Thursday, July 22, 2010

"It's Not You, It's Me," says the girl, to her e-reader.

These are words frequently heard when somebody's about to get dumped. The girl talking here happens to me and the e-reader, yup, you got it, my new Nook. Now don't get me wrong. I love my Nook. It's sleek, portable, has a nice leather cover and can download a book faster than I can brew a cup of coffee. It's become as much a part of me as my iPhone. With so many fine attributes then, what could possibly trouble me?

Well, I'll tell you. I WANT MY BOOKS. PAPER BOOKS.

Yes, I know. E-books are the future. I get that like I get the benefits of electronic medical records. But why can't I have both? Why can't I have a paper book with the option to download the e-book for $0.99, or vice versa? Buy the e-book at the e-book price and pay the difference to own the tangible book if I wish to add it to my "physical" library?

I'll give you two scenarios that I've faced where I've felt penalized for owning an e-book:

Example:

A romance author I follow recently posted that she'd be doing a reading and book-signing at a local book store. As it so happens, hers was one of two books I'd recently downloaded to my Nookie. Unfortunately, the book signing was more than an hour away and during my son's bedtime, so I had to forego it. But what if I'd been able to go? What would I have had her sign? A bookmark? My arm? Is there such a thing as an e-signature or e-autograph for readers who own the e-book version of an author's book?

Example: 

Another author I follow recently published a YA book that was not available at the bookstore and that I didn't want to wait to have delivered. After a lot of deliberation, I checked my Nook. Yay, the book was available for download. I read it. I loved it. I then wanted it in paper form. Why should I pay full price to own the paper version?

Which is exactly what I did with one of my books on the craft that I'd recently read and loved but didn't want to tote with me on vacation. I probably don't have to tell you what I ended up doing. Yes, I now own both versions.

Maybe I'm mental. Please me tell I'm not the only one and make me feel better.

What's been your experience with your e-reader? Do you or have you had your druthers before downloading a book, only to later wish you owned the paper version?

I'd love to know.


My Nook Going for a Ride
Stack of Books at Hannafords, York ME
(Proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters)
Nook was in my pocketbook and I still bought books.
Vacation Book Bag
(See Nook Jammed with Books?)
Books on the floorboard of my truck that
I purchased at the York Public Library's book sale.

"Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total."
~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning