Thursday, 20 October 2011

To Kindle or not to Kindle?

I have yet to invest in one of these new-fangled(ish) electronic reading devices.  The thing, is, I've never been able to decide whether they're a GOOD THING or a STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!  

I know that Kindle is a boon in one way to us writers as we can now publish for Kindle in the absence of a 'paper' publishing contract, but I was wondering whether it's going to be the death of books as some suggest.  I certainly don't want to play a part in the death of books as I love everything about having a 'proper' copy of a book and then there's all the joy to be experienced in the process of lending it out and sharing the love.  Not quite the same with a Kindle.  And, of course, I do one day hope to have a novel out in paperback myself!

What do you think?  I know a lot of writers who have Kindles and I'm really tempted to put one on my Christmas list, especially as they're now £90. 
I have also been telling myself that you can't halt 'progress' and that millions will be buying Kindles even if I don't, so will it really make any difference?

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this subject!  (Please forgive me if I don't reply to your comment as Blogger has taken against me and won't let me comment on my own blog for some reason!)


Sarah Tokeley said...

I don't think e-readers will be the death of paper books. There'll be some struggles but they'll learn to live together.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm definitely in the anti-Kindle brigade, but for a really silly reason (and I know it's silly, so maybe one day I'll change my mind). It was on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - a character was a writer and wrote on a Kindle-style pad. Ergo, Kindles are science fiction!

I also love the feel and smell of books, the way you can get them signed by the author, the way an old copy tells its own story. I'm not as sure as Sarah that they'll happily live together - but I really hope she's right.

Jenny said...

Kindles will replace real books, just sometime in the future. How far, who know? But it won't be in recent years.

That being said, I'm also in a similar bind (mentally, I don't have the funds for one). I want to support new authors, many of whom are publishing electronically only for ease, quickness, and other reasons. But I do also love holding an actual book. There are some great treasure on paper too, and I find them easier to read. No eye strain. Plus I can fill a novel with funny post-it note comments and then lend it out to people.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I think there will always be people who want only books on paper. And I'd bet that people who own e-readers still read tons of printed books, too. And I guess the world's headed that way, so do whatever works for you! I don't think that it signifies the death of books. Books, after all, hold stories, and so do e-readers. And that's the important thing.

Linda King said...

Thanks everyone - I think it's a fairly balanced response! Basically, we can't halt progress so we need to embrace the Kindle and use it to our own ends as far as publishing goes. I don't think it will completely replace paper books, but it is a great medium for getting your work out there. If I read a book on Kindle and love it, I reckon I'll still want to buy the paper copy to keep on my shelf!

Annalisa Crawford said...

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Catherine said...

Hi Linda!
My take on the kindle (or any other e-reader) is that it's convenient. When I travel (and I used to travel quite a lot) I had a maximum amount of space or weight I could carry with me. When you go in the middle of nowhere for weeks (and I mean nowhere... but with power outlet on the generator!), you need a lot of book to pass time at night. A kindle (or a Kobo as I have) is a must have.

On the other hand, there is nothing like going in a librairy and looking (smelling and touching) books on paper. That's why when I publish, I also offer a printed book for those who don't want the e-book.

At the same time, shipping cost is a pain when you want a book in a different language than the one spoken where you live! (I know a lot about that...)