by Dave White
I have a confession to make.
After a long time resisting the trend, I got myself a Kindle. It was a wedding gift I asked for, and I was first able to use it on my honeymoon. And having the Kindle on the cruise gave me the idea for this blog post.
You see, I was all ready to say e-Readers weren't becoming popular. We were on a ship of 2000 people, and I figured it would be a good way to survey the popularity of the e-Reader.
The first day I had my topic. E-readers aren't popular outside of publishing. I wandered the pool deck and saw hundreds of people reading actual books. The Girl with the... The Joe Torre book... Jennifer Weiner... But no e-Readers. I was convinced. Only I had one, and that was because I was into publishing and was trying to conserve space in the condo.
And then a funny thing happened. As the trip went on more and more e-Readers popped up. At one point I had a running count 6 Kindles, 4 Nooks, 2 Sony, and two iPads. By the end, I think I was over 20.
It strikes me this isn't just a fad, it's really starting to catch. And I think authors are going to really love it. At one point I was talking to a couple about their iPad and Kindle (both liked the Kindle better) and the woman bought a copy of WHEN ONE MAN DIES on the spot.
It's hard to do that kind of hand selling on a vacation.
And here's where I come to the problem. It's a selfish problem, but a problem nonetheless.
I don't like the e-Reading culture. The e-Reader is going to create book monopolies. Apple and Amazon (and maybe BN will hang in there) are going to be the only booksellers and the rest will just drift away like independent record stores.
And I love my indie bookstores. So how do I reconcile my love of an indie with my love of the Kindle?
I spent the week thinking about this, before I started writing this blog. And here's what I came up with:
Anytime I want to try a new author, the book goes to the Kindle. They're cheaper, there's less risk involved. But my favorite authors.... yeah I still love the feel of a book in my hand. I still love wandering the stacks.
I love the smell.
So when my favorite authors put a new book out, I'm going to an indie. I'm ordering from an indie. I will not just download the book.
Laura Lippman's newest, for instance. Sometime in the next week I'll be taking a trip to a local store to buy it, even though I have a gift card to Amazon sitting in my account.
It clears my conscience. It makes me feel better.
It means I can have my books and Kindle too.
What do you think?
PS: Thanks to Joelle and Bryon picking up the slack the last two weeks. I read Joelle's Thursday posts, and Bryon's other posts and they did a bang-up job. Really appreciate it.
BTW, if you want to hear my thoughts on my actual honeymoon, check out my actual blog by clicking here.