Saturday, January 5, 2008

E-Readers

"Hey, I just finished reading this fantastic book! It's about blah-blah-blah. I'd loan it to you, but, uhmmm, it's in (on?) my Kindle...."

I was brushing my teeth last night, thinking about the conversation I'd had with my neighbor earlier in the day. Her Kindle came! She was so excited, she sounded like a kid with a new toy. I'm excited for her because she's excited, but I'm still sitting the fence regarding e-readers and e-books.

When I read a really good book, the first thing I want to do is share it. When my friends and I discuss books, the first question, invariably, out of anyone's mouth is "Can I borrow it?" Up until last night - the taste of minty freshness on my tongue - I hadn't quite narrowed down why I've been dragging my feet about e-books.

I realized sharing a fantastic book won't be nearly as easy in an e-format. I'll have to "hard sell" my opinion to persuade a friend to read the book I loved. I'll, in effect, be responsible if my friend buys the book and then considers it a waste of their hard earned money.

Another thing came to mind, as well. What about libraries? When a new book is released by my favorite author, I put in a request at my local library. My name is put on a waiting list and they call me when the book becomes available. I'm assuming I'll never be able to pull up my library's website, choose any title I'm interested in and download it to my e-reader of choice. If I could, writers will literally starve.

Time will tell, I suppose, how the future of books turns out. But, for now, I think I'll continue to buy, trade and borrow books, if only so I can continue to foster reading among the people I know.

2 comments:

Lillie Ammann said...

I understand liking to share books, but often e-books are very inexpensive. I buy a lot of e-books at Fictionwise.com, and most are not expensive.

One of the main reasons I prefer e-books is that my eyesight is very bad, and it's difficult to read print books. With e-books, I can adjust the font to a comfortable reading size.

Libraries are beginning to circulate e-books now though it will be quite awhile before there's a huge selection. Library patrons can check out an e-reading device with selected title(s) or download titles to their computer. The titles expire and disappear after the end of the borrowing time.

I'm a big fan of e-books and write about them quite a bit on my blog.

LaskiGal said...

I'm looking forward to getting a e-book reader--eventually. BUT, there is nothing like curling up with a book, the creased pages, the way it rests in my lap, the way it looks on a shelf, the excitement I get from paging through it at the bookstore/library, the smell of the pages of a new book (or a really old one I find at a flea market).

I am also big on loaning (really, it is giving since I seldom get a lot back--I encourage people to share, share, and share--especially my students) my books. I'm a nut when I find one I really like--seriously, book publishers should hire me!