At one point this weekend, my brother, my mother, and I all sat on the couch reading. My brother had a sci-fi novel on his kindle. My mother had just downloaded a free book for her ipad mini. I held a real nice trade paperback copy of Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. I don’t own any sort of e-reader. Over the years I’ve watched even my most bookish friends acquire kindles. They usually receive it as a gift, but then find that they actually enjoy the device, or at least find it useful in certain circumstances. I’m not actively agin’ em; I recognize that they can be very useful for travel, or for getting a book right away, or for carrying lots of books with you at once. I even read most of Game of Thrones on my brother’s kindle while visiting him this spring, and nothing about the e-reader impeded my enjoyment of the text. And yet… I am against e-readers. I love books too much. I love their shapes and sizes and smells. I love how they feel in my hand, and how they look on my shelf. I love their covers, I love every nuance of their interior design. Every font choice and every margin size is meaningful, and all these aspects are lost in a digital conversion.
Lately, though, I do wish I had an e-reader, and for a very specific reason: I want to support self-published authors. While trawling the blogosphere, things pop up that look good. Sometimes you can even get past the first paragraph without choking on the bad writing. When I find a self-published book that feels like a real book, I want to read it. But here’s the issue: the kindle version of the book often costs between 3-5 dollars, while the hard copy, even a paperback, often costs as much as $20. Now, I am in a stage of my life right now where $20 is a lot of money. That’s a whole harp lesson, or nearly another month’s harp rental. It’s a whole 10% of a student loan payment. It’s half of what I owe the dentist for last month. It’s two hours of hard work. Basically, I don’t have $20 to spend on books right now, especially not multiple books. I do have a kindle reader for mac, but I don’t enjoy the experience of reading a book on my laptop. It feels illicit, somehow. If I want to read these self-published books as real books, with the amount of respect I would give to any published author, reading on the computer just doesn’t work for me.
So I wish I had en e-reader. I don’t, and due to afore-mentioned money concerns, I won’t have one anytime soon. Since I’m not purchasing and reading these books, I figured the least I could do is share them with you.
Imminent Danger: And How to Fly Straight Into It by Michelle Proulx
Discovered this via a link at Celeste DeWolfe‘s blog. It’s got a good cover, great reviews, and its first few pages are technically pristine. It’s a sci-fi space romp sort of thing, and it sounds like a lot of fun. (Author’s blog: Michelle Proulx)
Embers at Gadrilene by A. D. Trosper
Read a great review, and got curious; I do love a good dragon book. While the first few pages seemed a trifle melodramatic, they were also well-written, and totally hooked me. I want to see where this goes. (Author’s Blog: A.D. Trosper)
There’s actually a story behind this one, and you can read all the details at the author’s blog (http://abovetheseaoffog.com/a-tale-of-two-goats/ ) The author is trying to raise the money to travel overseas to meet her boyfriend. As much as my own experience has completely disenchanted me with the idea of online relationships, I’m still a romantic at heart. I find their story inspiring, I enjoy reading this lady’s blog, and I completely support overseas travel, so I want to help them fulfill their dream. And, okay, I actually just realized I didn’t have a good excuse not to, and I went and bought the book. So far it is delightfully surreal, although it’s an epub file so I had to download a new program to read it. Also, the paragraphs don’t appear to be properly formatted, which is really too bad… but it’s a short book, and I think I can handle it for a 30 pages. Anyway, check it out—it’s a cool feeling to buy a book and know you’re funding someone’s dream in the process.
That’s it for today. Once again, I want to thank everyone who entered the Race to the 8th Contest. Thanks to last week, I am so close to being done with this stage of revision of Wanderlust. Also, I have not forgotten your prizes; I’ll update you on the status of those later this week.
17 thoughts on “I Don’t Have a Kindle, But Here Are Some Books to Check Out If You Do”
Thanks for the shout out 🙂 I agree with you on the reading-on-a-computer thing — it just isn’t the same as holding a physical copy in your hands, or even on an ereader. It might even be something to do with the screen size — books are suppose to be tall and thin, not so wide you have to turn your head to go from one side of the page to the other. And you probably thought of this already, but you should totally ask for an ereader for Christmas/Birthday/Easter/whatever gift giving holiday is coming up next.
