Thursday, 5 July 2012

Where’s my ereader….?


When I saw this fabulous photo of Nigella Lawson in her home library I was green with envy. I mean, look at it! If there is a Heaven, then surely it has a room exactly like this and with no lifetime restrictions on reading everything ever written - well, perhaps not everything, perhaps not 'All Those Shades of Grey'.
You may be surprised at my greenness – thinking surely, that as a writer who exclusively writes e-books, I might instead covert the latest ereading technology instead…?

Well, the truth is… I love all books.
I love all the lovely new ones with bright colours and sparkles. I love dusty old tomes with aged dedications, I love, love, love them all. And there lies a problem, dear reader…

You see, in my home office I have shelves of books. On the top shelves I have lots of paperback novels (in most genres) and below those I have all the heavyweight hardbacks. On one particular ‘special’ section I have all my precious first editions and coveted collectable books (you mean, I hadn't  actually mention this fetish to you…?) alongside my signed and personally dedicated to me books (sighs and strokes books…)
My love of ebooks came about quite by accident… actually.

A couple of years ago, Mr JH and I were taking a faraway trip and I had refused to compromise on my luggage allowance - but contrary to warnings from Mr JH about airline rules and regulations, the good people at Glasgow Airport had the decency to smile and accept my, ehem - rather large suitcase, with no fuss whatsoever. Although, this was not the case (pardon the pun) when we changed flights, my husband was proved right and I was proved wrong and we were hit with a rather excessive excess weight charge.


I recall holding my breath, crossing my arms and refusing to offload anything. ‘I need absolutely everything in that case, I told my distressed husband, so he had no choice but to hand over several hundred US Dollars to the airline concerned.
When we reached our final destination, a beach resort where one really only needs a thong – and lots and lots and lots of books – and I opened up my suitcase to find that  even though we were both suffering from severe travel fatigue and crippling jet lag, we suddenly had lots to debate about the merits of paperbooks vs ebooks. I’m delighted to tell you, dear reader, that upon our return to Bonnie Scotland, I received a Kindle as a gift from my darling husband - and I’ve never looked back.





So where do you stand with the paper vs ebook thing – or do you have room in your heart for both…?

27 comments:

Anne Mackle said...

Yes definately both! I love my kindle for when I just have to have that book NOW ,and for taking on holiday as it means I don't have to choose I just take them all. I now have kindle on iPad and can read in bed without a light on while hubby's sleeping. I still love real books and it's a real treat to read a hardback now.

Kit Domino said...

I love books,real books,like you have shelves groaning under the weight and dust but I wouldn't be without my Kindle now for the world. There is a place for both and when travelling, for me the Kindle wins hands down every time.

alibacon.com said...

Great story Janice - wouldn't be without my Kindle and all those bargain e-books, but there's something about the 'real thing' - I don't think they will go away any time soon. Had some similar thoughts myself a while ago http://alibacon.com/2012/02/21/e-books-and-p-books-or-how-to-furnish-a-room/
Ali B

Melanie said...

I love them both! I have antique hard covers, paperpacks for research, novels in numerous genres... and my bookcases are groaning under the weight of them all.

Then I got a Sony e-reader a couple of years ago for Christmas so loaded it up with epub books. The beauty of it, is you can store all your books on SD memory cards so you never really run out of space.

Hubby got an iPad a year ago (a gift from work for 20 years service) and he ensured the kindle app was downloaded onto it and that's where I got my addiction to free kindle books... (I think I need an intervention). I've bought books for the kindle, too, to read on the iPad but it became very inconvenient trying to share one device. So my dear hubby bought me an iPad of my very own.
All that being said, I would definitely take my iPad and Sony loaded up with books to take on holiday.

However, I plan on purchasing a substantial number of copies of my novel when I go to the Kansas Book Festival in September. Now, how many can I put in my "huge" suitcase without exceeding the weight limit?

Time will tell...

wordsfromanneli said...

I just bought a Kindle this summer and now I'm wondering how I survived without it. I find I'm reading a lot more too because it's so convenient. It doesn't take me five minutes to find my page. Even with a bookmark, it's a bit of a search to find where I left off. Kindle narrows it down to a few sentences.
And yes, all those books are now a lot lighter and take up less space.

Carol Wyer said...

I'm a book lover. I adore books and love turning pages. However, I am also a speed reader (a technique I picked up at Uni after studying for a double degree in French and English Literature!)which means I get through loads of books on holiday.(Last week I read eleven) My iPad with Kindle app allows me to read oodles of books while I am away but I still prefer proper books. Mind you I also write all my novels out by hand first so that says a lot about me!

Linn B Halton said...

I reluctantly bought a Kindle because a friend INSISTED I tried it. Well, it now lives in my handbag and I don't go anywhere without it. However, anything I read on Kindle that I really love (and will therefore read again in the future ... I live in the hope that some day I will have lots of spare time ...) I have to buy in paperback too. Re: Nigella's study ... shriek! How can you dust, clean or even know where anything is? Not for the OCD inclined ...

