I have done something that I swore I would never do: I have purchased an e-reader. Everyone who knows me has heard me say that I would never buy an e-reader. I am old school and printed books are the only way I will read a book.
So what changed my mind?
There are two reasons: the main reason, and what got me out of the house to buy one, was my need for ARCs (advanced reader copies). I’m an indie bookseller so obtaining ARCs is essential for me when writing reviews of upcoming books. The store I work for closed its local physical location so all the lovely ARCs’ supply became slim pickings. But I wasn’t deterred and instead found a new way to order ARCs directly from publishers. The only catch is they are digital ARCs. Gah!
The other reason for an e-reader is that author friends of mine have books out that are only available as e-books. This has been happening more and more lately so I knew one of these days, I would have to go against everything pure and good inside me and purchase an e-reader to support my author friends.
I absolutely love books—real books. I love everything from the feel of the book to the smell of them to the beauty of how they look in my hands and on my bookshelves. My pride and joy in my home is my “favorite books” bookshelf where I proudly display my first editions which are signed and brodarted. You can’t do that with e-books.
The other aspect of purchasing an e-reader that made me cringe is choosing between Kindle, Kobo, and the Nook. Of course, the popular and easy choice is the Kindle. But being in the indie book business for so many years, I was loathe to purchase a Kindle. It meant supporting Amazon, the giant evil empire. However, I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that I’ve made plenty of purchases on Amazon. It can be convenient, cheaper, and easier. For reasons I won’t get into, I tried the Kobo first and discarded it pretty quickly. I then made the dreaded Kindle purchase. I gnashed my teeth and pulled my hair out while I did it though.
I hate to say it, but an e-reader isn’t so horrible. Although, there are things I really can’t stand like I can’t see what progress I’ve made in a book. Sure, the Kindle tells you what percentage of the book you’ve read but I’m a visual person and seeing that I’ve read 31% of the book tells me nothing. It’s more difficult in a Kindle to flip back in the story to where I think I learned something important but forgot, and I have no idea what I’m looking for, but if I saw it, I’d know it. But for the most part, it’s not so awful and hasn’t killed me yet.
Sarah M. Chen has worked a variety of jobs, ranging from script reader to private investigator assistant. Her crime fiction short stories have been accepted for publication online and in various anthologies, including All Due Respect, Akashic, Plan B, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, Betty Fedora, Vol. 2, and the Sisters in Crime/LA anthology, Ladies Night. Her noir novella, Cleaning Up Finn, is slated for publication in 2016 with All Due Respect Books, proving she can write something over 6,000 words. http://www.sarahmchen.com