My Heart Belongs to Paper … but the Kindle is Pretty Awesome

This Christmas, Mom and I elected to join the 21st century, already in progress. We got each other Kindles. We do not need to do anything on the Kindle other than read, so we got the little one with the ads. We are both hard-core book addicts. Mom started me using when I was just a kid, and now I’m trying to make my own in my house after work. We do not see how ads for other books presented on a reading device could possibly be a problem. Seriously, if you were smoking crack, and in between rocks, your pipe lit up with ads for discounts on more crack, would you ever complain about that?

I’m digressing a little. But let me just say, at the outset, that I will probably always prefer the paper book.

I’m kind of old school in this regard. I like the weight of the paper book. I like the feel of the pages. Deckled edges? Oh, yes, please! Marbled endpapers? Indeed! And the spines on the shelf! My ex gave me a three-volume definitive Sherlock Holmes set (with annotations!) that just … reassures me when I look at it. When Ray Bradbury died, I held my autographed copy of Green Shadows, White Whale and thought of his hand on the page as he signed it. I first perused Reclaiming History just because it was a hefty, hefty tome, but I bought it for the promise of reading Bugliosi on the Kennedy assassination. Sixteen hundred glorious pages, plus so many notes he had to put them on a CD-ROM. I’m drooling a little just writing about it.

I said I was addicted.

The argument for the Kindle and its ilk with regard to my chosen genre is a powerful one. Some people evidently take issue with being seen in public reading erotica. I understand. I do! I just don’t have that problem.

One night I took my copy of Fortytude to a bar and met a good-looking soldier who was also celebrating a milestone birthday – his 30th. I met a handsome intellectual who saw me reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses on the bus. The paper book shows the world not only that I do read, but it shows the world what I read, and therefore just a bit of who I am. It’s like a nametag. I personally would not have minded showing the world that I am reading Held Captive by the Cavemen. That doesn’t trouble me at all. If it troubles those sheltered souls sitting nearby, then maybe they should look into minding their own business.

But one cannot purchase a paper copy of Held Captive by the Cavemen. If one has a Kindle, though, one can have it all ready to go in less than a minute. I think it took me three clicks to put it on the machine, and now it’s waiting for me. (I need to hurry this post along, actually, so I can start reading it.)

Then I started poking around, looking for other stuff to buy. This is where the Kindle gets dangerous. Scoring a paper book takes a little effort. Hardback? Paperback? Don’t even start me on the shipping. The Kindle takes you from whim to purchase in just seconds. And so, when I found Dirty for the Kindle for just a couple of bucks, I went for it. I love Megan Hart’s work – the world she creates would be very cool to live in, even without the sex … but then there’s sex in it. A win-win if I ever saw one.

This time it only took one click. Very nice.

There’s a lot to like about the Kindle, to be sure. It’s tiny but strong. It’s discreet. It’s fast. It’s not terribly expensive. And if I’m going to be working in the realm of e-publishing – and interracial erotica all but guarantees that – I need to get comfortable with all these advantages.

The paper book is my first love, though. I will probably end up being the little old lady sitting on the park bench with a paper copy of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. Over on the bench next to me, a mother will tell her little boy, “See, Jimmy? That lady has a paper book. Long ago, you could only get books on paper.”

And Jimmy’s going to say, “I thought they all came on rocks way back then!”

And then the little wise-ass and his mom are going to laugh. But I won’t care.

I will be too busy stealing glances over my book at that shirts vs. skins touch football game. Those guys won’t notice. The Jane Austen makes me look harmless.

You can’t do that with a Kindle. Can you?

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6 comments

  1. Mine too, Alexa! What I like about my Kindle (and I have the small one with ads, too) is that the cover has a built-in light that charges when you charge the Kindle. So I can read in bed at night…and when I fall asleep with the unit still on (which I do nightly), it eventually shuts itself down (including the light).

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    1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s all this about a cover and a light? I just got my cover today — it showed up too late for Christmas, so Mom had to mail it to me — but there’s no light. Hm.

      I do have a totally superfluous pair of headphones, though. Not sure why that’s exciting, but it is. 🙂

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  2. Hi, Alexa! I know what you’re saying about paper and I’ll never be completely rid of mine, but I believe my actual library is inching its way toward being 80% digital. I’ve never had anyone notice me for the book I was reading (guess I was reading the wrong ones, but I LIKED them!) so that bene just doesn’t apply. Enjoy your Kindle and have fun finding the “right” cover! Based on your experience with covers, that decision may be a bit more important than most.

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    1. I’m already pretty attached to the Kindle — it is WAY too easy to buy things — but I think I’m too attached to paper to give any of it up. Just last night, I was thumbing through Roger Moore’s Bond on Bond and thinking of how all the wonderful photos would be lost electronically.

      I found a chic purple leather cover for my Kindle. Very cute! But not the attention getter that Fortytude was.

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  3. I loved Dirty. One of my favorite books. If you haven’t read Broken, or Tempted, go there next. Now I’m distracted. Why did I come here? Oh, yeah…I’m looking for the link to your author page at EC.

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    1. I’m glad you found a post to read! You’d have been looking for that link for a good long time, since I haven’t really put it here yet.

      I just found out I had an author page! Then I sat there in front of it for a long while. Talk about getting distracted.

      So until I can get that link where it needs to be, use this instead.

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