Perhaps you can tell from the odd extra spacing, but that’s my manuscript cover page on my new Kindle. My manuscript looks so… real! (Like it wasn’t real before? Well, you know, it’s nice seeing it almost book-like in any format outside of Word.) I finally joined the digital book world and got an e-reader as a gift this week, and I love it even more than I thought I would!
Let me back up. I’m not a huge digital gadget person. Cell phones don’t interest me, and I pretty much only use mine for calling people, and not that often. Reading books has always been a nice way to escape the endless LCD- and backlit-screens I stare at all day while working, surfing the web, watching TV and playing games. The idea of staring at yet another screen to read just wasn’t appealing since reading was one of my last hobbies left that was screen-free.
That’s not to say I poo-pooed anyone else who wanted to read books on e-readers! It doesn’t bother me at all how people choose to read (or “hear” books like radioplays via audiobooks, as my sister loves to do!); I just love that they’re reading. My mom got a Kindle a few years ago, and it’s made reading easier than ever for her, and she’s become an even more avid reader. I just never could think of a reason for me to get one. But when I saw my mom’s Kindle in person, I was surprised how paper-and-ink-like the screen was! Seriously, I’ve never seen such a beautiful, glow-free digital screen with such crispness and clarity.
Last summer I was invited to review some e-books in the new Sweet Valley adult series, The Sweet Life, but I didn’t have an e-reader. (And my mom couldn’t lend me hers. She seriously reads too much to part with it for too long!) So I read it on my laptop. My eyes went googly. I saw a cheap brand e-reader on sale for like $30 one day and thought I’d get it just to finish the e-books on, but it was terrible. It was an LCD screen (so it felt just like staring at the laptop screen anyway), and the e-bookstore was terrible, and it was hard to navigate, and yeah… You get what you paid for. Luckily I was able to return it even though I’d opened it and tried it out! I knew then I’d wait and save up or ask someone for a Kindle.
So I got it last week and I uploaded my manuscript to it right away to check it out. I also bought an e-novella and got the first five chapters of Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm, which are currently available for e-readers for free. (And which only serve to make me more anxious about waiting for the release of the rest in a couple of months, but I’ve been reading it anyway!) I got a few more free e-books I haven’t really touched yet. I’m scared of having too much to read because there’s a lot available for free!
But I’m still reading traditional paper books. I have nine on my to-read shelf (six of which have been there for way, way too long and keep getting pushed down the priority list) that I vowed to finish this year. I love being surrounded by shelves full of books, and I think I will buy Siege and Storm in print instead of electronically to finish reading. But I’ve been surprised how little reading the first few chapters on my e-reader has bothered me.
I have decided that whenever the next A Song of Ice and Fire book comes out (years from now…), I’m going with the e-reader since I realized with the last book that it’s a bit of a pain to carry a 1000+-page hardcover around. And it’ll be great for the dozenth time I read a manuscript, when I’m just looking for little tweaks (and then can run to the laptop and make them, without having stared at the laptop screen for hours and hours).
Do you have an e-reader? Which one? Do you prefer reading books electronically, on paper or both?