Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nooks And Other E-Readers

I’m broadening our topic today. Maybe even going off on a tangent. But, readers are essential for writers, so I hope everyone makes an allowance for me. J

I’ve been reading since I was three or four years old. I remember trips to the library with my mom, where we’d come home with a stack of books almost taller than I was, only to return the following week for new ones. I remember browsing the aisles of bookstores with friends or my husband, spending hours trying to decide what books to buy and being tempted by them all. I remember conversations around the dinner table during holidays, discussing the latest books my uncles wrote, analyzing the meanings behind the words and discussing which relatives received the honor of a dedication. In other words, books have always been an important part of my life.

For me, books were always paper. Their weight gave importance to the words within; the smell of the ink and the paper added to the excitement; the ability to read ahead, or to refrain from doing so, adding suspense. And then I got published and jumped into the world of the e-reader.

I was skeptical at first. Is an e-book a “real” book? My kids started talking about friends who had e-readers and how suddenly non-readers (they exist???) were enjoying the pleasures of reading. I viewed my book on my iPad and it looked real enough. Actually, it was pretty exciting. The cover filled the screen, the pages looked like “real” pages and were easy to navigate. I couldn’t necessarily skim through sections to read ahead, but that’s kind of something I should avoid doing anyway (kind of like reading the last page of a mystery). And although I also had my book in hard copy, I had a lot of friends who were eager to order it as an e-book.

Then I started playing around with my Nook app, and I fell in love. Most Nook books were cheaper than hard copies. There were free samples to try. I’m more willing to take chances on new authors because it’s less of an investment. If you have the real Nook, like my daughter does, you can go to Barnes & Noble and try books for free for 30 minutes. If you have a Kindle, you can borrow books from our local library. I’ve developed a library on my Nook app of a certain type of book that I like. They’re all in one place, and I can go back and reread them easily, without having to scan shelves in my basement to try to figure out exactly which book I’m thinking of.

Do I still like paper books. Yes. I’m not picky—I like ALL books. I still borrow hard copies from the library, still go to the bookstore and buy paper books. But having the Nook app gives me another opportunity to read books that I might have hesitated to buy before. And anything that encourages reading is a great thing!


  1. I guess I'm a Book Prospector. I usually buy my books at Yard Sales, Thrift Stores and Flea Markets. I love the randomness of finding a books that interests me in a pile of a dozen or so in somebody's front yard. I like my books to be old and thumbed through. To be honest, book stores, even used book stores overwhelm me. I'm not sure I'll ever get into the e-reader thing. Maybe if I get to be published, I might feel differently, but for my own enjoyment... I don't think so.

  2. Well, if you like the tactile feeling, then you probably won't. I love used book stores and yard sales--such great finds! Thanks for stopping by today.

  3. I remember visits to the library as a child too. I loved reading and always had my head in a book. Over the years, I must have bought hundreds, if not thousands, of books, and of course, my early novels came out in book-form (hardback too!).
    Then, last August, my daughter bought me a Kindle for my birthday - and I was hooked! Mainly because it's much easier than trying to read a whole book on the computer screen (and ending up with sore elbows!). Another reason is, of course, that it's much more convenient when I'm on holiday than taking half a dozen books with me!
    Having said that, I still want to see my books in print, as well as on my Kindle!

  4. Paula, yes, nothing beats paper when they're your own books!

  5. I was an e-reader hold out for a long time. Like you, I like books: the feel, the smell, everything. And I like having a library in my house. My personal library has over a 1000 books in it. I love looking at the shelves filled with all of those marvelous books.

    When I got published, I joined many loops. I visted blogs. I started winning e-books. And I discovered reading them on my computer - even my laptop - just wasn't cutting it.

    So for Christmas I asked my hubby for a Kindle. Just the basic one. I don't need to Tweet or surf the net or anything...I just want to read on it. And I love it.

    I definitely haven't given up paper books, but I'm definitely more than willing to meet the generation of e-books half way!

  6. Debra, I think it's an acquired taste and one that will most definitely not replace paper books.

  7. Great post, Jen. I, too, am a huge book browser. I look at the books people have on their home shelves. I used to spend hours in the college library fondling old, obscure books.
    I haven't taken the e-reader plunge yet, but I'm sure I will. It's exciting to think people who don't "read" will read on an e-reader.

  8. Especially kids. I think with the popularity of electronic games, reading on the e-readers becomes fun. It's awesome.

  9. I'm a lot like you. I love holding the book and physically seeing it on the shelf...but at the same time, the e-reader I have is great too, and it gives me the opportunity to find new authors because I'm reading more.

  10. Great post - loved libraries and print books since a child. But I also love my kindle for reading in bed as it's so much more comfortable. And the ease of downloading - wow!

  11. I like books--the bound kind and the ones on the e-reader. For a long time, I didn't want to give up the "feeling" of having a real book in my hand--but later discovered that the words that the book contained were of much more importance to my imagination than the actual physical book itself. I'm hooked on my Kindle!

    Cheers, Jenn