To Kindle or Not To Kindle
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I LOVE books. Adore them. Go through them like a drunk with a six-pack. And that’s why I now can’t live without my Kindle.
First I objected to ordering books online. Give up the ambiance of a bookstore? Lose up the comforting sight of shelves jam-packed with literary adventures? Pah! Get thee to a nuthouse.
But then one day it was raining and I was still in my jammies and I wanted to buy a book. I heard the siren song of Amazon and never looked back. It’s not only convenient it’s cheaper. And here’s the thing: They have not banned me from the bookstore. It’s not an either/or. And, like it or not, it’s here to stay.
Then came the Kindle, and I balked for the same reasons Britt did. I’m a writer. I stare at a computer screen all day. And the Kindle has such a tiny screen. What about the nice heft of a real book in my hands? What about the Pavlovian response I have to the smell of ink on paper? No Kindle for me, thank you very much.
But then one day I had to go to India for a month-long research trip for my new novel, and I was faced with needing to carry enough books to last me. Full of shame and apprehension, I bought a Kindle and loaded up about 20 books for India.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the screen does not glare like a computer screen. It’s some kind of freaky new technology that makes it as easy on the eyes as paper. And you can change the font size! One night I was reading a really good book in bed and falling asleep, but I didn’t want to put it down. I kept making the font bigger until I was only getting like six words on a page. I finally put it down and went to sleep, and I didn’t’ give myself a concussion by dropping a big old hardcover on my head when I passed out.
And the books are cheap. My novel, The Book of Unholy Mischief, is $26 in the bookstore and $17 on Amazon. On Kindle it’s $9.99. So if you buy enough books, the thing eventually pays for itself.
This is not an ad for Kindle and I don’t work for Amazon. I am an author and my first purchase on Kindle was my own novel, The Book of Unholy Mischief. You can read more about it on my website, www.ellenewmark.com, and that was another thing I objected to at first. Put up a website?
But then one day I got this book deal from Simon & Schuster…