Paperbacks have me lingering, but ebooks beckon

When it comes to adopting new technology, I behave like I do when I get a party invitation.

“Oh, I’m so flattered. Yes, that’s sounds like fun.” Then I anticipate the event for days or weeks, gossiping as necessary. “What are you going to wear? What should I bring?” I try on multiple shoe and outfit combinations, I shower and shave my legs, I do my hair and, wonder of wonders, I put on makeup.

If the host is lucky, about a half an hour after the party starts, I’m finally ready. By the time I arrive, the party is in full swing and I think to myself, “I should have gotten here earlier!”

I have never been a first mover or even a fast follower when it comes to technology. I’m more like the last lingerer, lurking in the back of the room surreptitiously watching other people try new things first.

I’m the business executive who didn’t want to waste my company expense allocation on a cell phone until 2002 because I didn’t want to be that available. My supervisor finally insisted I get a cell phone (he would call me on Sunday mornings and the phone would be, inexplicably, off). I didn’t learn to text until 2006. I didn’t join Facebook until 2008 when my book club started scheduling events there.

Heck, I’m still using my hot rollers (hey, it’s tough to get big hair from the 1980s without ’em).

Though I’m a huge fan of Barnes & Noble and I’ve brushed by the Nook display at least a hundred times, I don’t have a Nook. I don’t use a Kindle either, but I finally started reading ebooks on the iPad (provided by my employer at the time) about a year ago. I now read books on my Kobo app and Kindle app.

But not every book. I still prefer the paper version, and right now I’m lovingly dog-earing pages with my favorite metaphors in Lorna Landvik’s “The View from Mount Joy.” Such a pretty cover. Such a lovely typeface.

I see where the book party is going, though, and it’s gonna be a shin-dig for the ages. Ebooks are less expensive, infinitely more compact and instant.

ebooksJust the other day I read a review of “Save The Cat” by Blake Snyder, and I just had to. Have. It. Now. Even though it’s a reference material I thought I would prefer on paper, one-click later on Amazon, and the electronic version appeared on my iPad for instant gratification. I now enjoy reading two daily newspapers on my iPad as much as I enjoyed paging through the paper versions (though I miss being able to tear favorite recipes out of the Food section, my husband is thrilled with the dearth of paper clutter).

The sales of my own book, “The Percussionist’s Wife,” prove the trend: 64% of my sales have been ebooks. Honestly, ebooks have done wonders for authors outside of the traditional publishing route.

Like I do going back for thirds at the buffet, I feel guilty when I buy ebooks because I know it’s the paper versions that keep book retailers in business, and I love how bookstores bring book lovers together in a physical space. I do what I can, but I can’t keep them in business by myself.

I wonder how you’re grappling with ebooks? Or not.

To see what other people are saying about enjoying eReaders vs. old school paperbacks, check out this story on WordPress’s The Daily Press and read the comments. Would love yours here.


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