Monday, March 07, 2011

E-Readers Changed My Life & Pancakes

Its Read An E-Book Week - hurray.  It is also shrove Tuesday (or pancake day at our house) tomorrow.  Am trying to decide which event thrills me the most.  I mean, now I get to write a long and possibly faintly ranty post about how awesome my kindle is AND well... pancakes with lemon and sugar, or butter and brown sugar.  FTW.

So, kindles and other e-readers.  Now don't go all 'but I just want to curl up with a REAL book,' on me in the comments.  That just makes me assume that you are old fashioned and afraid of change.  Do you really want me to think that about you, really? 

Why so passionate about e-readers?  After all, my books come in e-form and print-form, so its not like I have some agenda going on.  But it's more what e-readers have done for me.  That is, got me back into reading and introduced me to a whole host of new authors.

Anyone who has small kids will know that the mere thought of browsing in a bookshop is enough to bring on a case of hives.  It just doesn't work.  After Miss 6 showed up I gave up on reading, I never had books in the house and I completely lost touch with it. 

Then I got my kindle. 

Last night I finished Janet Evanovich's latest Stephanie Plum novel (Sizzling Sixteen), was able to go straight to the Amazon bookstore and download Room by Emma Donogue (which, incidentally, I heard about through Goodreads - brilliant website if you are after something to read but not sure where to start).  Did not even have to put one toe outside of my warm snuggy bed.

The other reason I love my kindle?  Book prices and new authors.  Generally they are a lot cheaper than the print versions, and this makes me more confident about having a crack at a new author.  When books are priced at upwards of $20, I am not going to spend the money in case I hate the book by the end of chapter three.  But when its a quarter of the price, well, I'm happier to give it a go. 

Take The Book Thief for example.  Hated it.  The authors voice gave me the absolute icks.  But I'm not fussed that I did hate it, not annoyed that I bought it, it only set me back a few dollars and I'm glad I had the opportunity to look it over even if I didn't finish it.

One final thing about e-readers that not a lot of people know.  They display their text using technology called 'Smart Ink'.  Its not backlit, and therefore nothing like what you see on a computer screen.  It looks just like text on paper.  Now I'm not saying reading with an e-reader is precisely the same as a print book (especially when the slackarse publishers can't format their e-books properly) but it comes really close and is easy on the eyes. 

As an author I can tell you that e-readers are the way of the future for fiction - no not your beautiful cookery type books, but yes the way of fiction.  Watching the publishing industry as I have over the last few years, it is becoming screamingly obvious that publishers have to move to e-books to keep up and to survive.  In Australia we've seen Angus and Robertson go bust in the last few weeks (they owned Aussie Borders btw, so that's why Borders went at the same time) and that says more than anything that bookshops as we know them are not going to be sustainable. 

So jump on that person reading the kindle in the cafe (hell, that's what everyone does to me, am thinking I should start running seminars at T2 in Hornsby) check one out, ask your questions and get into it.  Oh and it doesn't have to be a kindle - there are lots of other brands.

Hello? Are you awake? I get a bit ranty about e-readers.  Sorry about that.


8 people love me:

Veronica said...

I want an e-reader so badly - I love "real" books, but my hands don't like holding them.

Caitlyn Nicholas said...

I love real books too :)

Tenille @ Help!Mum said...

I am old fashioned and afraid of change, but, you do make some excellent points. Especially the bit about downloading a new book without have to get out of bed. That I like.

Being Me said...

I've been really surprised at how "ok" I am with even reading a book on the iPad. So maybe a proper dedicated e-book reader is the way to go. I think I can.. I think I can...

Loz said...

okay. SOLD. I do like your point about the cost..I HATE shelling out on a book for it to be meh.

Wonder if the bday fairy has enough notice to buy me one? It's only 5 months away..

greenfumb said...

I have skipped the Kindle stage and gone straight to downloading them onto my iPhone. The only downside is that I fall asleep after about 3 minutes so I have to listen to them over and over. Saves me a fortune!

I loved the Book Thief so if you want to borrow an old fashioned paper copy I have it.

I still buy books but they are always second hand and tend to have lots of pictures of food and plants and worms and compost bins.......

Sami Lee said...

I bought a Sony last year and love having my e books portable. Yay e book week!

Sami Lee said...

I bought a Sony last year and love having my e books portable. Yay e book week!