Sunday, December 04, 2011

Joining the Dark Side

My friend Cliff loaned me his Kindle for the weekend. I'd been wanting to try an e-reader and since Cliff had just finished the same book I'm currently reading, Stephen King's 11/22/63, he figured this would be a good time for me to finally give the world of e-books a try.
I must say, I didn't hate it. The Kindle is considerably lighter than the actual 849 page book which makes it a lot easier to read when I'm lying on the floor on my back, as I often do while reading. The screen is very clear and easy on the eyes. I had no trouble making the jump at all.
But, and you knew there would be a but, I'm still one of those guys who loves books. I just got a copy of the original Lancer release of Michael Moorcock's The Stealer of Souls with the Jack Gaughan cover featuring the infamous 'tall pointy hat' version of Elric, and I am absolutely tickled to own it. I love books. I suspect that I will always love books.
However I could see a lot of books that I'd be perfectly happy to own on an e-reader because I am more interested in the information in the book than the book itself. The convenience and portability of the Kindle has definitely impressed me. It would be great to take on vacation. It would also be handy over a weekend when I realize I need a book on fencing in Elizabethan era Venice and I need it NOW! (And yes that sort of thing does happen.)
So yeah, I can see an e-reader being a probable purchase in the not too distant future. Thanks, Cliff!


Arion said...

I think I love 'real' books for the same reasons Alan Moore does: "Because they’ve got an artefact value. I’ve got first editions that have got beautiful illustrations or are signed; it’s all part of the mystique of books to me. Perhaps people would argue that that’s not necessarily relevant, but I think our emotional attachment to an object is a part of all this".

Even so, I recognize that a Kindle would be helpful in certain situations.

Dougie said...

That's the Elric I first met!

Paul R. McNamee said...

eBooks are useful. NO ONE has laid down a law that says you must choose one of the other. I use both heavily.

Of course, I will have favorites in print - or sometimes a used book is cheaper than the eBook.

eBooks are good for history research, etc.

Also, many out-of-print and hard-to-get books can (are) made available via eBooks.

Amazon has a lots of good daily & monthly deals. Granted, a lot are cut priced on first volumes to suck you into trilogies or series, but at the price of a cup of coffee, I say, why not? If I really end up enamored, it won't cost to much to get a print edition on top of it.

Have fun. I've had a blast with mine the past two (or is it three now??) years.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Arion, yeah that's my take too. I have a lot of limited editions, autographed copies, rare and hard to come by volumes, etc. so obviously an e-book isn't going to replace those. But it definitely has its uses.

Dougie, my first exposure to Elric was in the DAW books with the Michael Whelan covers. 'Pointy hat' Elric was a bit of a shock to me. I'll talk about that more when I get around to my Conan/Elric team-up article.

I agree totally, Paul. no reason you can't have real books and e-books. As I mentioned, there are times when being able to instantly download something would be very very handy, and there are many books I want to read but don't feel the need to collect, so an e-book reader would be a big space saver too. As far as that goes, I'd also probably get a lot of my favorites (REH, Leiber,etc) in e-book form so I could always have them at my fingertips.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Charles, re: Leiber. You should check Baen sells their ebooks direct from their site.

They have all 7 volumes of Fafhrd & Grey Mouser as a $35 eBundle.

Baen also has a deal with Nightshade to sell their eBooks. I believe this started before the titles started on Amazon, and I think you can still get some cheaper from Baen.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Thanks for the heads up, Paul. I'll keep that in mind when I get a reader.