Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Those Of Us Who Love Our E-Reader

I remember when I first got my Sony e-reader in November 2007--a gift from hubby for my birthday, lucky me. Being a reviewer as well as a reader, the e-reader was a godsend. The things I loved and still love about my e-reader ( I now have an Ipad too which I also use for reading) are:
  1. The ability to change font size--my eyes have been eternally gratefully and I still don't need glasses for most things. How wonderful!
  2. The fact I can carry around hundreds of books in one, slim tablet.
  3. The fact I don't have storage issues with books anymore. Yes, I still read the occasional paperback but I prefer to get my reading matter digitally whenever possible.
  4. The instant gratification I get when I hear about a book and in an instant can download it to my device with a few clicks and I'm off reading.
  5. The fact that the Sony e-reader takes .pdf files so I can download from various sites and authors can send me their galleys. So convenient.
  6. That with my Sony I can read in the sunlight.
  7. That I can bookmark easily and thus, when using reference books, I am able to go back and find information that much easier.
Back in 2007 when I took my e-reader, at someone's request, to my chapter RWA, it created quite a stir. Most couldn't fathom giving up printed books to read on a digital tablet despite the advantages cited above. They thought it was just a fad. A few were very interested, including Eloisa James who thought there was potential in e-books for the publishing industry (not only is she a great writer but a smart lady).

So I found it interesting that just four short years later, U.S. publishers are "astonished" at how much of the book market is being served up digitally as referenced by this quote from an article on

Speaking at the 40th anniversary keynote seminar, HarperCollins president and c.e.o. Brian Murray said the number of US e-readers—grown from 15m a year ago to 40m today—was having a disproportionately large effect on the market because they had reached "core" readers, those buying over 12 books a year. He said: “Some of the heaviest book buyers no longer visit bookstores.” He said some e-books had a 50% share of total sales during the first few months, a “watershed” for the trade.

The full article is short but insightful and can be accessed at:
Where this will push authors, publishers, booksellers and readers is anybody's guess but I suspect those who embrace the e-book readership, rather than resist, will fare the best. It's really just another delivery method, one that has the possibility of making the written word more accessible to more people, like the printing press did. And that can't be a bad thing can it?