Monday, May 09, 2011

Why I Want A Kindle... and Why I Don't

You know e-books are all the rage. Just take a look at this graph, and you won't be able to deny that the electronic publishing revolution has become a war. I've been watching it with interest both as a consumer and as an author. I've even been asked about it in interviews I've given for my traditionally published novels Thicker than Blood and Bound by Guilt. The way I see it, e-books are going to become (well, I guess they already have) just another form of a book. The same way you have a paperback and a hardcover. And like in past years when some books aren't ever released in hardcover and only come out in paper, we're now seeing some being released exclusively to Kindle or Nook and skipping the paper route altogether.

I recently read one of those books. Here Comes the Ride by Lorena McCourtney is a cozy mystery published by the author. It's available for $2.99. Having enjoyed the first novel in McCourtney's Andi McConnell series Your Chariot Awaits I knew I wanted to read the second. But alas, even though it was contracted to be published traditionally by Thomas Nelson, for some reason the contract was canceled, leaving Andi stranded in her limousine. Thus the reason McCourtney took the bull by the horns and went the e-pubbing route.

I don't yet own an e-reader. In order to read this novel (which was fantastic, btw) I had to download a free app for my computer. Easy enough, but it's not the same reading a book off your computer screen. This is why I really want a Kindle. I want to be able to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and read a book like Here Comes the Ride, or James Scott Bell's new writing book Writing Fiction For All You're Worth. I don't like cuddling up with my laptop unless I'm actually working on writing a novel.

For now I am resigned to reading off my computer screen. If the book's good enough, I will do it. But here's my big dilemma. When I finished the last page of Here Comes the Ride, I was satisfied and had the strong urge to close the book and set it up on my shelf. I like collecting books, for crying out loud. How in the world am I going to do that with books released exclusively to Kindle? I want to lend my books to my friends too, but unless I bite the bullet and buy an e-reader, and they do too, this isn't happening.

Thus my "why I want, why I don't" problem. What about you? Where do you weigh in on this dilemma that's going to be with us for quite some time.