Thoughts on e-Books

Disclaimer: I love my Kindle! I relish being able to download books when I want them, archiving the ones I’ve read and being able to recall them to my device if I want to revisit something and being able to underline and make notes as I read. I like the fact that it is lightweight and that I can read “East of Eden” or “War and Peace” while I’m lounging in bed. Being able to adjust the font size is great for those of us who are a little older. But…

…there are a few downsides. Tables and illustrations are difficult to read and navigate; it isn’t easy to flip through pages, for example, to re-familiarize yourself with a character or scene you may have forgotten. For those of us who are authors, we can probably expect less in royalties. And my 89-year-old mom would never figure out how to read it. Then there is the sensory joy of holding a book in hand: the smell, the texture of the pages, the substance of it all. But there is one other thing that outweighs all of these: EMP.

Last night I finished reading “One Second After,” by William R. Forstchen–a fictional account of what our country could expect should a rogue nation attack us with a nuclear detonation miles above earth that would wipe out the electric grid and electronic devices over wide areas. This event could plunge us back a couple of centuries. I won’t make this a post about EMP, but one of the tools of survival was the ability of the survivors to got to a college library and obtain information about things like reconstructing telephones and telegraphs, steam engines etc. Sounds out there, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it may not be.

In conclusion, what are your feelings about e-Books? If you received an offer to publish your manuscript electronically, would you? (I would) Do you think that the day will come when this form of publishing will replace hardcopy. (I hope not)

By the way, print out hardcopies of all your work.