Saturday, November 13, 2010

eBook Benefits

A colleague recently commented his dislike of eBooks, in that your readership was being tracked and quantified by many sources when you download a book. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but then, libraries also track books by who they’re loaned to, and they know where you live (which my computer eBook libraries don’t know). Buying a dtBook at a bookstore doesn’t usually lead to this tracking, unless a credit card is used. Then the info is into the storage banks—if anyone cares to look.

But the disparaging comments about eBooks is all part of the cycle—part of humanity fighting change. I'm sure similar disgruntlement was given when cloth bound books replaced leather bound, or when the first Book Club books came out on their cheap paper, and especially with the production of the smaller paperbacks. "It's not the same," someone would lament. Reactions were even negative when the first public libraries opened.

But that's the whole point: it's not the same; it's change; it's more economically viable; it's progress. All of those I see as benefits.

The dilemma I had with eBooks was the purchase price. Since I don’t usually go the bookstore route but use my public library, I thought it a bit wasteful to buy an eBook (or any book). But I’ve managed to justify this (one can always find ways to justify what you want).

The amount I spend on eBooks each month is 1) less than one cinema visit; 2) less than buying three magazines; 3) less than two video rentals; 4) less than half of one dinner at a decent restaurant; 5) 2/3 the cost of a PPV sporting event...

I partake in none of the above.

So Kindle Nation...Entice me!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reader's Block

It's happening again. I pick up a book, get going for a page or two, then put it down, frustrated that I only sense jumble. Either that or I'm bothered by the size of the page margins or the font style; the content seems inane or overdrawn, or filled with too much angst; I can't get a handle on any of the characters. It's reader's block, all right. I'm in the throes of it--constantly finding fault with word choice and pacing.

I noticed this tendency on my last visit to the library where I scanned the new book shelf, looking for titles to perk my interest. I pulled out several, but since three of the books I had previously borrowed had been returned unread, I was cautious. I sat at a table and read the cover blurbs, the praise from other readers, then started on the first chapters to see if I was with it. Of eight books, only three came home with me, and of those, I've already set aside one, I'm dallying with another, and avoiding the third. I also have four eBook samples in my reader that I haven’t even attempted, and two complete downloads I started last month that I can’t seem to finish.

I'll bet professional reviewers go through this a lot and force out their comments through clenched teeth. They probably don't know their afflicted. I think I've read some of those reviews: books I found enchanting that someone panned, reviews where the acerbic comments make you bleed with the author, or where the review language is so trite and off base you wonder whether the person read the book at all.

If I have a writing deadline, I can force myself through writer's block and get something down. I pull it off. I can also defeat writer's block with exercise, a change of scenery, or having a luscious lunch at a pricey restaurant. When all else fails, I usually read.

Hmm. Could it be that a cure for my reader's block is writing? My current work-in-progress has been languishing a bit. I'll give that a try.

1 comment on original post:

C.Farrell said...
This has happened to me quite a few times this year. It's so frustrating, I seem to waste a lot of time trying to get into books only to give up and move on to something else.

Maybe subconsciously your mind is telling you it's time to write. :)

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