This blog entry isn’t related to my own books or my search to connect with a literary agent, but it is book-related so it’s close enough. And anyway, it’s my own damn blog so I’ll write what I want. And here’s what I want: I want to make a confession: I have converted!
I’ve always considered myself to be one of those people who enjoys the smell and feel of paper when I open a book. There’s nothing like settling down on a winter’s day, under a blanket, with something yummy and chocolatey juuuuust within reach and cracking open a book with that printy smell and the sound of turning a page. For all their convenience, I couldn’t see myself buying a eReader, like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook.
Yeah, well, meanwhile back in Realityland, I got to thinking. I’m a fan of historical fiction (which why I’m writing a series of historical novels). Give me a 1000 page book covering the history of London, or the misadventures of a willful Southern belle surviving the ravages of the American Civil War, and I’m happier than a binoculars salesman at a nudist colony.
There’s no getting around the fact that 1000 page books are HEAVY. And if you’re traveling you probably want to take several books with you. I do, at any rate. Pack a few of those and suddenly just your reading material takes up half the friggin’ suitcase. Suddenly the concept of an eReader makes sense. Add one book or add a thousand, it weighs the same (ounces, not pounds), it doesn’t take up any more room in your case than a slim paperback and it comes with a built in dictionary handy for looking up words like palimpsest which I came across recently but didn’t have a dictionary close by. Chocolate-yes; dictionary-nope. (In case you’re interested, a palimpsest is a manuscript (usually written on papyrus or parchment) on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased. It’s also the name of a memoir by Gore Vidal which is rather a clever title now that you know what the hell a palimpsest is.)
At any rate, my point is the eReaders make a lot of sense so it came down to ‘Do I get the Kindle (which is by far the most popular brand) or the Nook?’ My preference was to go for the Kindle until I discovered that I can’t download ebooks from the L.A. Public Library onto the Kindle. The Kindle can only read Kindle-proprietary software, whereas the Nook will read all sorts of different files types, including PDF, ePUB, and all the e-media available through the L.A. Public Library’s website. That was a big selling feature for me so even though the Kindle put up a damn good fight, ultimately the battle was over when I realized that I can still snuggle under my blanket and read anything I want and still have something yummy and chocolatey juuuuust within reach. Actually who cares what I’m reading just ask long as there’s something yummy and chocolatey within gob-shoving distance.