it is old, and I distinctly remember enjoying the smell of old paperbacks when I was younger, a kind of dusty vanilla.
Books are also easy to flip through, and if you’ve owned one for years – as many Bond fans have with their collections – they take on a character of their own over the years as they begin to get creased, worn and stained. I always hate it when I damage any of my books, but years later a particular stain or mark can be remembered fondly too.
Kindles on the other hand are rather soulless in their form. However, the real value from books is not their physical form but what is between the covers, and here the Kindle is exactly the same. While I prefer to read novels on paper, I also read a lot of business books too, and this is where I simply don’t care what format it is in.
Where the Kindle wins
In fact the Kindle does have some advantages over paper. First of all, you can buy a Kindle book from Amazon and start reading it within a minute or two; there it mimics browsing a bricks and mortar book store, and negates the lengthy delay between ordering a paper book from Amazon and its delivery.
Second is the ability to search the book. While the table of contents and index and useful, of course, being able to search for a specific word or phrase within a Kindle books simplifies research massively.
Third, the ability to load many, many books into a device means that you both have something to read wherever you are and can check facts in an instant if necessary; this works even if you are in an area without Internet access.
There is something else though, which is hugely important. Many publishers have huge back catalogue of books that haven’t been issued in print for years, even decades. While the sale of these books individually might add up, the economic case for printing them may not hold though if the target market is too small and the costs associated with printing make it unfeasible.
The Bond market
However, a Kindle ebook can be formatted relatively quickly and uploaded to Amazon for sale within the space of hours. That means that books with small and very specialist audiences are viable for Kindle whereas for print books there are not. As a result it opens up a whole new lease of life for publications that haven’t seen the light of day for years.
One of the markets in which this has been felt is for books relating to James Bond, with books that have been out of print for a decade or more finally being revived for Kindle. This is definitely a good thing, and although they may not earn the authors or publishers a fortune they probably earn a steady trickle of income from something that may otherwise have been considered well past its sell by date.
007 Kindle reissues
Below then are my top 7 books related to James Bond now that have been reborn thanks to Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader. I’ve excluded any James Bond novels, both by Ian Fleming and the continuation authors, and the list is in no particular order: