Friday, December 23, 2011

Change of Heart

by Kristine Coblitz

I'm very excited to visit the Working Stiffs today!

Family and friends recently have been asking my thoughts on e-books. For a long time, I wasn’t sure how to answer the questions because I had sort of a love/hate relationship with the entire electronic book revolution. On one hand, I loved the portability of having all my books in one place, and I loved the idea of buying books from my bed in my pajamas in 60 seconds without having to wait 3-5 days for the UPS truck. On the other hand, however, I loved print books. Plus, a filled bookshelf makes great home d├ęcor, and like most avid readers, my books aren’t just books. They’re my collection of memories.

When the Kindle first hit the market a few years ago, my husband wanted to buy one for me for Christmas, and I politely declined the generous gift. I wasn’t ready to get my feet wet yet. Authors were being treated unfairly, and I simply couldn’t support a technology that gave hard-working writers a difficult time. Reading on a computer screen gave me headaches, and after working on a computer all day, the last thing I wanted was to read books on a lighted screen. So I bought more printed books and waited for the trend to go away.

Well, it didn’t exactly go away, did it?

Times have changed, and I’ve had a change of heart. I have not just one but two e-readers, and yes, I love them. I’ve spent more money on books since purchasing these devices, and I’m more willing to experiment with new writers and books that I normally wouldn’t have picked up when I was buying print books. Given the recent statistics about book buying habits, I’m not the only one.

While I still believe the traditional road is the best one, I’m happy that digital publishing offers authors more control and flexibility in managing their careers.

When people ask me if they should buy an e-reader, I don’t hesitate in telling them to take the plunge and buy one, because if someone is buying an e-reader, that means he or she wants to buy books. It means supporting authors. It means proving that reading is still fun and that the book industry is far from dead.

I’m delighted to see that e-readers are at the top of many Christmas lists this year, and it’s not just about the Xbox and iPod anymore. While I hope print books never go away, I’m going to embrace this new revolution because as long as people are reading, that means there will always be a demand for books, and that makes me very happy.

As a writer, I’m thankful to every person who will buy an e-reader this year. I’m thankful to every author who has the time and talent to give us the gift of a good story and entertaining escape—in whatever format that may be. But most of all, I’m thankful that people still want good stories and appreciate good, quality writing.

Happy Holidays to my fellow readers and writers! May the upcoming year be filled with good books, good friends, and lots of good writing.


Jenna said...

Great post. Thanks for visiting, Kristine! I want people to keep buying ereaders and ebooks, too. Mine, preferably.

Merry Christmas, all!

C.L. Phillips said...

I've had my Kindle for almost a year. I will not confess how many books I have on it. Nope, won't do it. And I certainly won't talk about how much more money I've spent on books this year. No, you can't make me.

I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing....

Joyce said...

Welcome back to Working Stiffs, Kristine! For anyone who doesn't know, Kristine was one of the original Stiffs.

I have a Kindle, but I have to admit I don't use it all that often. The only time I've actually bought books for it was when my kids gave me a gift certificate.

I was excited when I learned you could now get books from the library on it, but that didn't last long. Lending is very limited and there's never anything available that I want to read. So it's still trips to the library for me!

Kristine said...

Thanks for the welcome! It's like visiting my old playground here.

I have to admit the downside to the e-readers is the ease at which you can buy books, although I'm pretty sure that's the point. One button, 60 seconds, and you've got a new book. Not so nice to my wallet, but it sure is fun!