Prerequisite to Bitching About eBooks

October 20, 2010 § 5 Comments

Before you can bitch and complain about eBooks, you have to actually have purchased a book in the 21st Century and read it. Experience has taught me that most people yearning for the smell and feel of old musty volumes, haven’t read an old musty volume or an new, binding breaking volume in a very long time.

My biggest beef with most of the discussion about the Kindle is that it usually comes from people who don’t buy books. Can you name the last 7 books you bought? The last 20? Here is my October list (20 days). Unless otherwise noted, I bought them all on Amazon.

1. Dead Man’s Cell Phone Sarah Ruhl
2. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Mark Vonnegut
3. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned Wells Tower
4. Why Theology Can’t Save Us John Gustav-Wrathall
5. The Proviso Moriah Jovan
6. Sons of the Fathers Paul Toscano
7. Out of the Mount Various Authors
8. TDTM JulieAnn Carter Winward
9. A Scattered Life Karen McQuestion
10. Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi
11. Nemesis Philip Roth
12. The Great House Nicole Krause audible.com
13. At Home Bill Bryson audible.com
14. House of Meetings Martin Amis audible.com
15. Where Good Ideas Come From Steve Johnson emusic.com
16. Breakthrough Dental Marketing Joel Harris moxzee.com
17. The Moral Landscape Sam Harris
18. Republic of Debtors Bruce Mann
19. Sister Wife Natalie Collins
20. The Fourth World Natalie Collins

When you buy that many books in a month and only spend around $100, your printed words that you possess are thriving, not dying.

I have them all with me now (along with 400 other books), not to mention the complete works of Dostoyevsky, Dickens and Austen — and I have five different tools to read or listen to them on (Kindle, iPad, Laptop, cell phone and iPod).

Do yourself a favor and get off the Luddite Express going nowhere and actually read something. Oh and while I was writing this post, I bought The Sayings of Confucius.

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§ 5 Responses to Prerequisite to Bitching About eBooks

  • birdman says:

    You need to get Twisted Sister by Natalie R Collins…it is Halloween…=D

  • Elaine says:

    Congratulations. You’ve got the money to buy books. In this economy some of us don’t have that luxury. Hell, if I didn’t have a job that requires me to have internet access at home, I wouldn’t even have that right now.

    The last book I bought was a mass-market paperback copy of Laurie R. King’s The Art of Detection, and I struggled with spending the seven bucks that cost. I only went ahead and spent the money because I had the opportunity to get Ms. King to sign it for me (I collect signed editions when I can, but only when I can collect the signature personally).

    Someday, perhaps, I’ll make enough money again to buy books, and maybe even a Kindle or other e-reader. Until then, don’t make the mistake of assuming that those who don’t (in my case, can’t, currently) buy books, don’t read them. Surely you’re familiar with your local public library. If you aren’t, you should be.

    • Actually Elaine, Confucius didn’t cost me a dime. You have a computer so I think you have about 1,000,000 books at your disposal at no cost. I don’t see you arguing that eBooks are a bad thing. The economics is a huge argument in favor of the eBook. It creates huge problems for the authors trying to make a living, but that is an economic, marketing and financial model problem, not an eBook problem.

      I love all my libraries, digital, public, private and university. I do think that the call to buy books and support the authors you like is a legitimate one, though. I hope your economic situation improves and that your book buying days return quickly — and that you buy a lot of eBooks.

    • Sandra says:

      Excuse me Elaine but…have you never heard of used book stores? There are paperback exchanges all over the place where you can pick up books for a dollar. I used to get books at St Vincent de Paul for less than that. Good, new-looking books.

      Goodness but your horse is high. Careful, you don’t want to fall off.

  • JulieAnn says:

    You know, I liken the whole excuse of not buying books to the mantra “I don’t have time to ….” whatever it is. The fact is, you DO have the time. You just choose to spend it differently. It’s all a choice.

    Many people tell me, “I wish I had the luxury to just read read read…” Well, the bottom line is….you do.

    You also have the luxury of buying a book. I was a single mom with zero money and very little income and I managed to keep reading and not from libraries alone. I know this isn’t what people like to hear. They like to be able to say “I can’t–something OUTSIDE OF ME is controlling my money and I have no responsibility or say in it–I’m a victim”…but you do and you aren’t. I’m sorry.

    The statement shouldn’t be “I don’t have the luxury of buying a book” the statement ought to be, “I choose–CHOOSE to spend my money elsewhere because books are simply not a priority for me right now.” It’s legitimate, and it’s honest. You don’t think so? Give up fast food for two weeks; shut off cable; forgo the coffee at … wherever. Kindle books are, at most, $9.99. Don’t get three boxes of sugar cereal at the store, get two.

    Lack of money isn’t a reason to not buy a book–it’s an excuse and to take the defensive victim-stance that “you don’t have the luxury” is a cop-out at best and disingenuous at worst.

    If people had to read–had to–because it was what they loved to do, they would do it. And the TV would be off, the computer would be shut down and they would be reading. Just sayin’.

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