Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Guest Blog: Elle Newmark

Photobucket I LOVE books. Adore them. Go through them like a drunk with a six-pack. And that's why I now can't live without my Kindle.

First I objected to ordering books online. Give up the ambiance of a bookstore? Lose up the comforting sight of shelves jam-packed with literary adventures? Pah! Get thee to a nuthouse.

But then one day it was raining and I was still in my jammies and I wanted to buy a book. I heard the siren song of Amazon and never looked back. It's not only convenient it's cheaper. And here's the thing: They have not banned me from the bookstore. It's not an either/or. And, like it or not, it's here to stay.

Then came the Kindle, and I balked. I'm a writer. I stare at a computer screen all day. And the Kindle has such a tiny screen. What about the nice heft of a real book in my hands? What about the Pavlovian response I have to the smell of ink on paper? No Kindle for me, thank you very much.

But then one day I had to go to India for a month-long research trip for my new novel, and I was faced with needing to carry enough books to last me. Full of shame and apprehension, I bought a Kindle and loaded up about 20 books for India.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the screen does not glare like a computer screen. It's some kind of freaky new technology that makes it as easy on the eyes as paper. And you can change the font size! One night I was reading a really good book in bed and falling asleep, but I didn't want to put it down. I kept making the font bigger until I was only getting like six words on a page. I finally put it down and went to sleep, and I didn't give myself a concussion by dropping a big old hardcover on my head when I passed out.

And the books are cheap. My novel, The Book of Unholy Mischief is $26 in the bookstore and $17 on Amazon. On Kindle it's $9.99. So if you buy enough books, the thing eventually pays for itself.

This is not an ad for Kindle and I don't work for Amazon. I am an author and my first purchase on Kindle was my own novel, The The Book of Unholy Mischief. You can read more about it on my website, Elle Newmark, and that was another thing I objected to at first. Put up a website?

But then one day I got this book deal from Simon & Schuster.

Thanks to Elle Newmark for taking the time to put down her thoughts about reading and technology.

You can find my review of The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel here. It was one of my favorite reads in 2009.



Alice September 15, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Thanks for the Guest Blog, Ms. Newmark. I now know what is #1 on my Christmas Wish List this year.

Kate September 15, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

Nice to hear the perspective of an author and fellow paper-book-lover on the Kindle. I've never read anything on a Kindle (I'm a paper-book-or-nothing kind of girl), but I recently wrote an article on e-readers and their impact on the eyes, so it was interesting to read Ms. Newmark's experience that the Kindle is just as easy on the eyes as a paper book.

Jenn September 15, 2010 at 2:26 PM  

I used to love book stores, but now it makes me anxious when I enter a large one. So many books, which way do I go first? I'm worse than a kid in a candy store. I want them all! It's too much excitement.

E-books will never replace tree-books in my life, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying an e-reader. (I tried an ebook on the computer screen -BLAH!) Especially now that my saughter has such a busy schedule and I will be sitting and waiting for her more often... I just wish when you bought a book it would come with a digital copy... I like having something tangible that smells of paper and new bindings and...

Julie September 15, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

Jenn - It's why I do amazon. :)

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