As a person who loves reading and has bought and read literally thousands of books, I never thought I’d say it, but I don’t like reading books anymore. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading stories, or novels, nonfiction, etc. – it’s that I don’t like reading books. That’s right, the ink-on-paper all bound in one big lump of dead tree things. I can’t stand them.
Ever since getting my Kindle I’ve become more and more accustomed to reading on its e-ink display. For a while it was all I read on (other than the computer, but I refuse to read full-length novels on a computer screen). Sure, at first it took a bit of getting used to: holding a hunk of plastic and not having the feel of paper beneath my fingers, but when I started reading a new book (who shall remain nameless), it simply was not available for Kindle – so I had to read it in dead-tree form. I hated it.
Why? Mostly because of all the reasons I put forth a few months ago as to why you should buy a Kindle. I hate the nuisance of trying to hold the book open (I can just set my Kindle on the counter and read while I do anything, like brush my teeth). I hate that I’m stuck with whatever text size the publisher decided was appropriate for the book (again, it’s nice to set the book down, increase the font size, and read while I’m doing something else). I don’t like searching for something to use as a bookmark or even worse, losing my place when my son pulls the bookmark from its place in the book (the Kindle keeps track of where you left off).
But the biggest reason I don’t like reading books anymore is because of all the waste. Seriously, I generally read a book once and am done with it. Then it either goes on my shelf or to someone else to read (and being a fan of content creation, I don’t particularly like the used book market, although I do succumb from time to time just to clear my shelves). Either way, there have been a lot of trees killed for my entertainment over the years – and with e-reader technology there’s absolutely no reason for this to continue. Yes, the Kindle takes other forms of resources to create – but once it’s done it’s made it’s made, and it seriously uses very little electricity.
So this is a call-to-action for all of you writers and publishers out there. Go put your book up on Kindle (I already did), or chances are I will not read it. It’s disappointing how many books I’ve come across lately that I want to read, but are not available on Kindle. And, since there are a lot of books out there, the ones that aren’t on Kindle are put on my list of books to read someday, when the publisher comes to its senses and does so. In the meantime, if you’re not on Kindle I’m skipping over you.
By the way, publishers, authors, etc. You’ll get a lot better royalty in e-books than in traditional print. Chew on that for a while.