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.