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I have a Kindle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My pleading and begging finally worked, and I now have a new little electronic buddy whom I happily run home to every evening. Or maybe not every evening, but you know what I mean. She’s beautiful (this iPhone photo doesn’t do her justice) – I’ll definitely have to update with a new picture once her sophisticated hot pink leather case arrives. I’m extra-excited for my rendezvous in Chicago this weekend as plane time = Kindle time! No longer will I have to lug multiple ARCs with me to leave in the airport as I finish; all manuscripts are secure in my little 10oz device!
Now I am still, and like to think always will be, a faithful reader of the physical book. I plan to use my Kindle primarily as a single-handed attempt to save forests, since I’ll no longer be printing out 400+ page manuscripts that kill my shoulder on the trek home. It will also be my travel companion and gives me motivation to start saving for a trip to Europe! I haven’t bought my first ebook yet, though I did download the free sample of CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG (you all know about my girl crush on Chelsea Handler) and am sorely tempted.
For all of you out there lining up to buy me a Kindle, you can hold off until Christmas (unless you feel really strongly about it; who am I to turn down a gift?!). Sony has just announced their latest e-reader to the family and this one has access to libraries (via wifi)!!!! This definitely puts Sony ahead of Amazon at the moment. So instead of purchasing each E-book for $9.99+, they’ll be rent-able… I wonder if you need an account with each library from which you “borrow”- but the details aren’t important to me yet since it won’t be out until December (hence, Christmas).
The official Sony post here: EXTRA, EXTRA: SONY’S DAILY EDITION ROUNDS OUT NEW LINE OF DIGITAL READERS, no pre-order link but if I stumble across one I’ll definitely let you know, along with my mailing address!
It appears I need to change my gmail signature from “Visit my digital book nook, obsessed over & updated regularly: http://www.novelwhore.wordpress.com” to read more along the lines of:
“Visit my digital book nook, obsessed over regularly, but rarely updated, though every time I write I really enjoy it, so keep on visiting until it gets more exciting.”
And, like the headline suggests, I am going to re-post my article from http://www.beneaththecover.com right now, since not only does it take minimal effort since it’s already written, but I’m able to justify to myself that my blog is now updated! So, for all you readers that I really do appreciate, here’s my latest column:
What are books, exactly—treasured artifacts to be displayed behind glass, or objects to be enjoyed and devoured, like a good meal?
I know that no book I actually enjoy leaves the experience unscathed. For the lucky few that I enjoy, I’ll refer back to the content often, dog-eared pages in my wake. While stories offer escape within the language, for the books I reread I get taken back to where I was the first time, whether it be via the stains of soy sauce from unsuccessfully trying to read while enjoying sushi, or the sand that spills out as remnants of a long-forgotten vacation.
Obviously, with that description in mind, you can see that the books on my shelf may never make it into a museum exhibition of classics preserved in immaculate conditions. But what are books for if not to be loved, smelled, handled, and passed around? To me, the print medium is so important—though after lugging home a complete manuscript to read this evening (even with double-sided printing, 204 sheets is heavy!), my shoulder disagrees and would prefer a Kindle copy.
I admit that so much of my fervor for print comes from its history. I didn’t stay up past my bedtime with a computer screen under my bedspread, but a flashlight, as I stealthily flipped pages. I get a special thrill from going back to my parents’ house and seeing the children’s books I wrote my name in, using my “best hand writing” in 4th grade. While it took me a while to get to this rather obvious realization, it came with the help of journalist and author Allison Hoover Bartlett.
Her upcoming book (available from Riverhead Books next month, September 2009), The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, tracks an unrepentant book thief and the “bibliodick” determined to take him down. It’s a story of passion and addiction, and has made me compulsively check all the books sold out of boxes on the streets of NYC for rare 1st editions awaiting discovery.
In this true tale about catching a wily 1st edition book thief, books are believed to be treasures, investments, or a drug, pacifying a need. While I admit it would be nice to have that 1st edition of Gone with the Wind standing proudly on my shelf (actually, it would be behind glass, it’s so rare!), I don’t need an intact dust jacket to accompany it that’s worth far beyond the cover price. The content and history between the pages is enough for me.
And the stuff within the pages may be enough for you, too. On the publishing blog GalleyCat.com, Ron Hogan thoughtfully deciphered a recent survey from the Pepsi Optimism Project citing the “optimism booster” cited by more respondents than any other—88 percent—was “books.”
As Bartlett notes towards the end of her book, “[Books] root us in something larger than ourselves, something real. For this reason, I am sure that hardbound books will survive, even long after e-books have become popular . . . I can’t help think that our connection to books is still, after all these centuries, as important as it is intangible.
So while I may want that Kindle for the sake of my poor shoulders, I don’t think I’ll give up my search for the elusive and meaningful hardcover finds, including a Margaret Mitchell 1st edition.
In case you weren’t aware, Romance is the most successful genre of books; it’s also the most popular/successful type of EBook purchase. Coincidence? I think not. This PostSecret “secret” really touches on the secretive nature of the new digital mediums that are allowing people to read whatever they want without anyone knowing. The conservative Christian reading Chelsea Handler? The heterosexual reading about being gay? The wife looking into divorce? Handheld devices have really returned reading to a private endeavor.
Interesting insight in an amusing/frivolous way. Now if I could just get someone to donate an EReader to me so I could explore what non-socially acceptable books I may enjoy…
Not only is the publishing industry hurting in this lipstick economy (where a book is considered to be an unnecessary luxury), but Amazon is taking their e-book concept one step further – by joining with Apple for a new application where the Kindle is iPhone friendly.
Ok, I’m not stuck in the dark ages and abhor technology. I understand the concept of an e-book for updating a dated text (health care, law, etc.) and even for college students, to take away the weight necessary to carry textbooks around… But for the pure joy and pleasure of reading, how is a screen with text enjoyable?! Is it just me, or is there a special appreciation that comes from the symbolic appreciation of turning a page in a book, and eventually being able to close the cover. I anticipate I will be lugging around my bound novels for the rest of my life, and not pulling my “library” out of my purse and perusing my titles.
Amazon, don’t you think you’ve already taken enough away from the publishers by slashing prices and luring consumers away from the more tangible bookstore experience?! And consumers, the Kindle book is still at least $10 – go out and buy the book and have something to show and stand proud on your shelf, not to hide away in your iPhone!