Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Little Wi-Fi with that Crow, Please

I will never have an e-reader. Ever.

Yeah, I said that. I meant it too. At the time. I was convinced if I knew my own mind on anything, it was this. I had good reasons. I said I liked holding the book, smelling the ink, writing in the margin if I wanted to. I wanted to flip back and re-read passages. I wanted the BOOK.

Well. See. Here's what happened. I was at the beach with my book club girls. (We really read. And discuss.) It was after breakfast, which I had cooked but had not cleaned up after because these women understand distribution of workload. I gathered my things into my vinyl hounds-tooth tote and headed down the pier. I knew my chair would be waiting for me under my umbrella because Dancing Queen and Heart Breaker Soul Shaker had set them up before the rest of us turned over the first time.

I spread out my towels and proceeded lounge, listening to the waves. No one was talking. Everyone was reading. I reached into my tote for my book. I had already talked Precious and Oldest Friend into bringing my pimento cheese, water, and little baby bottles of Riesling down in their coolers. (Yeah. I get people to do stuff for me. That will become important in a second.) Still, my tote was full of stuff so I had to ramble around a bit. Sunglasses, sunscreen, iPod, cell phone, reading glasses, bloody Mary in Crimson Tide National Championship Teva glass, Wheat Thins, and the new issue of Vanity Fair. I even had a garbage bag but no book.

No book. And I had just got settled. I cast my eyes toward the house. We were, maybe fifty yards from the back door but it was fifty yards I didn't want to walk. Beach brings out the lazy in me and I had already brushed my teeth and made cheese grits. That was enough activity until, at least, noon.

"So," I said. "The next time somebody goes to the house, please bring my book."

I knew it wouldn't be long. There were twelve of us and odds were high that there would be a bathroom break in someone's future very soon because at least six were already drinking beer.

"Yeah. Sure. Okay," were the sleepy answers I got. Lap, lap, lap, went the waves.

"What's the name of your book?" Godson's Mom asked. (She was sitting where I couldn't see her. That will become important in a second.)

"I dunno," I said. (I only know the name of what I'm reading about 32% of the time.) "It's blue and it's on the dining room table."

"Who wrote it?" She wanted to know. It was not an odd question. We are, after all, a book reading and drinking club. We always want to know what everybody is reading and drinking.

"Not sure, except for Kerrelyn Sparks. It's an anthology."

"What page are you on?" she asked.

"I don't know the name of the book, and you actually think there is some kind of chance I know what page I'm on?"

"Well, what's happening?"

That, I could tell her.

"Here," she said. And she handed me her e-reader. She had bought the book and found my place. Quickly. Very quickly.

After that, I didn't have a chance of sticking to my guns. I didn't even want to.

I now have one of the top two on the market. It doesn't matter which one. I don't know if I have the best one, but I believe I have the best one for me. I told my personal technology consultant (The Guy) what I wanted in an e-reader and he presented me with it on my birthday a few weeks after the beach trip.

What I love about my e-reader:

  • The instant gratification. I can have the book right now.
  • I can download my manuscripts on it and make notes electronically.
  • I can look up the definition of words I don't know by barely moving my thumb.
  • It will read to me. I don't really want it to, but I like the idea of it.
  • I can download music to play while I read.
  • The leather cover comes in Crimson Tide crimson. And it has a built in reading light that hides flush in the corner, but will jump out like a little peek-a-boo friend when I want it to.
  • I choose books by, first, reading the blurb on the back. If I like that, I read the first page. If I make it to the second page, I will usually buy the book. I can do that because I can get a sample of anything.
  • I can do a word search when I want to go back and read a passage, which is much easier than flipping around
What I don't love about my e-reader:
  • The two word games that I got for free are addictive.
  • I don't like that an e-book is sometimes more expensive than the print version. I'm sure there's a good reason like, needing to clear inventory, but I don't have to love it. I am not necessarily looking for a cheap book I don't mind paying the same, but I don't like paying more. Of course, I don't complain when the e-book cheaper so I guess it balances out.

I'll never give up print books altogether. I still enjoy the tactile experience, but I've come a long way.

What about you? E-book or print? Have you embraced something that you thought you never would?


