The glories of e-book reading

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I sold some expensive jewelry from an ex  and purchased an iPad earlier this year. That one purchase transformed the way I consume fiction. Let’s just say that some people compulsively shop when lured in by tantalizing window displays and an appropriately placed sales sign and others are lured into the amazon.com kindle store, where books can be automatically downloaded. I fall into the latter category.

The biggest problem I’m facing? “Buy now with One-click.” Oh, that little yellow button. What is a girl-who-loves-to-read to do but click, click?

Here are some of the books I’ve purchased this year and enjoyed:

Black and Abroad by Carolyn Vines (autobiography with a good dose of humor and real life insight into being black in America and abroad).

Delusions for Breakfast by Kate Johnston (hilarious, subtle, deliciously written book about food and life).

Just This Once by Rosalind James (Burning hot romance set in New Zealand, this author keeps you flipping the pages and buying sequels, and yes, I’m admitting this in public!)

Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan (Hilarious, well written romance sprinkled throughout with wit, passion and laugh-out-loud moments of absurdity).

Open City by Teju Cole ( a rambling, beautifully written anti-story–lacks cohesiveness–about a young Nigerian doctor doing his residency in New York who takes nightly walks through the city. Still not my favorite book, but the story and characters linger–which mean it redeems itself in some way. And to give it creds, the critics love it.)

Fifty Shades of Gray Kale by Drew Ramsey, M.D. (A wit-filled recipe book extolling the extreme goodness of leafy greens by a doctor who capitalizes on a copycat title to boost his ratings.)

This is just a sampling of the 26 books I’ve purchased this year and read outside my book club choices (only one overlaps).  At least I’m not talking about 26 pairs of shoes, or 26 cashmere sweaters. But what I like about reading e-books, is that you can highlight passages you like, look words up instantly online and make the reading experience interactive. And if I read it a second time, I can delete previously highlighted sections; something I can’t really do in my hardback and paperback copies. Since I have a screen with light, I can read in bed after I’ve wrestled the iPad away from my son (I swear he transforms into an Angry Bird whenever I ask for my iPad back) and I can continue reading after my husband has fallen asleep without disturbing him.

As an author, I am glad that my book GREEN is available in both Kindle and print format. Seeing as the print version has to be printed, it is of course, less environmentally friendly. On the other hand, it is a print-on-demand title, which means it is only printed if ordered–thus no wasteful stacks of unsold books waiting around for a reader.

I’ve priced the Kindle version at 60% less than the print version. Why? Because I actually want people to READ the book, and by offering a low kindle price, I can hopefully eliminate one barrier. My print version is priced as low as possible to cover printing costs and enable me to earn a small royalty.  Once again, my pricing decisions were based on the following premise: books are meant to be read and enjoyed and accessible to all.

Despite my new found love of e-books, print will continue to be my favorite. I especially enjoy my reminiscent strolls by the bookcase where I can touch upon a book like a long-lost friend, remembering the experience I had within its pages. Seeing all of those spines lined up on the shelf, uncategorized and jumbled together, I see a flash of my  interests presented in a spectrum of colors and shapes. An eBook just can’t replicate that experience.

2 thoughts on “The glories of e-book reading

  1. 99% of the books I have read this year have been on my Kindle. I also have an iPad but I cannot get on WiFi at my job. My Kindle has 3G and this enables me to download another book from Amazon when I finish one at work. (I need to explain that I am allowed to read at work when I am done with my daily routine. Nice, huh!) Now, I bought a hard copy of “GREEN” hoping one day the author will sign it for me some day when she is in California. I do like the e-book a lot. It follows me around everywhere so I can read while waiting for life to happen. I’m glad you approve of the e-book, Kristin. Your book is awesome.

    • Dear Carole, Thanks so much for your thoughts on e-books. I’m glad to know you enjoy the experience as much, if not more than I do! I think if I had a good reading light and comfortable reading chair, I would be a dyed-in-the-wool print version reader, but the idea that I’m carrying around all those virtual books with me without a single strain to my back and shoulder muscles is also tantalizing. So glad you enjoyed my book Carole and thanks for the continued enthusiasm!

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