Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Way Things Used to Be

At my age, I often get hit by nostalgia. I remember the way things used to be. That can be good or bad, depending on my mood and what triggers a memory.

I miss the people who are no longer with me. I remember past events, sometimes with joy, other times with sadness.

Also, I remember when printed books were the norm and e-books were a fledgeling child, struggling to gain recognition. When my first two books, the mystery, Two Wrongs and romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, came out in e-book and print form through the publisher, Hard Shell Word Factory, I hardly paid much attention to the e-book editions.

The major consensus of the reading public was a real book had to be on paper, which readers could smell and feel, and delight in seeing the cover and turning the pages.

Well, in the past few years, that attitude has significantly changed. Multitudes of readers have gravitated toward e-books, instead of the printed format, and their numbers appear to be growing.

E-books do have many advantages, some of which are: they're usually less expensive than their print counterparts, they don't kill trees, their fonts are adjustable, and they can be easily transported in high numbers without using much muscle or taking up much space.

Concerning books, do I miss the way things used to be? In some ways, but mostly not. I keep a few printed reference books handy, but now find reading fiction on my Kindle more natural than picking up what was once called a "real" book. I still have scads of printed books taking up space in my house. I keep promising myself I'll read them one of these days, but keep putting off opening them up. It's so much easier to read on my Kindle.

By the way, I did regain the rights to my first two books, and you guessed it, they're on Kindle, along with my others.

What about you? Do you miss the way things used to be? Do you mourn the advent of e-books? Or, have you also been won over by the new trend?



Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My Dreams. Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.  Romantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two Wrongs. Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com Chick Lit Faves 

17 comments :

  1. One of my happiest memories from my youth was leaving the library in the summer with a big stack of books. So did my four siblings, and when we left Baltimore for our 8+ hour drive to northern NY each summer, my Dad would stick those books anywhere he could, including the spare tire well under the floor of the station wagon. Luckily, kids can still do that, as can this big kid.

    But my reading has become more whimsical as new books come out in my genre that I want to read. I brought a pile of print books up to the lake this year, planning to read them all but so far have read only one, preferring instead to catch up with some new releases by colleagues on my e-reader. I love that flexibility.

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  2. It took me some time to get around to purchasing my Kindle, but within weeks I became a card-carrying convert.

    I convinced hubby to get his own Kindle, and shortly thereafter donated our "real" books to various charities.

    Now, I'll sing the praises of ebooks to anyone who'll listen.

    Btw, I've just received the rights back to my two books as well. I doubt I'll bother to release print versions. Ebooks are here to stay!

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  3. The older I get, the more I love e-books. They're not heavy, also I love being able to adjust the fonts. I gave away lots of printed books to the library because the font was too small or too light for me to comfortably read. Before, I'd put up with the inconvenience, but now I don't have to. Of course, I was younger then also.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  4. I still prefer paper over plastic. Reading paper books is free from technical glitches. I have very little patience with electronic devices since I work on a computer every day for hours and am tech support for my hubby 24/7. I don't need more tech-rage. On the upside, if there is ever an electronic apocalypse, I can open a lending library.

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  5. I had a "late in life" start to my writing career, and I was published by the then "up and coming new trend" of e-publishers who were digital first, print maybe later. People would say, "Oh, well tell me when you write a REAL book, and I'll buy it." Now, when people find out I'm an author, they say, "Can I get your books for my Nook/Kindle, etc."

    (And a pet peeve -- Kindle is NOT the generic term for e-readers. If someone tells me their book is for the Kindle, or on Amazon, I'll ignore it, because I have a Nook and I shop at B&N.)

    I still buy both; I still read both. It's not an either-or, or "us vs them" situation. I prefer print for reference, and have a few authors I buy in print after starting to collect them decades ago, but now, I'd say I buy 85% of my books in digital format. I read in bed, and not dealing with a heavy book (try reading Gabaldon!) and with a back-lit screen, I don't have to turn the light on, which Hubster appreciates, although he now has his own Nook!

    Terry
    Terry's Place

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  6. I miss the smell of paper books. Libraries have a unique, nostalgic smell. Old books smell of acidic paper. Book covers loosen, spines come off, and pages come unglued. Still, I love going back to some of my childhood favorites for a memory-enhancing return to yesteryear.

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  7. I like real books, Morgan, and I own neither a Kindle nor a Nook. However, I'm trying to downsize and get rid of "stuff," so the electronic readers do have a certain appeal. (I should mention that I have Kindle on both my pc and laptop, but I've never used it.) Will I purchase a Kindle or Nook in the future? Possibly for fiction. I still may want my cookbooks in hard copy.

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  8. Our local library still has that library smell, but it lends out Kindles, Nooks and other devices. Also lets patrons use laptops and iPads on the premises. We go there mainly to pick up DVDs, but once in a while the DH gets a non-fiction book. And, as I mentioned, I almost exclusively use my Kindle.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  9. I still love "real" books too, although I do have a Kindle and I alternate between that and my paper books. I'm happy for the e-book trend, because I think people may be reading more. And that's always a good thing.

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  10. Yes, people reading more is a great trend! I know I'm able to read more these days. It's so easy to get out my kindle at breakfast and lunch and read at the table while I eat. The DH and I rarely eat at the same time, so no problem about ignoring him.

    Morgan Mandel

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  11. I thought I would never prefer an eReader over a paper book, but I love my reader, for all the reasons Morgan mentioned above. I've found that I also enjoy proofreading on the reader. I like that the reader is so lightweight too.

    Great post, Morgan!

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  12. It's much more fun to go to the library, scan the shelves, especially the new book shelves, and find--Voila! A Treasure! A Treasure is a new novel--hardback--by Mary Balogh, Susan Mallery, Susan Elizabeth Philips, etc. Some favorites I just have to read the "real book."
    Still, the lure of scanning the Free Books, or book by new authors, or finding one a friend wrote is really nice, too.
    Both..my answer is both. I go back and forth, and whatever I choose, I usually like.

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  13. My eyes are able to read faster and longer words on paper so about 99% of the books read are that format. When you only have a very limited amount of time, speed and comfort are important.

    --Tired Eyes

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  14. Great post, Morgan. To think that a few years ago when I got my first book published as ebook, my dream was to finally hold my "real" book in my hands. Fourteen books later, I really don't care if my book is printed in hard copy or not. My first ereader was a Sony, but last year I bought a Kindle. I love it. It's been three years that I haven't stepped in a bookstore or bought a hard copy book.

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  15. Maggie made a good point. I also love having the ability to proofread my books on my kindle before releasing them. It's amazing what I can find that way!
    My first ereader was a palm pilot, which I never really used. It just came in handy to see what my own books looked like on it. Obviously it was very small. Of course, my eyes were better then also.

    Morgan Mandel

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  16. I read about half of my books on my Kindle, and find that I am slowly reading more electronically than on paper. That said. I do like the feel and look of a quality print book.

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  17. I have to admit that if I see a printed book it does catch my eye, but it's not enough of a temptation for me to buy it. I'm too hooked on electronic versions.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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