Some Thoughts on Ebooks

So, in today’s so called modern, high tech age I’ve been told that if you don’t expand into the Ebook realm when you publish you are dooming yourself to losing a great many valuable and potential customers.
I think that’s right… although part of my heart hurts to say and admit that.
An old English professor of mine once told me during a private conversation that he felt, “Speed reading is like speed sex. You don’t get as much out of it and it isn’t as much fun.” We were discussing the merits of teaching people how to speed read in order to save time, get more things done in a day or with their studies. True, at first this may seem off topic and why in the world would I bring this up?
Well, no matter how much you may agree or disagree with him, he does make a point that resonates. The point he was trying to make, at least for me, is that reading a book is to be savored for all its flavors, the richness of it, the imagery, the story. Reading a book is to be digested slowly to allow yourself the time to fully absorb what the author has written, to immerse yourself completely and intimately enjoy the experience. It’s a connection with the author, he’s a confidant, a companion, a partner sharing what is churning in his mind with you.
Translating this to the digital Ebook world, I feel something has been taken away from the experience of reading by pushing buttons on a keyboard rather than turning the page of a book with my finger. For me, it’s not as real on the computer. It’s not as intimate. I’ve always felt something very special with the feel of paper, the weight of a book in my hands. On a computer, a book feels cold, impersonal, I often don’t sense the connection I crave when I read. When I wet my finger slightly and turn the page of a book, I do feel that connection, it’s tactile and tangible. I’m sharing with an author and I believe that elevates any story to a greater level. In short, turning a page is fun and I get a lot out of it, just like my professor claimed.
I know that this world is rush, rush, rush. Everybody’s busy, busy, busy, and it is often more convenient to have a book on a tablet or computer. I also know a lot of companies would prefer not to spend money on paper production anymore. I also know that there are a lot of trees out there that would be thankful.
But, I can’t get by my feelings. I like a book. I think we should all slow down and enjoy a good book, turning the page, stopping to smell the roses… maybe I’m just old-fashioned after all.

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