"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning Again, May I Yawn?

As I mentioned Saturday, it is suppose to heat up here this week. Before I went to church Sunday, I really needed to buy gasoline. My tank was so empty (because it was too cold to stand there and pump gas) that it was clearly running on fumes and even the fumes were getting worried. So I did it, and it was very very cold, but it was the warmest day yet and I had to have fuel to get where I was going.

And speaking of Saturday...

I had a great day with the youngest child, Dr. Lovely Daughter. When I talked to her Friday evening she said she would be coming to my area to get her hair cut. You know how we women (and perhaps men) will travel the earth to follow their favorite hair person. It is a serious matter. I’ve had six people that I allowed to cut my hair since I became an adult and that I returned to with only one being a dud. I told that hairstylist that I did not want much cut off -just trimmed; it was my 10th high school reunion. She looked very normal, but she turned out to be Edwina Scissorhands and it became the worst haircut I have ever had. Thankfully, I’m gorgeous no matter what, so I went to the class reunion. (Are you rolling your eyes?)

I wasn’t really going to do anything Saturday just stay in and stay warm, but the Doc came by and we:

• Went to the Library Book Store and bought some books.
• Came back home and ate potato soup, toasted sandwiches and lemon cake.
• Went to a Mennonite store so the Doc could buy some cooking needs. (Is she really my child?)

It was an inexpensive and fun day.

Printing Press versus Electronic Books

I love the show Sunday Morning. Something that especially caught my eye yesterday was a segment on the eBooks and the digital book readers. I have this discussion occasionally with Techman from my office. I can't imagine a world without a book.

This segment mentioned that the sales of actual books were down a couple of percent last year.

eBooks may be here to stay. Like all new technology we will see. I am concerned on how this will affect the author who would like to make a living from his or her book.

SM said that JK Rowlings will not allow her books to be digital because of piracy issues and because she wants children to experience a book. I love technology, but I totally agree.

Because it is so new there are few regulations in place allowing authors to get a slice of the pie each time a book is downloaded. They kind of compared it to a movie where the people involved get compensated when the movie (or TV shows for that matter) is purchased in some way.

Bottom line: The written word is not going away, but its format may be changing.

JW's thought: I don't want the physical book to go away, but I realize that digital books are probably here to stay. I think what needs to happen is for someone to figure out how to include the writer, agent, publisher in the profits.  A digital reader can hold many books but only a book can smell like a book. Of course for awhile we thought that about the new car smell and it is now available in a bottle.

What do you think about eBooks and readers? Where do the authors of these books fit in?



18 comments:

  1. although I read blogs faithfully, I am a book in the hand person. The smell, the texture, the crisp words... The colored backs upon my shelves. Love books.

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  2. I love books. LOVE them! But...I have a feeling that if I don't embrace these changes, it's going to spell trouble for me as a writer (I'm no Rowling.)

    Ebooks (good): Adjust font. Less expensive to BUY, not produce. Can take 100 books on an airplane instead of 1. Can encourage people to spend more on books. I've heard they're making digital chat rooms at the start of ebooks now...to encourage readers of your book to have a virtual book club meeting.

    Ebooks (bad): Can't read them in the bathtub. :) If you drop your ebook reader, you risk losing your whole library, not just one book. We need to iron out digital piracy and proprietary issues for writers.

    Hope you have a great Monday!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

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  3. SW, I love books too. I collect more than I can read, but that's ok.

    Elizabeth, Love your pro and con list. I think it will be ok once the fairness is ironed out, except I don't like holding the reader as much as a book, but I am sure that will change.

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  4. First, I'm glad you got to spend a nice day with your daughter. Potato soup, oh so perfect for a cold day.

    Second, yes, I love the feeling of a brand new book that has a crisp, stiff binding and smells like Barnes and Noble. Or at least I like the smell in Barnes and Noble, not sure which. Anyhow, I'm a little torn, though. Because if I could figure out how to get a book on my Blackberry, I could take it with me anywhere and the boys wouldn't be able to rip the pages.

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  5. Like the death of many newspapers, the book's future scares me.

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  6. Hi JW .. I love books and don't own a Reader. I do hate reading books on the computer screen. I'm going to find out if reading is good via a docking station & podcast or audio book .. I'm of the age when I don't like things in my ear - though when I'm by my mother's bedside as she gets sleepier I can see I'll go that route.

    Patina's the other word I was thinking of for books - feel of.

    However I couldn't do without the net for 'research' (looking up things would be better - for me) and I've learnt so much from it. Sometimes I'll print off to read - as I find it easier.

    So all methods .. but I'd hate kids to grow up with reading an actual book ..

    It will be interesting to see how it all works out .. I'm expecting to add to my book tally with a number of my uncle's books - including a set of 1930s encyclopedia of 24 volumes or so .. - I'm really looking forward to it!

