"Raymond’s eye for telling detail is very fine, as one expects of an accomplished writer, but to this she adds the informing eye of a natural historian of place.”
— John Keeble, author of Nocturnal America
Midge Raymond
Midge's blog about writing . . . reading . . . and everything in between

e-Reading

So, I normally think of myself as pretty (okay, very) old-fashioned. I was the last person on earth, I’m convinced, to have gotten an answering machine, and about the last to get a cell phone. (Or maybe I’m just more antisocial than old-fashioned). Nine times out of ten I’ll chose a book with pages and a cover over an e-book; an independent bookstore with a coffee shop and resident cat over Amazon; and editing with hard copy and red pencil over electronic editing.

But times are changing. And one must also think of the environment. So I’m embracing all things e.

I’m happy that Forgetting English is now on the Kindle. And I’ve also discovered the free iPhone app that will allow me to read my Kindle books on my iPhone — and clearly I’m just about the last person to discover this as well. So far, more than 2 million users have downloaded this app, and there have been more than 12 million book downloads.

ikindle

So far, I’m still reading more actual books than e-books, but so far, I’ve enjoyed the e-reading experience, even if so far it has been limited to New Yorker articles and proofreading my own book. For someone with aging eyes, the text is extremely readable, and reading on the iPhone is fantastic — particularly when it comes to airline travel or standing in line at the post office, i.e., places where a paperback or even a Kindle can feel too cumbersome.

I’ll never give up my library, even though it’s becoming a serious earthquake and fire hazard … but it’s nice to know I can store a few good books in small boxes every now and then.



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5 comments

1 Sean Truman Farley { 07.14.09 at 11:10 pm }

Wow. Embracing all things e, huh? Well, you’re right, times are changing. But let me put you at ease and tell you you’re not the last person to know about iPhone apps…I don’t even have an iPhone, so all these apps that are coming out are news to me. Going green sure does help, but I’m with you, having a library is such an amazing thing (when I’m financially comfortable I plan to have not only a fantastic kitchen, but a library, too). The only major difference between and e-book and the real thing is that the real thing can’t get lost in cyberspace. Sigh.

2 Midge { 07.15.09 at 9:00 am }

Truman, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

And here’s another article on the whole e-book launch debate:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/books/15ebooks.html?_r=1&ref=arts

I like that this piece makes the point that most people (including publishers) don’t seem to be getting: that e-books won’t take away from sales but add to them. Many people who have spent $300 on a Kindle simply won’t buy a book until it’s available on the Kindle … so by not offering an e-book, you’re losing a sale. And I am wondering how long it’ll be until hardcovers are obsolete, too.

3 Midge { 07.21.09 at 11:06 am }
4 Jonny Miner { 07.22.09 at 4:20 pm }

C’mon Midge! I agree with Sean. How can you consider yourself old-fashioned when you’re zipping around the intertubes on your iphone!? Sure wish I was that hip.

P.S. I’ve decided that writing comments to writers makes me waaay too self-conscious about mie grammer, spellin an punktuashun!?!@@#?#$

5 Midge { 07.22.09 at 5:32 pm }

Comment anytime! I promise I won’t complaine aboout yur speling. (If it weren’t for spell check…)