August 13, 2020

Thoughts on E-Readers vs. Books

Thoughts on E-reading versus paper-and-glue books: the short version.

Pros of the e-Reader phenomenon:

  • I have a ton of books with me, and it is only a pound.  Great for traveling, if you read as much as me.  Lots of free and discounted books, including the service called Oyster, which bills itself as the “Netflix for books.”  (I do subscribe, and I admit that I read things on there that I would never, ever buy, so it is definitely a beneficial service for those of us who might need to expand our horizons.
  • Also, with the online self-publishing, there are so many more writers who are writing, and can develop a following, bypassing the traditional publishing structure.

Cons of the e-Reader phenomenon:

  • My biggest pet peeve of my free books: lack of copyediting.  When the names change half-way through the book.  Or a sentence has been sloppily edited so it reads something like, “Carol said and it said…”  Those books bum me out.  Pay an English Major $100 to edit your work if you can’t afford to bring it to a professional editor.  I do feel that in the adrenaline rush after one writes “The End,” the author wants to get it out there as soon as possible.  But wait!  Editing is important.  A clean copy does wonders for the reader, and helps build the reputation of the author.  Plus it make the author look smart.
  • I love browsing in a brick-and-mortar bookstore.  I love funky used bookstores more than chains, and I love taking my books to the cashier and a skinny college-aged boy giving me his book reviews about the books I am buying, and how the author has another coming out in a month, or if I liked that book, try this other guy out.  It is the actual conversation, not the bottom of the Amazon page saying, “Other customers also bought this…”

Conclusion: I do like both.  I like the ease of the E-reader.  I love the people of the paperback.  Why does it have to be exclusionary?  Yes, when I am on a plane, I have my kindle.  But at home, I usually have a trade paperback.

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