Books have a magical power beyond even that which we know so well - the ability to transport you to far off lands of the imagination, to learn, to escape and to enjoy.
For me, books are also a physical companion.
I had the pleasure of popping along to the Exeter Book Fair at the weekend, which was a delight...
Not just for all the warming people I met, particularly those kind enough to say they've enjoyed my tvdetective books (and buy more!), but for the sheer joy of looking around and getting to know so many books.
There were vivid memories of childhood days in the shelves; these must have been amongst the first books I remember reading -
And also some wonderfully fine specimens from the crime writing world I'm lucky enough to be a part of -
Ebooks have prompted huge changes and a big debate in the publishing world. I don't have a problem with them, but there is one way ebooks will never beat the traditional versions.
And that's the simple pleasure of the physicality of a book. To hold it in your hands, smell the evocative scent of well aged paper, feel the history of the book and the many minds which have enjoyed it.
For me, that's why there will always be books in a physical form. They're good friends, and - as in the rest of life - sometimes that means you just need to hold them.