  1. Finally gave in- Jeremy got me one for our anniversary. Love it!!

  2. I want an e-book "reader" that I can write in like a notebook.

    Then the e-book contains my school books and I can take notes on it. One single device instead of a bookbag full of stuff.

  3. I like both.
    What I adore is that I can carry 20 books at one time.
    Physically that's lots of space.
    Only one thing wrong - battery life. Sure you can recharge- but if you forget and you are on a trip- it can get ugly.
    ( I always have a backup book just in case).

    Lovely post-made me smile!

  4. I don't have an e-reader. I don't think I ever said I wouldn't but like you I love the tactile experience of curling up with what I am reading. I love the weight of the words and then later looking at it on my bookshelf and remembering what a good time we had together!

  5. Hey everybody, Jean will be out of pocket today so I shall try to answer some for her. Our other blog buddies will also be chiming in as their schedules allow.

    I have an I-Pad which allows me to download books. I like it for the convenience but I am like Stephanie - I like the tactile feel of the book. It is easy to spend a lot of money because you do it all electronically so I have to watch that. Mary is quite right about it holding all those books; things you don't have to physically carry. And school books, as anonymous said, you can fit it in the backpack without all the weight! It does have it's pros. I have a leather cover in Auburn Blue, so I love it too! (Grin)

  6. I love my e-reader!! I just transferred all my Margie Lawson lectures to it and I bring it to the gym. It's so easy to read it as it lays flat on the machine!! And I love the instant gratification. I spend MORE money on books now.

  7. I still do both. I went to the ereader almost exclusively for a while, but then I found I missed books.

    And, as a writer, it can be hard to figure out the pacing of a story on an ereader. Sometimes I want to know how a writer did something. And I can't figure that out on an ereader.

    I buy a combination of both now. Just yesterday, I went to B&N and bought several paper books. I don't want bookstores to disappear. I don't want books to disappear. I think something valuable will be lost if they do.

    Ereaders are well and good for many, many reasons. But they don't replace actual bookstores where you can go browse the shelves and flip through books.

    I love cover art. I love the smell of the store. I love the shelves and shelves of books. I don't want that to go away, and I'm determined to keep doing my part and buying those books!

  8. Christine, I can see where it would be easier to read while you are exercising. I don't think that would be a problem for me -- I am too lazy to go to the gym! You are right about spending more on books with the ereader. It's just so easy to buy them.

    Lynn, I agree. I don't want bookstores to disappear. I like to wander the aisles and see all the new books in all the different genres. Sometimes one will catch my eye which is totally out of character for me to read. That I would miss. I also keep buying the books.

  9. Alicia, I'm glad you are enjoying your gift! ;)

    Anonymous, I didn't know you could make notes in an e-reader until this blog post. Sounds very cool!

    Mary, thanks to you I know more about my e-reader. ;)

    Stephanie, I'm that way about books too. Strangely enough I have an e-reader but I still love to read print books. I've read only one book on my e-reader so far and I got it for Christmas. All the other books I've read this year have been print books.

    I think we think alike, Cheryl. ;)

    I didn't think about transferring stuff to my e-reader, like a writing workshop, Christine. That's given me ideas... Thanks!

    Lynn, I think you do have to find a balance between the two book forms. Let's face it, e-books are here to stay but there will always be a need for a print book. I'd like to come up with a nice balance, which I think will help keep my bookshelf from overflowing. ;)

    I always keep this in the back of my mind. (I am a writer after all.) What if something shorted out all electric capability in the world. Cell phones, e-readers, lamps, computers, cars, and everything electronic would be affected. There must always be print books. If we had to hunt for food, grow veggies, store enough to last through winter, sew by hand and go back to using candlelight, we'd need books in print. Just sayin...

  10. I have an iPad. I have a Kindle. I have books on both. But I prefer a printed book, and if it's a keeper, then it HAS to be a printed book. I'll buy it twice if necessary.

  11. You know, that sounds like a good plan, Maven Linda. If the book is a keeper then we should get it in a printed book. Makes a lot of sense. I hadn't really thought of that.

  12. Thank you everyone for stopping by and for my girls for checking in.

    I, too, love my real books and will always do my part to make sure bookstores stay open. And I, too, have to have to book if it's a keeper.

    Signing off for the night. We buried a good man today who left us too soon. So sad but, up lifting, to see the great numbers of people who gathered to honor him.