Friday, May 02, 2014

Bonanza for Booksellers.

I'm every booksellers dream. I often buy three copies of a book in different formats: Kindle, Audio, and Hardcover.

Here's how this happens. If I'm not familiar with the author or just think I'll like the book or have a trip coming up and don't want to carry a load, I'll download it in Kindle. I really rather like reading ebooks. I have a Kindle Fire. It's the first generation and I haven't had one bit of trouble with it. There are terrific new models with more storage, better batteries, and magical connectivity, but mine is just fine.

To me, the main attraction of ebooks is that they make traveling with ample reading material a breeze. I love having a selection of books at the flick of a button. However, now that I have a Microsoft SurfacePro, I can read the books on it through a Kindle app on my very portable lightweight powerful computer and watch videos.

I was in love with audiobooks long before Amazon bought Audible and revved up the stakes. Audiobooks made long car trips bearable. Pleasurable, even. I checked the CDs out of the library. However, the selection was limited so I was glad when they started having downloadable selections from local and regional libraries. My CDs were replaced by a little MP3 player that connected to my car. Wow! I was thrilled.

Then when Amazon started the whispersync program, I was doomed. I could start reading a book on Kindle, and continue it in the audio format. I could do housework, sew, and knit while listening to the book through my home stereo system. Heavenly! Why not have a good time while scrubbing the shower? Whispersync is really amazing. The audio picks up right where one stops reading. Now the same feature is available on my new iPhone, which means all my reading material is instantly available.

So where does the hardcover purchase come in? Well, it's like this. We're a family of readers. We trade and share books all the time. It's very difficult to share or trade an ebook or an audiobook. If it's one of those "you've gotta read this, gotta, read this," kind of books I end up buying it in hardcover because it can stand the wear and tear of being passed around. Besides, I want that book on my shelf. I'll go back over certain passages, and admire the author's skill.

Bottom line is that I like the feel of a "real book" but love the convenience of technology. I'm aware that this all might be a real nightmare for those who hate having anything to do with all these contraptions. Also, there is a danger of being a little bit too happy with living a life that becomes too detached from society.

The biggest danger of all for writers is running away from our own work. Procrastination is one of the deadly sins. It's just not listed.

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