I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about my Kindle is that it allows me to carry around a huge quantity of books inside one compact object. Although mine, bought back in 2010, is almost a kindlesaur and somewhat bigger than the current version, it still does its job: wherever I go, I can pack a whole library in my bag.
And lo! the idea seems to be as old as the hills – or at least not as new as we may think. Wealthy Jacobeans had traveling libraries: faux folios containing dozens of small books. Well, few of them had one: according to this Daily Mail article, only four of them are known to exist – clearly an expensive eccentricity – but still. Four centuries ago there were people who liked to travel with a whole library. Some things don’t change too much, after all, do they?
Here is the link again, with a lot of lovely images of the Ur-Kindle.