Helen Harper

Ain’t technology great?

When e-readers first appeared on the market, I wasn’t exactly impressed. How on earth could a piece of technology ever compete with a real book? Truthfully, it wasn’t until my suitcase was lost by an airline during a holiday to a remote island in the Philippines and a friend lent me her Kindle that I appreciated just how wonderful they are. These days, I’ll choose an e-reader over a physical book any time. I have endless choices (and an endless list of books – one click has a lot to answer for!) and instead of lugging round a heavy tome everywhere I go, I can slip my Kindle into the smallest of my bags and barely notice it’s there until I need it. I can change the size of the font. I can hold it one-handed. Misplacing it sends me into a panic which temporarily losing my keys has never managed to achieve.


As an author, obviously the advent of e-readers and e-books has changed my life. I’d never have achieved any measure of success without them. I will admit, however, that sometimes I miss having something tangible to give to readers. Sure, I’ve got boxes aplenty of bookmarks – but even when I bought physical novels by the cartload I personally never used a bookmark (yes, I’ve always been a corner-folding heathen). I have given away branded keychains and bottle openers and mints and jewellery and they’re great. They’re not books though.


Of course, I do give away lots of copies of e-books but, to my mind, there’s something less personal about sending one through the virtual ether than actually sending something you can hold. That’s why I’m thrilled to have teamed up with USB Memory Direct. They’ve been kind enough to send me a batch of USB sticks with my logo on them. Now I can load up books and give them away so fans have something tangible AND something with my books included. Check out the size too!



There’s an old episode of Friends where Chandler is ridiculously excited about his new laptop with (wait for it) 500MB of space on its hard drive. This tiny memory stick has 8GB … I don’t think technology will ever cease to amaze me.


One lucky reader will have the chance to win one of these great memory sticks, with the e-book of your choice uploaded onto it. Simply comment below and you’ll be in the running. And next week I’ll be visiting the London Book Fair so if you happen to bump into me, there might just be the chance to take away another one! ??

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