A lot of people seem to be giving in to the “inevitable,” that everything is going electronic and are giving up on printed books. They’re going for the little plastic devices that can hold admittedly thousands of books.
I HATE THEM
Last year, my wife bought a fantasy novel but hated it. It was too much thriller/adventure and not enough intrigue. She said I’d probably like it. The temptation to read it came from the third-person narrative. She knows how much I hate first-person. Since I’d never read an e-book before, and she had a paper book she wanted to knock off, she lent me her Nook and I gave it a try.
The things I liked about the e-reader were that I could change the font size. Besides that, when I read at commercials, I could stop right where I was at and didn’t have to worry about a bookmark. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Well… that was the good stuff. Though I have to admit I liked those features, there were too many other things that drove me nuts.
First, I had to hold a warm piece of plastic. It had no tactile feel of a book, no particular smell to it.
Second, I couldn’t jump to the end if I wanted to peek and see if the characters die. If I’m reading and get a bad feeling, I want to know if I’m wasting my time.
Third, I went onto Amazon and checked some other books I was interested in. One little problem. The ones that did have page samples, didn’t have enough to judge the writing style of the author. Why is this a problem? Some authors like to change not only from third to first person, but sometimes from past to present tense. Not only that, but I couldn’t flip through the pages looking for empty spaces. I like to check multiple spots in the book for full-page paragraphs and endless narrative. That’s usually a red flag that the author is not only wordy but has a literary bent. Not for me.
MY ONE EXPERIENCE
As for the one fantasy novel I read, it turned out okay, the heroes didn’t die and I rated it a good four stars, though there was a lot of head-hopping. However, I kept lifting that darn reader and trying to smell it. Just didn’t work.
Oh, and once in a while it would freeze. I’ve never had a solid book freeze on me.
GIVING UP TOO SOON
I think too many people are giving up to the inevitable that isn’t really there. They’re in a mindset that they’re being forced to go electronic when they’re the ones that are perpetuating it in the first place.
On the other hand, there are those advocates that love the fact they’re not killing trees and are saving lots of space. I see both sides of that issue. I think there’s room for both but a lot of that has to do with the publishing world pulling their head out and learning to live with both worlds. They’re still having a hard time of it with their old world mentality, I think that’s where the smaller publishers are getting their chance to shine.
The weekend before last, I finally got rid of my library of books. I took them all to the Goodwill for a tax writeoff. I’d thought of trying a used bookstore but didn’t want to hassle with it. So, taxes instead. I took over one hundred books, hardback and paper. Emptied a lot of shelf space. I only kept autographed copies and a few special ones.
The “wyberry” got so big because I didn’t have an e-reader. I could’ve had a wyberry ten times as large on my little plastic device if I wanted. Well, you know what? I didn’t want that! My wife can have her massive wyberry in dots and dashes. I’ll have mine my way and then pass that legacy on to others through Goodwill or whatever. What I have left are tangible collectible items I can touch. You can’t do that with dots and dashes.
I SUPPORT E-BOOKS
I do support e-books. I just don’t personally care to read them myself. However when I get published, I want my books available and fully operational in every format available, be it paper, electronic, Braille, or chicken scratching. Whatever it takes to deliver my stories to whoever wants to read them, I’m game.