Books, the Kindle and the Digital Age

I am an early adopter of the Amazon Kindle and bought my first one in 2008. A lifelong reader, increasing vision problems had made reading books extremely difficult. The Kindle not only made it possible to comfortably read again, but re-ignited my passion and my love for the activity.

2010 has been a critically important year for ebooks and the publishing industry. There have been many changes that have affected both writers and readers alike. The publishing industry is in the process of changing. Not all of these changes have been good ones and many of the discussions have been volatile, to say the least.

While it has become clear that ebooks are certainly not going away, there is still a lot of confusion about where the industry is going and how this affects publishers, writers and readers. Some are approaching ebooks with a sense of fear and loathing; others approach with a sense of awe and wonder.  Some are undecided.  How about you? Where do you stand?

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6 thoughts on “Books, the Kindle and the Digital Age

  1. I’m in the pragmatic camp, I think. With the changes being wrought in the publishing landscape, I think the next decade will see it becoming increasingly difficult to earn a living writing fiction. Since that had been my lifelong dream, it’s hard to see vanish.

    At the same time, it’s pointless to fight reality. Since ereaders/ebooks are part of new-normal, I figure I might as well learn to embrace and navigate them.

    This blog seems like just your thing, G. Good idea. 🙂

    • Jan, it is those very changes in the publishing standpoint that I am interesting in discussing on this blog. Personally, I have great hopes that the changes happening now will make it easier to make a living writing, not more difficult. Wherever you stand on this issue, you have to admit that as both writers and readers, we are living in interesting times!

      Thanks for stopping by, Jan! 🙂

  2. Count me in for the undecided camp. I love the idea of Ebooks, and the fact that you can essentially take a library with you wherever you go. However, I think that there’s something completely and utterly magical about the act of picking up a book and turning the page. Books just have this…smell about them that you cannot replace with an e-reader. Add in the questions of publishing and cost, and you’ve got Pandora’s Box. Still, I look forward to the changes, as it can only be new and exciting from here.

    • Kelly, there is no doubt that ebooks represent a huge paradigm shift in the way we define books and reading. One of the most frequent reasons that I hear for people being uncomfortable with ebooks is missing the touch and the smell of books. I think that is a subject that we need to talk about in discussing ebooks and ereaders.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Glinda, you were the primary reason that I purchased, both a Kindle, and then, a Nook. My original reticence centered around that “real” book experience. Being an avid reader, I could not imagine using page turn keys to flip a page, something that I’d done for all my life.

    Imagine my surprise when, after settling in with the Nook, that my reading DOUBLED. Not only have I discovered that my original fear of a “difficult” transition was a non-event, I now can no longer envision reading much outside the ereader.

    Of course, the physical book will, no doubt, be a fun thing to revisit, but the ease of transport, the library at my immediate call, and the unbelievable ease (and comfort) at which I find reading on the Nook to be, has given me an opportunity to become more of a reader than I had been.

    Yes, my life has changed. With the bummer restriction of finite years to exist, I’m pleased beyond electronic words that I’m now more likely to “cram” more reading into a busy life than I had previously been able. Because of a piece of plastic.

    Authors, EMBRACE the ereader. Any fears that you currently have, dispense with. I read MORE now rather than less (and I thought I was a voracious reader then). Last night, not only did I finish a book I had purchased (The Illumination – Kevin Btockmeier, (read his EXCELLENT The Brief History Of The Dead)), but I completed another book (average length), all before 1am.

    Thanks, Glinda. You, with your patient encouragements, have helped to improve my life as I love to read.

    Allow me to return the favor (a little) with the fevered encouragement that you seek out and read not only the above mentioned book, but also, The Stolen Child, and, Angels of Destruction, both by a new author of extreme worth (and who has a new book arriving in June) Keith Donohue.

    Glinda, you are truly a hero of mine. I will always remember you (and love you) even into my “brief history of the dead”. (Ha, now you’ll HAVE to read the book to see what I mean by that!)

  4. Aw, shucks, Matt — You have me blushing! Thank you for the too kind words.

    One of the things that I hear from a lot of people is that they do read more once they get an eReader. The other thing that I am hearing more and more from people is that since different eReaders are better at different things, they are buying more that one eReader.

    And I am going to list your book recommendations on my TBR file. There are just too many books to read! But, sooner or later, I will get there! 🙂

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