You’re welcome! And I suppose I *could* have asked for an e-reader for Christmas or my birthday, but I like all the real books I received so much, and my big birthday present was a Writers’ Conference coming up in March, which I also wouldn’t trade. Maybe next year! I might be able to borrow one sometime before then to read your book, though. 🙂
Oooh Writer’s Conference! I really need to do some research and figure out if there are any upcoming in Ontario. I wish I lived in California. It seems like all they do there is have conferences and expos. Sheesh.
I agree with you, too. I understand the usefulness of e-readers, particularly for college students, but I love real books so much I can’t imagine ever giving them up for e-books. I have a friend who is a published author, but I didn’t learn this about him until his book was out of print. It’s now available again, but only as an e-book. If I want to read that book and support my friend, I’m going to need an e-reader. I just can’t quite imagine curling up in my favorite chair with a nice cup of chai and an e-reader. I’ve been reading books on paper for more than fifty years. I may be set in my ways.
That’s frustrating situation! Could you get it used, or could he loan you a copy? Although the problem with that, I suppose, is that your friend wouldn’t get the royalty from the sale.
I like to think that enough people (of all ages; twenty years seems to have been plenty enough time for me to become set in my ways) really love hardcopy books that they’ll never truly become obsolete—although I could see them becoming more of a rarified, collector’s item than the default format.
The first two books you mentioned were reviewed by my staff and taken from my blog. I’m glad they found their way to you. We understand how difficult times are right now, and we started off reading self-pub books to support the cause and the arts. What we found were hundreds of poorly written books and hundreds of dollars wasted. Some books were so bad we didn’t get passed the first few chapters. That’s why we started our website at http://www.writingapocalypse.com (the link under books) has a listing of books we have read by self-pub authors that are meticulously written and worth the cost.
As for e-readers: I HATE THEM! But they are a necessary evil for us. I have Kindle and Nook apps on my laptop, smartphone, ipad, ipod, and now we were given a Kindle Fire. This works for us, because sometimes at work I get the opportunity catch a chapter or two. Then when I’m waiting to pick someone up, I just open my app and read. It’s convenient, but I still love flipping the pages of a book, holding it in my hand, and placing it on my shelf. Something about the real book seems so much more comforting. Thank you for tagging our blog and look forward to reading more of yours.
Writing Apocalypse sounds like a great idea; it is truly terrifying how many horribly written self-published books are out there. You’re a hero for wading through them! I confess I stop at the first paragraph in a self-pub book if there are any sentence/grammar issues. I’ll make sure to look for more good books at your site, and I’ve been enjoying your blog as well!
Thank you for following the blog. And I tend to give a book 3 chapters, if there are more errors than not, I stop reading.
Thank you for the shout out 🙂 I hate reading on my computer too. I do however love my Kindle.
You’re welcome! I know a lot of people love their kindles and I’m sure if I ever get one I will love it too… but I suspect I will always love my paper books the most. 🙂 At any rate, I do hope to read your book in *some* format some time soon.
It is available at B&N for 12. something. Or, because you seem like you would really like to read it, I can send you a paperback. I will even sign it if you want. 🙂
It is so kind of you to offer to send me a copy! I didn’t respond right away because I was embarrassed; I didn’t want you to think I was *asking* for handouts or anything. But…I would really like to read it. Is your offer still on the table, a month later? I would certainly be willing to review the book when I’ve finished, for whatever that’s worth. And if you don’t want to anymore I totally understand, and it was really rad of you to offer in the first place. 🙂
Absolutely it is still on the table. 🙂 I will order a copy for you. It will take a few days to get to me (usually about a week) and then I will send it on to you. Did you want it signed? My email is email@example.com You can send your address there. And no need to be embarrassed. I didn’t think you were asking for hand outs. I have ran a couple of giveaways on Goodreads and I don’t think anyone entering was asking for a hand out. You just seem like you really want to read it and as an author, I would love for you to read it. So it’s mutually satisfying. 🙂
Of course I want it signed! I will email you my address. Super excited. 🙂
Pingback: I Don’t Have a Kindle, But Here Are Some Books to Check Out If You Do | 2booked2blog
Reblogged this on MY BLOG13.
This is the first time one of my post has ever been reblogged; thanks!