This week’s poll on the Daily Post was about which we preferred as readers:
1.) Your Kindles, Tablets, or iPads: “ebooks — you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go.”
2.) Old fashioned books. “Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore.”
I have more to mull over before I post for the week, but for now, here’s a guy I really like who doesn’t publish for companies that deal in the electronic book industry. He’s got some larger ideas in general, andI think there’re some gems in here to consider. My friends, I give you Mr. Sherman Alexie. Enjoy!
So, I promised I would offer my OWN thoughts on this debate. To be fair, I own a Kindle Fire. When I first bough it, I found it replacing my computer for more recreational purposes (i.e. Apps — Facebook, Words With Friends, Pinterest, etc.) I did not use it for reading. I downloaded some free classics thinking that I would find more reasons to read more and delve into the classics because now I didn’t have an excuse. Not so much. In fact, I still prefer to hold a physical book, and wouldn’t have caved except that the Hunger Games trilogy was on a “forever” waiting list at the library, and for some reason, I haven’t figured out how to “rent” via a digital eReader. So I bought all three books, and was done reading all three books in three days. Devoured!
I also bought them because they were “on sale”. Digital words, on sale…that still blows my mind. Who does my money support when I purchase digital words? I suppose I pay into a large corporate conglomerate that dictates where I can purchase said titles from. But what if my Kindle didn’t work with the corporate conglomerate that hosts my “to read” titles? It becomes a bit too selective and elitist for my taste. In a way I am forced (I know, there are hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, but still…) to choose from a list. But I pay a corporation. What artist am I supporting by purchasing an eBook? These large companies can essentially set the price and list for what they believe is my taste…or are they essentially setting that, too?
Sherman Alexis said something poignant in his “rant” above that resonated with me. More or less, “these companies are going to favor a certain kind of book.” There isn’t going to be a publisher, but a company asking for a certain type of book. I believe that this is true because some many people have access to what is trending. If Hunger Games is so popular, will we see a spike in literature like this trilogy? What inventive will writers have to create new genres and foster their creativity or their own ideas?
I think about Apps like Spotify, for instance. When I am creating a playlist, I tend to favor music that I liked when I was growing up, and less about what’s “new”, because there is an element of original sound that I am looking for and have a hard time having someone, or something (i.e. Spotify, the App) tell me what I might like. It takes away the ingenuity and musicianship of an artist’s work, I think.
But, again, I have Kindle. I bought it because I felt that I might be able to find digital copies cheaper than the bookstore prices for my classes, or that I might even be able to download them for free from the library (still working on that). When I’m in a fix and want to keep up with pop culture, I appreciate the immediacy of being able to download a book and finish it in a day.