Greetings, Laura. Thanks so much for being my guest today. I just have one question for you: What is your opinion on the electronic book and ereader revolution?
My idea of a wonderful evening used to be curling up on the couch to begin a new book. Reading at my own speed, I would slide my fingers along the edge of the page and slowly turn it, feeling the graininess of the paper beneath my fingertips. In addition to the textures of different papers – the glossies of magazines, the slick pages of a textbook, or the rich, thickness of a novel’s pages – there were the smells. Newspapers and paperbacks reminded me of ink, library books came with the mellowness of age, and women’s magazines with the gradually fading aroma of the newest perfumes. I will always remember and treasure those sensations. At some level, I believe most of those will live on, but having said that I must add, I live in a family and with a husband who embrace technology.
I had a laser printer when many people were still using dot matrix. Somewhere floating around my house is one of the dinosaurs of digital photography that actually used a floppy disk. Even my first “computer” wasn’t much more than a glorified typewriter. But when it came to ereaders, I hesitated. I saw too many incompatible formats, similar to when VCRs first came on the market, and ultimately I just didn’t want to sacrifice the sensuous experience of turning those pages.
Two things made me take another look at ereaders and ebooks. First, I am a voracious reader. I can finish a short novel in hours. Reading at that rate can drown you in paperbacks pretty quickly. It’s also monumentally inconvenient when you go on vacation. Less avid readers simply don’t understand the need for a crate of books in the luggage. The second thing that made me rethink the move to electronic reading is my son. He struggles to read. There is a vast difference between what he would like to read and what he can read. I work with students who are the same way. An ereader gives them the ability to read what they are capable of reading, and I hope to improve their skills, without being the brunt of their classmates’ teasing. There’s no childish cover to give them away.
Still not completely convinced because I’ve become much more cautious about spending big bucks on new technology, I eased into electronic books. Most of my early purchases are pdf files I have stashed on a flash drive. Then I discovered Nook and Kindle both had PC applications. Yes! Instant gratification was now mine. I could read right on my computer. Finally giving in to the inevitable, I ended up with a Nook.
In the midst of all this electronic publishing upheaval, I finally took the step to becoming a published author. I searched out companies that dealt in ebooks with the option of print on demand because I now believe that is where the industry is headed. Electronic books will become the norm, and printed books will be a collector’s item.
Do I like that? There is a part of me that will always want to lift a book to my nose and inhale its unique fragrance. My Nook just smells like plastic.
Laura has a new release out this month!
The Silkie’s Call – available now from The Wild Rose Press
The Silkie’s Salvation – coming April 2011 from The Wild Rose Press
Winning Heart– coming July 2011 from Lyrical Press