My family spent way too much money on me at Mother’s Day. They bought me a Kindle 2! My first thought was they should return it because it cost too much money, but while my head was thinking that, my hands were already opening the package. The two people in my family who have Kindles have the original Kindle; this is a Kindle 2. I’d never actually seen a Kindle 2. Hey, I just realized we have more Kindles in our home than we have television sets!
Anyway…I expected to like the Kindle; I did not expect to love it. I LOVE IT!!!!
The thing is I review children’s/YA books for a variety of sources, so much of what I read is ARC’s and review copies of new and upcoming middle grade and YA novels. I also use the library A LOT. Really, the only time I’m likely to use a Kindle is when I’m away from home…because then I don’t have to lug so many books. So I couldn’t justify the cost of one. I’m also one of those people who enjoys the smell of books and the physical sensation of holding a book and turning the pages. If you had asked me last week whether e-books will ever replace physical books, I’d have said, “Not in my lifetime.” Now I’m not so sure…I love this thing! And if I can be converted, so can anyone.
It’s a lot more comfortable to hold/use than I expected it to be…and it’s much easier on the eyes than I expected it to be, too. I like that I can change the font size, the line spacing (you can’t do that with a regular book)…I like that I can make notes on a book. That’ll come in handy for my two book clubs (I would NEVER write in a regular book!). I like the search feature…and the fact that I can download a sample of a book before I decide whether or not to purchase it. I can even go online and check my e-mail! You can’t do that with a regular book, either.
I haven’t even had my Kindle a week and already I’m wishing I could read EVERYTHING on it. Especially that stack of ARC’s I lugged back from IRA last week. Too bad I couldn’t have just put them all on my Kindle rather than schlepped them back to the train. And then I got to thinking, why CAN’T publishers make their ARCs and/or review copies available to reviewers electronically??? We had an editor from HarperCollins at our SCBWI conference a couple weeks ago…she has a Sony e-book reader and she told us she uploads manuscripts that she’s reading to her Sony and reads them that way. (I’m actually reading/critiquing a friend’s manuscript on my Kindle right now, too! I can even make notes on it right there in the Kindle.) If you can upload a manuscript, a publisher could certainly send a reviewer an electronic file of the book rather than an ARC or a finished book. In fact, they could give reviewers the electronic file for free for a certain period of time and then make the reviewer go buy the book if they want to own it later. It’s a win-win situation!
So…how does one woman go about changing the publishing industry???