Like a lot of people today, I often feel that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I need to do. I look around my office and wonder, if it was ransacked, would I notice? So many things are happening in my life at the moment that it’s difficult to see spare time landing in my lap so I can do those chores that pile up, like going through my winter wardrobe now the colder weather is here. After all, I’d planned to go through my summer clothing several months ago, failed miserably, and ended up wearing old faithfuls that I knew I didn’t have to make a decision about.
Organising WriteFest has taken a bigger chunk out of my time this year. So many glitches – even the flights I’d booked for the workshop presenters were changed by the airline almost before the confirmation email arrived in my in-box. But everyone I’ve spoken with seems to be having just as hectic and chaotic a year.
So is it a universal happening? On the news tonight it showed the unrest in Europe, the governments that are changing, the possible collapse of the European Union. Is the continuing fallout from the global financial crisis gathering like a snowball down a slope, pulling everyone into its ever-growing unrest? We in Australia have been relatively isolated from the terrible effects of the GFC felt by other countries, but I doubt this will continue for much longer as we are part of the global market. Publishing is part of that global market, and the caution being displayed by publishers here in Oz makes it harder than ever for writers to sell their manuscript. The other side of that coin is the rise in e-book publishers and the increase in e-book sales.
As an author with books in both mediums, print and electronic, I am filled with hope that e-publishing allows my stories to reach a wider readership than my print books ever could. But I’m also sad that the time might come that a print version of my books simply won’t exist.
How do you, the readers, feel about e-books? Do you rejoice at the lower price, the lack of cluttered bookcases, the joy of many many books on one slim e-reader? Or do you crave the tactile sensation of turning a page, of smoothing your hand across the cover of your favourite book? I’d love to hear your feelings about this.
16 thoughts on “I need more time”
Hi Sandy, I have Kindle only because my son bought me one & said I have to keep up with modern times!!! Having a Kindle is fantastic when going on holiday’s means my case is much lighter but there’s nothing like holding a book in your hands & being surrounded by books it’s gives you a great feeling. Yes! I know how you feel when you say there’s not enough time to do all the things you should be attending to? I’m doing my family tree & boy it’s full on. When I first started doing Mums tree I never in my wildest dreams though I would find such exciting history. I sure make time to read no matter how busy I am.
Sons are good for keeping us up-to-date with technology, aren’t they, Trish 🙂
I’d be lost without my computer-guru son. He’s saved my techno butt many a time.
I have both, ebooks and hard copy. Trying a new author via an ebook is a great way to save dollars and if they are what I am looking for then I go hard copy for my collection.
We will probably all end up like that, Dean – having both ebooks and print books. But I’m wondering what it will be like in a few more generations – will today’s babies be e-readers only, or will the tradition of sitting with a parent or grandparent and sharing a print book cement a love for print books? Or will ebooks be their choice? It will be interesting to see what the situation will be 10-20 years from now.
E books may be the medium of the future & they do have their advantages (when I get one I will be able to judge this better) but nothing beats the pleasure of holding a book in your hands & turning the pages with expectation of the next part of the story. My bookcase is running out of room but I will find space somewhere, can always get another bookcase. Some of my books I have had for 20 years plus & I love to read them again & again. To snuggle up in bed or on a cold day relax in a comfy chair, or on a warm sunny day sit out in the sunshine, always having to read just one more page or chapter before I drag myself away to do some housework but the thought of what is happening next will always drag me back to that book. It is not just the novels that I love to read but so many others & the pleasure of browsing through a bookshop can never be achieved by browsing the book titles at an E-book store.
Chris, I think that we humans are such tactile creatures that we will always want to “feel” a book. Another reason for us loving our print books could be the childhood memories of having parents or grandparents read to us and that feeling of being loved and secure as we snuggled in their arms and watched the pictures on the page has always stayed with us. There were always books in our house. Might not have been much money, and everything was fairly basic, but thank heavens there were books. And an aunt and uncle who let me borrow their Readers Digest and American Saturday Evening Post. The fiction stories in the SEP were exceptional quality, and played a big part in my desire to write.
Hi Sandy – I love my Kindle and have read many new authors since I got it. But, I still love the feel of a paperback in my hands, curled up on the lounge, being swept away for a few hours. Great post.
Thanks, Helen. Once WriteFest is over I’m going to cut myself off from the world and read those Kindle stories I downloaded (probably will have to recharge the battery first). And then look at my to-be-read hard copy pile and start whittling them down 🙂
I’m definitely a convert to ebooks, although I still enjoy reading the printed versions that I still have on my shelves. Like you, Sandy, my shelves are at bursting point and I simply don’t have space to fit another copy, but I’m loathe to part with any of my old friends. So having the ability to download hundreds of ebooks at an affordable price and in such a seductively easy manner is a definite plus for me. I’ve enjoyed reading books by authors I might never have discovered otherwise. I think printed versions of some books will always be around but they might become precious artefacts rather than the norm. Who knows what the future holds? Still, it’s an exciting if somewhat scary time for authors.
Kathy, I discovered last year, when relatives visited, that the “grey nomads” are big buyers of ebooks because they take up so little space. Finding space for piles of print books in a caravan is a problem, so ebooks are a solution.
One thing we have to be grateful for, we authors will still be able to get our stories to readers no matter what medium we use.
I like e books. Paper books aren’t everything. You need 2 hands out in the cold to hold them open. You fall asleep and lose your place. They are heavy and bulky when you travel. They get dusty and yellow.
Ah, Jan, but I’m sure you have some dusty yellows you wouldn’t part with. Some books that bring back memories?
Lose your place? I’ll have to buy you a bookmark 🙂
I love physical books and have yet to read an e-book but as a selfpublished writer I am putting my novels into electronic reading and have found that I am reaching a wider and larger reading base and this is going to be my way for the future not only for my writing but also my patterns. I think the future is going to change the way of our lives in many ways, we might not like it but must go with the flow if we want to move forward.
That’s the wonderful thing about ebooks, isn’t it? They can reach readers that some print books can’t. And it’s a fantastic way for you to sell your patterns too.
For me, nothing could ever replace the feel and the joy of holding an actual book in my hand. I love a beautiful cover, I love the feel of the pages, I love the smell and the sound of each page as it turns taking me further into each story.
Having said that, I don’t hate ebooks. I love that they are so easily accessible and that readers in places who would never have an opportunity to read a particular book, can be readily reached. They’re a great way to try out new authors or books that I wouldn’t necessarily seek out in a bookstore or spend large amounts of money on. They’re a great impulse buy and perfect for reading on the go.
And, if I really enjoy a story told in ebook format, I’ll happily go and spend the $20 or $30 so I can own the “real” book to display proudly on my book cases.
Kylie, I feel the same way. I’ve run out of places in my house to fit another bookcase, and the ones I have are groaning under the weight of the books I love, but I find it difficult to give them away. As a kid I could only afford to buy books when I got birthday money, so each purchase was precious.
I have bought a Kindle and downloaded some novels, but haven’t read them yet. I think I need to re-program myself so that I make the mental switch to picking up a leather case and delving inside to read rather than be attracted to the cover of a book, pick it up and start reading in a nano-second. I definitely agree with you that ebooks are a great way to try out a new author, and it’s also easier to find one in an e-bookstore than prowl the shelves of a physical store. Ah, but those shelves laden with hard copy books will always draw me in and keep me dipping and tasting stories for hours until I make my selections.
We are so lucky today to have the best of both worlds.