Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why All the Hate?

Quick Poll: Before reading this post I want those of you who might actually read this (all two of you ;-p) to take a moment and reflect on your true thoughts of ebooks, whatever those thoughts may be.

Thought about it? Ok, now you get to read my thoughts on the matter.

First and foremost, I absolutely, without a doubt, love hard copies of books the way many teenage girls love sparkly, whiny, dull vampires. But unlike the love of these fictional creatures, mine will last longer than any trend. I have owned my kindle for over a year now, and I still have bought many, many, MANY hard copies of books in addition to the copious amounts of ebooks I own. There is no experience like going into a bookstore and being immersed in literature. Plus, it probably isn't a good idea to read a kindle in the bathtub if you're prone to dropping things.

That being said, I really love my kindle. Most of you know I'm a cheepo, so the fact that most ebooks are cheeper (even if just by a dollar) makes my unemployed debit card sing like a Broadway star. Not only that, but in the pre-ereader days I cannot recall just how many times I finished a book late at night, especially on a Saturday, only to be left with wanting more, more, MORE, and knowing that the sequel is already on shelves, but I have to actually be patient and wait until the next day to go to the bookstore and get it. When this happened on Saturdays, I'd have to wait until 1 for the Beaufort Book Store to open, and occasionally they'd have to order the book for me as it wasn't on the shelf. Ugh, more waiting!

Ok, I know what you're thinking. How am I supposed to feel sorry for you, Shawn? Why not practice some patience and wait a couple extra days for the book to arrive? Well let me just respond by saying there are much better ways to practice patience. Like waiting at a doctor's office, waiting for that special someone to call, or waiting for the bell to ring signalling the end of the school day. When it comes to reading, I'm allowed to be impatient and needy. It's a sick relationship, I know, but it's still much healthier than any relationship with a sparkly vampire I've ever read.

With a kindle of nook, gone are the days of waiting. The instant you finish reading a book and would like to move on to the next one, all you have to do is go to the online store, buy it, and wait the few seconds it takes to download. This is true beauty, people.

So now you're probably wondering why I'm mentioning all of this. Now I have arrived at the true point of this post. While promoting my new book, I have come across many people who hate ebooks and ereaders. They think the kindle is evil, blasphemous, whatever. Now, I can understand and even respect (albeit only a tiny bit) those opinions. But how can a device that helps bring literature to people, saves them money, and lessens the cutting-down of trees be evil? Especially if it means writers like myself who have tried and tried again to get their work noticed int he publishing world can easily put their work online to share with the masses, and the only cost is a 30% royalty fee?

Well, if you're like my friend, Johnny, who follows this post I know exactly why you might think this (other than the whole loving of hard copies thing, I mean). Ebooks could mean the death of actual bookstores. Plus, kindles and nooks are a little pricey, even the cheaper ones (mine was a Christmas gift).

Personally, I don't think bookstores are in danger, but I could be entirely wrong. Who knows? Only time will tell. For now, they seem to be safe. Well, except Borders, but every single time I've gone into one of those they've NEVER had what I was looking for, and I was looking for mainstream fiction books. These weren't small-town Borders, either, but four-story ones in big cities like Chicago.

So now I ask you to think about everything you've just read, if you've been patient enough to read this far. Does your original opinion on ebooks and ereaders still stand? Probably. I'm not trying to kid myself, I know I'm not a good debater. But I would like for you to open your mind a little and take into consideration all the points I've brought up.

Also, I encourage you to leave a comment expressing your opinion.


  1. Hi Shawn,

    Came across your blog through Goodreads. Love that site! I have to say, I LOVE ebooks. Not only because my first book is an ebook, but because of the ease of reading, downloading, availability etc. Basically everything you've already said : ) Having said that though, paperback books will always be my first choice when I want a bit of luxury. Nothing like holding it in your hands, turning a page and the smell of a new book is truly irreplaceable.

    Just a hint - I use a ziplock bag to hold my ereader in in the bath! Works a treat : )

  2. A ziplock bag! That's such a genius idea, and therefore that is why I never would have thought of it myself. Thanks for the tip, and the comment LaVerne!

  3. Does my orginal feelings about ebooks still stand? YES

    I love books. I like to stand in front of my bookshelf and visit old friends. I like to pack my iTouch in my purse as I head to anywhere and bring over 100 books with me.

    I may love the printed word and will never stop buying physical books but I'm fast running out of shelf space and there are too many titles out there waiting for me to buy

    um...are you working on Misfit 2?

  4. Yes, Misfit 2 is in the works, and will hopefully be out by late July/early August.