Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gadget Geek and the Reading Revelation

So, I’ve discovered I’m more of a Gadget Geek than I expected or wanted to acknowledge. I’ve never been one who needed the latest toy. My computer is almost ten years old. My phone is the first of the 3G generation (that’s old in phone life). But I needed the latest toy…the iPad.

Now, I know it does pretty much the same things that my phone does, except work as a phone, but I wanted one. It was so cute and sleek. And I have to confess, I love it. Don’t worry, this isn’t a promo for the iPad but more the revelation that it represents.

I justified the purchase by saying I wanted/needed an e-reader and couldn't find what I was looking for. My first task was to download 3 e-reader apps (Kindle, Barnes & Noble and iBooks) plus a PDF reader so I can transfer all the books that I’ve already purchased.

The first night I got my iPad, I downloaded Amanda Quick’s The Burning Lamp and J.R. Ward’s Lover Avenged. In the week following, I bought and read another five books.

Now, I’m a big reader but in the past year, I’ve steered away from buying books. Lately I’ve been unwilling to try a new author. It’s like I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I don’t want to be disappointed so I’ve just stuck with familiar names, never branching out and walking out of the bookstore more often than not empty-handed. The e-reader seems to have inspired me, I feel more willing to take a risk. I’ve bought books and tried authors I never would have considered before.

Part of what I love about e-books is the instant gratification. When I want a new book, it’s just clicks away and poof, it’s loaded on my device. And I can act on recommendations. Recently, I was on vacation with my sister and she told me about a book she’d read and enjoyed. While we were talking, I went to Amazon and bought it, downloading it in less than a minute. Normally, I would have listened to her recommendation and mostly likely forgotten the name of the author or the book. Now, I have a new author to try.

I’m also thinking this will reduce the clutter a bit around my house. The paper books (read and to-be-read) pile up quickly, don’t they? When a book is a computer file, if I don’t enjoy it, I don’t feel compelled to give it away or sell it to a used book store. I just delete it. Instant clean up…I love it.

Being an e-book author, I read a lot of e-books and that means I’ve spent a lot…a lot…of hours sitting in front of my computer hitting the arrow and next page buttons. It was fine but not terribly conducive to reading before bed. Now, I crawl into bed with my e-reader and stack of new e-books and read until my eyes start to close.

And no matter what e-reader you have you can find some free (and legal!) books out there. I’ve recently been enjoying Ellora’s Caves Naughty Nooners. It’s a great way to discover new authors (Scribe sister Lynn LaFleur has one out…”Door Prize”. It was good fun!).

I haven’t completely abandoned paperback and hardcover. I have a few authors I just like to see sitting on my shelf but I’m a big fan of the e-reader. I feel like I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading.

1 comment:

Lynn LaFleur said...

I am a gadget geek and love to buy all the new toys. I haven't bought an iPad yet, but it's at the top of my list!

I'm with you, Tielle. I love ebooks. I have a Kindle that currently has 70 books loaded on it with lots more room on it for lots more books. If I'm reading a book I don't care for, I just switch to another one. And all without having to leave my recliner.

A girlfriend asked me about an author yesterday that I'd never read. I went to Amazon, downloaded the free sample, and started reading it. I couldn't have done that with a paper book without getting in my car and driving 50 miles to the nearest bookstore.

And thanks for the nice words about my Naughty Nooner. Those little short stories are fun to write and fun to read!