Monday, February 9, 2015

Why I Love Books

I have heard many reasons why e-books are better than a physical book and it seems lots of people like for format. They really aren’t for me. I get the convenience of having lots of books on one device, especially when it can be shared among a variety of devices, or that they take up less space than a book. Being a lover of hardcover books and buying purses to ensure they are large enough for me to carry my book, I understand that argument too.

As part of my retail business, I carry used books. Many people come in to purchase the books. Some split their reading between an e-reader and physical books and others say they have no use for the e-books and won’t give up their books.

I love my books for these reasons:

1) No matter what people say, it is exactly like reading on a screen. I hate reading on a screen, which is probably why I print my novel manuscripts several times.

2) I love looking at books on a shelf. Whether I’m looking over my own books or I go to someone’s home and see their book collection on display, I love it.

3) You can’t loan e-books. My husband and I read many of the same books and if we purchase them and don’t get the actual .pub file, we can’t share them. Many people come into my store to purchase books and say that they have a circle of friends that swap books. Can’t do that with an e-reader.

4) No batteries. I can only imagine the frustration of hitting a good part in the book and the battery dies on your reader. That would really suck.

5) It’s a pain to look back or ahead. Sometimes you want to flip back to double check something or some people like to flip ahead. With the loading on e-readers, I find it a pain.

6) I like the feel of the book. I know you can get covers for your e-reader that make it seem like you’re holding a book. I want the whole experience, including the texture of the paper. I love Anne Rice’s hardcover books because of the uneven edges.

7) I can’t use my funky bookmarks.

8) Physical books can be a conversation starter. Ever leave your book sitting on your desk and someone comes by, sees it and starts talking to you about books? When I took the subway, I liked to look around and see what people were reading.

9) I’m less likely to study the cover art. Sometimes when I close a book, I take time to study the cover art and think about it in relation to the story.

10) When you buy a physical book, it’s yours to do with as you please. I have heard about book companies deleting people’s accounts and all the books they purchased. I don’t trust companies not to take the book away at some future date.

Though I won't give up my books and I'm more likely to choose a physical book over an ebook. There is a place for digital books and occasionally I'll read one (but not before bed or I don't sleep well), but I don't think they will replace books - at least not for a long time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Little Bird Tweeted

I was reluctant to join Twitter. I have a Facebook account that I limit to people I know and want to keep in touch with. I have two blogs, this one, and a parenting one that I’m taking time off from.
So why do I need Twitter?
That’s where literary agents are posting. I joined to follow them so I could pick up tips and see what they are talking about and looking for. Anything to give me an edge while querying. Like I’ve said before, sometimes it feels a little like stalking. But no fear, I know the line.
I also joined to participate in pitch parties (#pitchwars, #adpit, #PitMad etc.). These are opportunities to pitch your manuscript once an hour and literary agents scan the pitches if they have time. If an agent favourites your pitch, they want to see at least a query, sometimes some pages.
That was all pretty cool.
Then I learned how to use Twitter.
When I started, it was a mystery to me. I had no idea how to use hashtags and was creeped out when random people followed me. It took a little getting used to but now it’s fun. I actually post better things on Twitter than I do on Facebook. It’s amazing the random things you will share with strangers that you would rather not have your grandma reading.
I’ve also made a few ‘friends’ on Twitter and met a person to swap writing with for feedback. I have found it supportive to read some of the other tweets from people writing and posting under the various hashtags. It’s nice to know you aren’t the only one pulling your hair out during revisions or struggling to write something.
As a bonus, I’ve won some books! Harper Collins did a give away of a set of classic horror books at Halloween, which I was lucky enough to nab (I’m crazy excited about them still and they look awesome!). I also won a book ‘The Siege Winter’ by Samantha Norman, which looks like a really good read.
Twitter has been a fun adventure and I’m glad I took the plunge.