I admit it—I’m one of them.
I’m talking about e-book enthusiasts, and I’m a card-carrying, flag-waving, dyed-in-the-wool member of the club. I make no apologies for it, either. I love, love, love the Kindle. Not just because I like to read on it—I also make a living from it. Personally, I think they should name a country after Amazon, or at the very least, give them an island.
But I’m a gadget sort of guy (read: tech-nerd), always have been. It’s not that I feel the need to one-up everyone else. I’m not that guy. My reasons are pure and simple: I’m all about anything that makes life easier, and for someone who loves to read—at least from my perspective—it just makes sense. No more lugging cumbersome books around, no more tiny print, and best of all, no more having to drive to the store or wait days for books to arrive. Seems like a win-win sort of thing.
However, not everyone feels that way.
While the number of e-book readers continues to grow each year, there are still many who resist the Great E-book and want nothing to do with it. Now don’t get me wrong—that’s in no way a criticism. A book is a book, and as far as I’m concerned, in any shape or form it will always be a wonderful thing. In fact, I still print paper versions of my novels, and quite honestly, love them. I think there will always be room for both in this world. But what I still don’t get is why some people disagree, why they prefer to cling to only one form. Many say they it’s simply because they love the feel of paper, the smell, love to hold it in their hands. But I have to wonder if maybe it’s something else.
New scares people—it even scares me sometimes—while old provides a sense of comfort. I get that. But there always has been and always will be resistance to the new—that is, until it becomes old. Know what I mean?
Case in point: years back I recall this funny new concept called the Internet. Lots of people thumbed their noses at it, said it would never fly. And look where we all are right now.
I see the same thing happening with e-books. For the first few years people talked about how ridiculous it was, how they just couldn’t see it catching on, how attached they were to their paper books. Well, we know how that turned out. Although Amazon keeps a tight lip on just how many Kindles they’ve sold, others have not. One prediction is that revenues will reach $8 billion by 2012. Yes, that’s billion.
So readers and writers, maybe you can help me understand better: Paper or plastic? And why?