    New books too .. lovely
    So pleased you enjoyed your day and were able to cheer yourself up in from the cold.
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

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  7. I don't think anything will permanently replace the sensual experience of holding a book in one's hand and reading in a chair by the fire or in a hammock or whatever.

    I think ebooks have their place -- they're easier while travelling, commuting, etc.

    I think there's room for both. Neither has to exclude the other, and most true readers I know haven't given up print books for ebooks -- they like BOTH.

    So let's get the stories out there in multiple formats, and we grow the audience.

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  8. What I don't like about ebooks is what I don't like about emusic. To me, the actual physical product is a piece of art that we can collect, accumulate, line shelves with, admire, seek out in "used" stores to add to our cherished collections. I've yet to hear of anyone with a beautiful, artistic collection of emusic or ebooks. They don't physically exist. So in a sense, if we lose actual books to ebooks, we've lost an artform.

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  9. There is a whole lot more to books than the words... As mentioned in comments above--holding them, smelling them, collecting them..finding that surprise treasure at a second hand shop. Rereading an old favorite. ebooks won't be popular in my house that is for sure. However for traveling, maybe. Not sure..if I did that, I'd just as soon listen to audio books--which are great for long commutes etc. The electronic screens tend to bother my eyes after staring at a computer screen all day anyway. Also...if Barnes and Nobles Saturday was any indication--there are no worries about 'real' books becoming obsolete. I've never seen that place so packed out. I think there were thirty people in front of me in the check out line. And I agree, something must be done to give the author due credit and proceeds from their books!
    Tammy

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  10. I love the feel of a book too. I like the different color and designs of the covers, the shapes and sizes of the books and the different thickens. Can you tell, I like books.

    When someone is reading a book, a stranger is sometimes drawn to ask, "What are you reading?" And a conversion about books begins. Granted a talking stranger may not always be a good thing, but as a general rule.

    But a person reading an eBook could be working, not reading. You don't know so no conversation begins.

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  11. I think digital readers are a good thing for some types of books. I think all text books should be digital. My DD had major surgery over the summer for scoliosis and she is now limited in what she can carry in her book bag. I had to get a dr. note to get a second set of books for home so she wouldn't have to carry the nearly 30 pounds of text book back and forth on a daily basis. However I don't think I cold ever give up my hardback copy's. I love re-reading my favorites and doing it on a digital reader some how seems wrong.
    But my gut tells me it is the wave of the future...

    Blessings
    Robin

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  12. The "green" side of me loves the idea of saving trees. If money gushed out of an oil well in our front yard, sure I'd buy a Kindle.

    For now, I will hold my old and new friends in my hands, inhale the sharp, woody smell of their pages, and bury my nose in their leaves until ink smudges it.

    Great article. Great blog!

    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  13. I recently got a BAD haircut. I'm still walking around with it. I'm on the lookout for just the right person to fix this mess. Meanwhile I cringe when I look in the mirror. Yikes, is there anything worse than a terrible hair cut?

    I bought a Kindle when they first came out. I love it. But, I still buy physical books too. One format doesn't cancel out the other. J K Rowlings can afford to refuse for her work to go digital. Me, I'm happy to have readers any way I can get them. My book, (yes, someday it will be out, but that's another story), will be available on every digital device known to man!

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  14. Cop Mama,Gail, Hilary,Devon,Joanne,
    Tammy, Mason,Robin,Patti,I can clearly see you all feel passionately about your books. I agree with all of you about this. Pile them on me when I die. I will happy to have that for a casket. I also believe both the book and the reader can fit into our world. I was talking to Techman at work today about this subject. Working for a school, and having children who had to carry too many books in their backpack, I know a reader would good for as a text book for the most part.

    I love love love your answers!

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  15. Elizabeth B, you slipped in on me while I was commenting on the other comments. There may be worse things than a bad haircut in the world, but bad haircuts are badddd. Yes, I think we have to go with technology as writers or we will become dinosaurs.

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  16. I can't imagine a time when I didn't have a book somewhere near me, if not in my hand. There is just something about the type across the page, the smell of the paper and ink, the sound of the pages as they are passed or flutter..... An eReader just doesn't have all that. And as for ebooks being cheaper? Not much from the major publishing houses! I won't be buying an eReader any time soon. I just love the magic of a real book too much. (Not to mention I am such a techno-goober. *G*)
    I'm glad you had such a lovely Saturday!

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  17. Funny thing, when my son and I were going to college a few years ago all our books except algebra were downloaded on the university's site. I purchased them so I could access books when I could not get online, but most students did not. I love curling up with a good book. I hope we don't lose that. Also, how does this effect authors? Often times when we publish at sites I wonder how many reads go unreported.

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  18. My Techie friend helped me understand this situation. Don't let all the techie stuff get in the way of your creativity. It's just another form of transmitting data. The techies would have nothing to transmit if we didn't create. I don't think screens will replace actualy books. They are an art form in themselves as another commenter said. Read on!

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