Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Kindle

I was reluctant to embrace the e-reader when they first came out. I love books. I love the way they feel in my hand and the way they smell. I like to write in the margins. After I started publishing e-books, I decided I should check out and support other e-book writers, so I bought a Kindle, with the intention of using it to read e-books, while still buying p-books for "regular" reading.

Well, I have had my Kindle for a year now, and I haven't picked up a p-book since I took it out of the box.

As of this week, I have read 90 books on my Kindle. The vast majority of those were indie authors (or, in some cases, traditionally published authors publishing their back list as e-books). Most of them were free. In the past year, I probably spent more on books than I had for the two or three years prior, because for several years, I had purchased almost no books. I did all my reading from the library. However, this year I spent a fraction of what I used to spend when I was buying books regularly, and I read more books this year than I ever had before. I once figured out that I typically read an average of about 2.5 books a month over a typical year. Since I got my Kindle, I'm averaging 1.7 books a week.

There's a lot of chatter about how much crap is being published as e-books. That may be true, but there has been a lot of crap published in traditional p-books, too. I have started and abandoned only 14 books in the last year. You have to winnow the chaff to get to the grain, but I haven't found as much chaff as I expected. True, there's a lot more to material out there, but in my opinion, self-published e-books are like a vast slush pile that is free (or at least really cheap) and available to anyone who wants to dig around in it. There may be a lot of junk, but there are also some real gems. Perhaps more importantly, there are  a lot of entertaining stories, decently told, and available at very modest prices or even free.That's good enough for me on a rainy Saturday or during those couple of hours between washing the dinner dishes and falling asleep.

I have issues with some of Amazon's business practices, but I'm in love with my Kindle*.

*Affiliate Link: buy great stuff and support this site for no extra charge.

No comments:

Post a Comment