Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thoughts on E-books

There's been a lot of hullaballoo over the whole Amazon/MacMillan thing, and I'm not going to repeat the madness here.  However, I did think it was time for me to address the whole e-book craze and render my thoughts on the subject.

E-books are probably wonderful, but I don't read them. 

I'm not against them for other people.  To each their own, ya know?  But right now, I don't see the value e-books would bring to my life.  I'm an old school book lover.  I really love the whole visceral experience of reading - even when my wrists get tired holding a book.  (Hey, if the book's good enough, I'll read right through hand cramps like you've never felt.  It's a price I'm willing to pay for my paper copy books.)

A really good friend of mine got a Sony E-reader for Christmas.  She thought she'd hate it, but she fell in love almost immediately.  For her, the advantage is she can take it anywhere and read whenever she's got a few minutes.  This is especially necessary since she works long hours and has two active kids at home.  She doesn't have time to curl up on the couch with a hard copy book.  And I'm ecstatic for her because she's lamented not reading and now she can read to her heart's content.

For me?  Well, right now, I don't have any kind of e-reading device and I'm not shelling out money for one.  This means that if I want to read an e-book, I have to do it from this spot.  When I read here, it's for work.  I read my own books and my friend's books here.  This is my spot for critting and editing and creating.  It's not my spot for wallowing in the pleasure of a good novel. 

"Oh, but the e-readers are perfect for couch reading or bed reading," you say.  I'm sure you're right, but aside from the loss of everything else I love about a hardcopy book, I'm just not feeling like reading from a little gadget is going to blow my skirt up.  (And of course, there's the cost, which I already mentioned.) 

I know this opinion is keeping me from reading some really awesome e-book only novels.  I can think of one title right now that I really want to read, but since it's not on paper, I'm going to have to suffer.  I know I'm probably missing out in some ways, but this is where I'm at in my life, and I'm not seeing a change in the foreseeable future.  Call me an old fogie, or a stick in the mud, or a hick.  :shrug:  I gotta be who I am, ya know?

So, what are your thoughts on the e-book revolution?  Would you, like my friend, read more if you had an e-reader, or are you fine with books they way they've always been?


  1. I used to feel the same way you did until I got a Sony reader. Now? Man, I love that thing. LOVE it. It really changed my whole perception of ebooks and ereaders. I still read paper books, but they're not my first choice.

  2. To some extent, I'm a creature of habit. Like you B.E., I enjoy curling up on the couch to read my "tangible" book.

    Although I've never tried an e-book, I find electronic reading is distracting. I have to print my MS. before I can edit it, so I can't imagine taking on an entire novel electronically. I probably won't change until I have to.

  3. I like both. I still prefer an actual book, but I find I'm more willing to test out new authors on my Kindle, because it doesnt cost as much if the author was a bust.