I thought long and hard about what I would write as my very first post on this blog, but nothing quite seemed to fit. First, I toyed with adding a few book reviews just to get the blog going, but it didn’t feel right. After that, I thought I’d give you some witty advice on how to become a better writer, but I ended up with writer’s block. Since there’s so much talk going on in the industry these days about the transformation into the digital world, I thought it would be most appropriate to discuss it here.
All my life, I’ve been drawn to books. I didn’t play sports; I read. I was at the library so often that they knew me on a first name basis. I loved everything about being there–the weight of the books in my hands, the smell of the paper dust, the understanding that between two covers, a multitude of characters waited to whisk me off on a new adventure. Books were my best friends, and I read everything I could get my hands on. Even now as an adult, I try to read at least two books a month. But a problem in our home, as I’m sure is the case in thousands of others, is that we never seem to have enough space on our bookshelves. (I swear that one day I’ll have a library like Belle did in Beauty and the Beast.) We have books stacked at least two rows deep on each shelf, plus a couple of boxes in the closet.
When I first heard about these newfangled contraptions called eBooks, I’ll admit that I was more than skeptical. I couldn’t possibly fathom that they’d catch on, and even if they did, there DEFINITELY wasn’t going to be an eBook reader in my house. No, sir; it was print only for me … and then I got a Sony Reader for Christmas. I downloaded a couple of books in public domain, read them, and then downloaded a few more mainstream titles as an experiment. Two years later, I can officially tell you that 95 percent of everything I read is in eBook format, and I won’t go back. All of the new books that I buy are downloadable, and I love it. Aside from the fact that I can store hundreds of books on one device, eBooks are more affordable than printed copies and I don’t have to worry about accidentally damaging one of the pages. “But don’t you miss the feel of the book in your hands?” I’ve been asked. Honestly? I don’t. My eReader is lighter than most of the printed books I’ve read, and I can stash it in my purse when I’m on the go.
There are some who say that they’ll never read books on eReaders and that printed copies are the only kind for them. And there are others who have rejected print altogether. Obviously there are pros and cons to each side, but is one better than another? How do you feel about it?