JO said...

Definitely room for both - Books for curling up with at home, Kindle for slipping into my rucksack when I'm travelling.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post, Janice - and I thought the wall to wall books in our study were too much! I love both the kindle and print books, but contrary to what I thought at first, I still get more pleasure from reading an actual book.

I do, however, read only my kindle in bed now as it's so much easier to hold - and it will definitely be travelling with me this summer!

Mandy said...

Oh Janice what a post!! There is room for both but when you're looking at practicality it has to be an e-reader. I took dozens of books packaged up in my Kindle on holiday and it went in my hand luggage leaving my suitcase free for lots of thongs! LOL! However some paperbacks are still cheaper than e-versions so if I see a paperback bargain I snap it up but it doesn't come away with me :)

Talli Roland said...

Definitely both! Both! In fact, I think I'm going more towards ebooks these days. They're convenient and quick to buy books.

Chris Longmuir said...

I love both, paper books and my ereader. I have two, a sony reader and a kindle, but it's the kindle that goes everywhere with me. However, if you narrow it down, it's not the ereaders or the paper books that are most important. It's the story inside.

Sheila Stacey said...

After having to spend the extra two weeks at Evelyn Beach Hotel Hersonissos because of my husband being hospitalized,I've vowed to get a kindle before travelling abroard again. I had expected to be able to exchange my paperback with other hotel guests but, being unable to read Russian,German or Greek,I just went a little bit mad instead. A kindle's a must the next time.

Cara Cooper said...

I think both paper books and e-books have their place depending on your circumstances. My ipad was brilliant on a long, long flight at night when I didn't have to keep people awake with a light to read. But, there's nothing nicer than a paper book to give as a present.

K. Rosenberg said...

Nice post, Janice. I love my Kindle, but am still a little uneasy about taking it to the beach. Plus I love a paperback that I can chuck on my towel and get sand between the pages and just not worry. So, yeah, add me to the "both" camp. ;-)

Janice Horton said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments both here and on Twitter. It seems we are all a balanced lot, who love real books sometimes and ereading when it's more convienient.

I liked the idea of the back light on the ipad for dimmed light reading - that is a restriction on the Kindle - which of course it shares with a 'real' books.

I hope Melanie gets to Kansas okay with all her books!

I had to chuckle at Linn's shriek at the photo of Nigella's home library - I'd forgotton she was OCD!!

Love to read your comments!

Janice xx

Janice Horton said...

Oh Sheila, I meant to say that I hope Pete is now recovering well and that yes, you do certainly deserve a Kindle pressy! xx

(I met lovely Sheila and her husband Pete on Crete last month. Pete was taken ill and taken to hospital just after we left and they couldn't leave Crete as planned for several weeks).

Debbie Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
youngdebbie said...

(Sorry, just realised I commented with old link showing defunct website!)

youngbyname.me said...

No e-reader will ever be as beautiful as a traditional library, crammed with books, and furnished with copious leather and wood - but it will always be tidier and easier to dust. I love them both!

suzy henderson said...

Hi Janice. Just came across your blog.I love Nigella's library. Not sure I'd like to clean the dusty shelves/books however. Still, it's quite a writing spot. Rather envious as at present I write from the kitchen table.
As for kindle, I never really wanted one, preferring the feel of paper, however, just got one for my birthday recently and I've become rather attached. They are good And it's great to be able to download books when you like.

myraduffy said...

I must admit I prefer books rather than e-books for reference works. I tried an e-Thesaurus but much prefer the paper version.

Susan Bergen said...

I've tried to create a poor woman's version of Nigella's library by lining the walls of my smallest bedroom with massive bookcases from Ikea. I find my adult children slowly pushing me out with their stuff though! I'm a REAL book fan. Can't imagine ever not having paper books. However, I bought my first Kindle a couple of weeks ago. We'll see...

Janice Horton said...

Suzy - I often write from the kitchen table too. Isn't it funny how we can get unexpectedly attached to our Kindles!

I agree Myra - for reference you can't beat paper book.

Susan - the reason I often have to write at the kitchen table is because I get pushed out of our home office - so I can empathise!

Janice xxx

Vikki said...

I love the look of that library! Nothing can beat paperbacks but I do love the ability to 'carry' around hundreds of books if I want to on my kindle. (and I think it has widened my reading range too)

LC Scott said...

I love both two and I am surrounded by bookshelves like the image except I don't have any books stacked on the floor. My dog would eat them!

I think travel is the breaking point for many readers--the joy of an ebook stocked with dozens of titles just waiting for me to read!

The Unknown Reader did a guest blog before her trip to South America titled More is Less When You Travel with An Ereader http://www.efrogpress.com/2012/06/19/more-is-less-when-you-travel-with-an-ereader/

Funny but informative too for those of us who cannot leave the country (or state or city) without our ereader!

Had to tweet your post.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. great photo and description of books v ebooks - there's a time and place for all ..

Cheers Hilary