Ask An Author, Writing

Ask An Author: Is It About the Reading or the Reader?

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Sahar's Blog Ask an AuthorAs previously mentioned, one of the way authors improve their craft is by reading—a lot. Most authors are first and foremost avid readers, and have to deal with the reality of painful necks and shoulders or too heavy suitcases all the time. Since they have been introduced, electronic readers seem to have cause quite a bit of ruckus; I have a feeling that the “Ask an Author” feature fans that sent in this question were hoping for some drama in our otherwise tight group of authors. But hey, what do you want—the sweat and blood we pour into our books unites us very tightly, and answering this features question—E-book or real book?—didn’t trigger anything more than the usual interest from our group of dedicated authors. I myself have more of a contextual preference: real book in the comfort of my home, e-book on long trips; e-book version if I know I am not going to annotate it, real book if I am going to do so; etc.

Lee Murray

Oooh this is a good question, Sahar. On the one hand, I love that intoxicating smell of vanillin and benzaldehyde that print books give off, the feel of the leaves under my fingers, their gorgeous formatting with generous white space and flamboyant curlicue section breaks—just the solid wholesome weight of them. Plus, there’s no need to charge them up ahead of time. And on the other hand, the flexibility of being able to travel with hundreds of books at one time is a great advantage of e-books, as is sneaky back-lit reading under the covers, large print, and the ability to mark and research documents without the need for folded corners or annoying highlights or notes in the margins. However, as a reader, what I like most about books is not the form itself, but the story.

Angela Barry

I prefer a paper book when I can get it. Ebooks are better for traveling on vacations.

Sybil Watters

E-books ARE real books.  I think it is immensely important to develop your base/reach on every platform imaginable and available.  That being said, I love a book I can hold, feel and smell.  Yes, I smell my books- so what? 😉

Catherine Mede

Ebook or real book – tough question. I love both! Though I have to admit that it has been a while since I read an actual book – because my Kindle Fire is so easy to use. It’s great because I suffer from insomnia, so if I wake up during the night, I can read my Kindle without having to turn the light on and disturb my beloved. I have bookcases full of books, which I hope to one day read (if I haven’t already), but my days are rather full, so I don’t always get the opportunity to read a physical book. Still, its nice holding one every now and again.

A.J. Ponder

Ebooks are amazing. They’re cheap, convenient, and published worldwide with a push of a button. I published Lilliana Lionheart as (3) ebooks because there was no physical way to reach the far-flung market of bright young readers 11+ interested in science.

On the other hand, print books are solid, and romantic, and still look better, and often sell better when there’s an obvious local market. Wizard’s Guide to Wellington, and The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, sold hundreds more copies in a far smaller potential market. So, as an author, I really think it depends on your market. But as a reader, I find it relaxing to enjoy paper and ink without the complications of buttons and screens.

Jean Gilbert

Both. I don’t feel there is a wrong way to read a book, or to produce a book. It’s about getting it out to the public. It’s a new world in the publishing industry, and we should embrace it in all its forms.

F.C. Etier

E-books seem to be all the rage these days, yet there are still many readers who prefer the touch, feel, and smell of paper books. Therefore, I offer my books both as e-books and paperbacks. My own preferences run to the old fashioned. I like to settle into my reading chair with a hard bound book (probably purchased from a re-sale store or a garage sale) and a drink and escape. I haven’t purchased an e-book in over two years.

Meryl Stenhouse

The correct answer is, “Yes please!”

Seriously though, I’ve never understood people who believe they have to choose between the two formats, as if they are mutually exclusive. I have a massive library of paper books in my house, and an even more massive library of eBooks that I carry around with me. I love being able to pull out my eReader anywhere, anytime, and dive into a book. We live in an age where the written word has never been more accessible, and I love it. Embrace the word!

Image courtesy of Chad Mauger.

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4 thoughts on “Ask An Author: Is It About the Reading or the Reader?

  1. I admit that I missed this one because I was too busy finishing my draft of my latest novel! (Lots of re-writing and editing work remains, so it is far from done.)

    But I just wanted to say that I do go for both e-books and paper books. The problem that we have now is that the shelves are triple stacked with books, and we’ve started just buying e-books because there simply isn’t any space anymore. Another virtue of e-books!

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