The British Libraries Association have undergone a major re-branding to compete head to head with Amazon's Kindle.
"It's a major initiative," said Rowena Reddalot, High Priestess of Librarians. "Kindle's marketing policy is to highlight their positives, such as thousands of books, no need for acres of book shelves and ease of use. To us, that doesn't sound like an electronic book, it sounds like a library."
According to Reddalot, libraries have offered any book that has ever been printed, plus off-site storage for all the volumes. Additionally, they couldn't be simpler to use, and books can even be reserved on-line, and collected from mobile libraries.
"We like to think of it as a lo-tec version of the Kindle," said Reddalot. "Additionally, we have one advantage that the Kindle does not have - we're free. Additionally, our reader is also free, in that all that is required is eyes and a decent light source, so you don't strain those precious eyes."
With prices of Kindle's books sometimes costing more than the paperback version, this is an important consideration.
Reddalot has done the maths. "With the Kindle coming in at over a hundred quid, plus the costs of books not actually being less in a lot of cases, even our most tardy readers who regularly run up fines, they never come anywhere near the cost of a Kindle."
Kindle hit back with a press statement saying that the Kindle offers much cheaper books, and books that are also not published via the usual route.
"Well," Reddalot countered, "there's a reason they were not published using the normal channels. I suggest if people want to read this kind of fiction, they ask their pre-school children to write them a story."