|My Kindle sitting on a pile of books…
I’ve always been an avid reader. In high school, I would occasionally show up with sunken eyes and yawning like crazy. Friends would ask me what party I’d been to the previous night and why didn’t I invite them? None, I’d answer.
Then they wondered if I’d pulled an all-nighter to finish a school paper or project. Nope, not that either. Fight with the boyfriend? Problems at home? Sick? No, no, NO! I was reading. I had to finish the book, it was simply too good to put down!
Reading is the only thing that has weathered through every phase I’ve been through. It’s been my most faithful companion that made me laugh when I wanted to cry, and made me dream about my future romances. It’s taken me places I’ll probably never get to see. Reading has helped me deal with divorce and live with an alcoholic father.
I would take days off simply to browse the book stores. Starting with the books displaying all the major French publishers (aka most expensive books) where I’d learn about the new or upcoming releases. As the day progressed I always ended at the used book store and leave with a few goodies. Sadly, this was before Starbucks where you can spend the day lounging in a comfy chair curled reading. But I still cherished my new discoveries and couldn’t wait to spend sleepless nights turning the pages. Oh the adventures I’d live on paper! The possibilities were endless.
In 2009 my husband and I spent three weeks in Mexico. We stayed in a sweet little hotel. During the day, doors of unoccupied rooms remained open. This was a small hotel with 8 rooms with each a small library of used books. Once I’d read everything in my room I ventured to the other ones. Before the maid showed up, I’d sneak in and move books around so I could increase my own selection. In these three weeks I read over 15 books.
I told my mom it was time I got a Kindle. No more lugging books. One little reader with over a thousand books to go? That was so for me! At this time I lived and travelled with a race car team. Space was limited. Dropping in my favorite used book store was near impossible… By the time I flew home from my vacation, a package was waiting for me in my mailbox.
My mom bought me a Kindle for my birthday! I was thrilled! Rushed to amazon.com to start my search for my next adventure. Their library even offered free books!
And then I discovered why they were free. You do get what you pay for. And this got me thinking about the future of writing, and publishing itself. Anybody with a computer and an internet connection can easily self publish.
I’ve downloaded books loaded with typos, forgotten or doubled words or worse yet: the last book I tried to read couldn’t decide on the main character’s name! Sometimes spelled crosscounty55 and sometimes crosscountry55 (he was a gamer, this was his online name). I couldn’t read on. What was it? Crosscounty or crosscountRy, with an r?
Sure there are exceptions to the rule, a golden nugget lost in the rocks (come back tomorrow, I’ll share one of these with you). But how much rubbish do I need to riffle through before I find one? The good books average between $10 and $13. Although this is cheaper than a hardcover print, it’s still more than a used and previously loved paperback. And at my rate? Since November I’ve kept a tally of my books. Only because I’m too lazy to look into my Goodreads account to offer up the exact amount, I’ll guesstimate it at 35 books. The majority of these books were found in marinas with their grab-a-book-leave-a-book service.
Unlike the iPod which has literally pushed me to sell and give away my entire CD collection, the Kindle as loved as it is, will never fully replace the paperback.