Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have a feeling that I'm somewhat archaic in my dislike of e-books. This doesn't mean I'm not willing to change...given the right techniques of persuasion, of course.

You see, my husband is constantly regaling me with great e-books he has seen and down-loaded. He's constantly telling me (to be supportive, I've no doubt!) that when I get published, the e-book will get my work out there to the masses so much more efficiently than simply sitting on the Barnes and Nobles book shelf.

And each time - if I'm honest - I cringe.

I have a mental block it seems about reading literature on a computer screen. I think it takes away from the entire beauty of what reading really is and ought to be. When I read a novel, for instance, it isn't just the story that carries me away, it is the holding of the book in my hands and feeling the crispness of the pages against my fingers. It is the smell of a book too. It can be the raw and heady scent of a brand new book with it's tight binding and pages that occasionally stick together. Or the smell of the book I last had on the beach smelling faintly of sun screen and sand. There is something truly delightful about holding a book in my hands and sliding a bookmark into the place where I leave off that I don't think any other medium can even come close to let alone replace.

In fact, I won't even let my circle of trusted readers take a look at my manuscript online...I'm afraid it will come off like a textbook or research. I want my book to be an experience.

I can remember just where I was when I read The Kite Runner: I was sitting in the car waiting for soccer practice to be over, and then I was standing by the stove stirring macaroni and cheese, and then I was lying in bed with just my clip on book light for the end. See? It was a total experience that would have been tragically different had I been tied to my computer screen for the duration.

But I'm a reasonable person. I'm open to finding out if my vision of reading and publishing is old fashioned and out-dated.

Have you published an e-book? Would you? I'm open to being persuaded...if you do a good job, perhaps you can even convince me to download my first book!


  1. I've read a handful of books on a computer screen. It's not that bad. Really. A good book pulls me in so that I'm totally unaware of my environment anyway.

    My issue is with the screen. A backlit screen is harder on the eyes than paper. But the Kindle and Sony reader are not backlit, so I would really love to try them out. But I don't, for two reasons. First, they're expensive, and like most electronics will probably drop in price, so I'll wait for the price to come down and the bugs to be worked out. Second, they are apparently cold-intolerant, to the point that being carried in a backpack on a winter day can incapacitate them for hours or even permanently. Um, I live in Canada. I can live without being able to pull it out at the bus stop, but portability is one of the big selling points of an eReader, and not being able to take it out of the house in the winter is a major bug. Either I move south, or they find some way of fixing that problem.

    So for now, I'll continue to read the vast majority of my books on paper.

  2. I'm actually going to purchase an e-book for my ipod for the first time. I'm taking a long flight and thought I'd try this in addition to bringing a book. I'm looking at it like an adventure lol. Would I publish one? Of course!

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  4. Let me know how you like the e-book on the flight! That would be convenient I guess...

    You may be the one to convert me!