To Kindle Or Not To Kindle

So this post isn’t really about mystery books per se, but about how I read them.  I am a book-aphile.  Is that a word?  Well, you get the idea.  I love books.  I love their smell, their feel, their look, their covers, their font, the feel of their paper.   The list goes on.  I visit bookstores when I travel and when I’m at home.  But, I also love my kindle.

61zt-C5umRL._AA160_When my husband recently published his first novel, Waking The Rider, he did so only in e-format.  So anyone wanting to read his book would have to download it from Amazon and either read on her kindle, or use the kindle app to read on a tablet or laptop.  More on Waking The Rider in a bit — it’s an awesome sci-fi with a bit of mystery that plays out over a trilogy of books (with the second, The Light of Gylffa and the third, The Keeper coming on-line soon)!  So, go on-line and download it.  :)  (It is only $4.99, not the exorbitantly high $12 or $15 of many e-books).

Anyway, a number of folks we know did not have a kindle and did not know how to download his e-book.  I was pretty shocked.

I am not always a first adopter.  In fact, I reluctantly began using my kindle only a few years ago when I was traveling more often.  I felt like a traitor to my beloved books.  I soon realized, however, that the kindle allows me to “carry” hundreds of books with me on a plane, train, tram, bus, etc. in a tiny and lightweight reader, with a backlight so I can read with the lights off as well.

Now with this blog, I have so many books on my “to read” list that I carry my kindle with me most times, picking it up when I have a few minutes to spare before a school pick-up or in a waiting room.  Though my biceps would probably benefit from me carrying an actual, heavy book, my brain does not.  Some days I feel like reading just one book, other days I might want to switch books after a few minutes.  The kindle allows that flexibility.  (I’m not really trying to be a kindle-pusher, it’s just the e-reader that I have.  I do note, though, that I’m not a huge fan of tablets trying to double as e-readers, like the iPad.  They are heavy, clunky and have a lot of screen glare.  It might seem tempting to get a device that can “do it all”, but I love having just an e-reader — it’s just for books, not games, not the Internet, not e-mail, just books.)

But, Amazon, I’m talking to you here, the price for e-books is ridiculously high in some cases.  I simply do not believe that it costs the publishers just as much to produce an e-book as a traditional print book.  There is a certain amount of formatting time involved, but that exists with print books as well (typesetting, galleys, proof sheets, etc.).  And, once that formatting is done, a click will allow for unlimited downloads – no print, paper costs exist.  So why do some of these e-books run upwards of $12-15??!!?

I encourage you to embrace your local library system that allows for e-book downloads (or pay to join a system as a non-resident if they have e-book checkout systems, such as in Lee County, Florida).  I joined their network as a non-resident guest (my mom lives there) and the annual fee that I pay is less than two e-book downloads on Amazon.  To be sure, I sometimes want to read a book when I want to read it – i.e., immediately - and have ponied up plenty of money in support of my on-demand book habit.  But, you can manage the cost by checking out library e-books as well.

I have not totally abandoned print books either.  If I can pick up a used print book (yay Powell’s), I will often grab a few.  And, if I really love a book or an author, I will buy the print book.  My overflowing bookshelves, however, require me to have a policy of buy-one/get- rid-of-one in order to keep my husband from going berserk.

So, many of the books I discuss and review in this blog are ones that I’ve read in e-form.  Most really.  If I have a print copy, or a book is only available in print, I’ll let you know.  If you haven’t yet embraced an e-reader, dip your toe in!  I think you’ll be glad that you did.

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