Peggy Bechko: eBooks and The Reader and Writer

by Peggy Bechko

kindleHey, I’ll bet you already knew or guessed that Ebooks are changing reading habits all over the place. It’s sort of a tidal wave and I spotted an article onUSA Today  printed just this month that confirms it with statistics. (We all love statistics, right?)

Numbers, percentages?

All that’s great, but what it all boils down to is the simple fact that more people are reading (wow, Is that great or what?!), more people are writing, more people own EReading devices and the ways in which they discover their reading materials are changing as well. Fewer people prowling the aisles in bookstores (probably not so good for the bookstores and we sure want to keep them). More people learning about books at places such as Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, local libraries who ‘lend’ digital editions and other locations (good for Ecommerce).

Looks like, from the ‘statistics’, that 40% of adults now own an Ereader or tablet of some sort and the numbers are only growing (having already more than doubled in less than the last two years).

Surprising? Not really. I mean how great is it that you can carry virtually your entire library on a small, not too heavy, device? That you can read in the dentist’s office, on the bus or train or plane and practically everywhere else without needing to tote along a cumbersome stash of books or magazines? You have choices right at your fingertips; fiction, non-fiction, short stories, educational, magazines, whatever you like. Additionally with many of the newer readers such as the one I got recently the Amazon Kindle HD you can even plug in the earphones and listen to your own personally selected music while you read. And, when I want, I can email myself (an address Kindle provides) PDFs that I might want to be reading ‘on the road’.

It’s all right there in your hand (you just have to remember to keep it charged!)

There was a time when I went on trips with books and magazines crammed into my carry on luggage – now I tuck in my Kindle. I’ll be going to Hawaii for a lovely cruise next year and already I’m downloading the music I want on the device and will make sure to have the books and magazines downloaded before I go (in case have no access to wireless in places).

And yes, I still love physical books. I have a physical library in my home. I still buy hardcover editions of some books – but I’m not the least bit disturbed when I can find a book I want only in Ebook edition.

When I have leisure time I love to hold one in my hand and turn the pages the good old fashioned way. It seems to me that there is plenty of room for both. It just seems to me that ultimately the physical book will be more relegated to real leisure time at and much more will be on my EReader so I can easily take it with me. Hey, I have to admit, the cost differential is definitely an influence as well.

And another thing that is key for me is the ease with which I can get a book I’m looking for. If someone tells me about a book and I want to read it, a quick search online, a purchase and a quick download and I’m reading. No need to call or run all over town looking for it. Accessibility – it’s opening up the world. And as a result people, including me (who was already an avid reader) are reading more.

And it looks like that ‘more’ includes a good uptick in reading of science fiction or fantasy (yay! I write in those genres and I’m discovering new authors like M Pax who writes science fiction and Luke Romyn who writes fun paranormal adventure) as well as mystery, crime and romance in the top tier.

So from my viewpoint, it’s all good. How about you? Have you jumped into the digital reading revolution?