I’m getting very annoyed at lots of things on social media lately. If I blogged about everything that annoyed me I’d have no time to go to work, bed or the toilet, which would be disastrous to say the least!
However… I’m getting increasing hacked off by the book bigots.
You know the ones – the anti-e-bookers, the Kindle haters, the Kobo loathers, the Nook knockers.
You see, they love books. Luuuurve them. Really, really love them.
But isn’t “I love books” the most meaningless saying ever? What, all books? Every single one? Just the green ones? Or not the green ones?
And with the unpleasant implication that us unworthy peasants couldn’t possibly understand. Compared to their lofty and unsullied souls I expect we’re just too damn common.
I fail to see why it has to be either/or.
I have both an e-reader and ‘real’ books. I don’t have the luxury of travelling with an unlimited luggage allowance or equally unlimited porters so an e-reader is perfect. I don’t have the money to live in a big enough house to hold a substantial amount of books nor do I live in an area where the housing is affordable enough that I could even consider it. As it is I worry about the floor loading…
It’s complementary – I have some books in both formats, some in paperback, some hardbacks and some only in electronic format. It’s brilliant to be able to take a library out with you in a small bag. (Not that I really ever go anywhere with a small bag.) If I’m unexpectedly stranded somewhere I can fire up the app on my phone and carry on reading where I left off or browse through a comforting and familiar tale. It’s equally lovely to pick up a worn paperback and see it open at a favourite passage. (Or in the case of the copy of Lace I’ve had since school and that everyone read, at the goldfish scene…) I like seeing what was underlined in a second hand book or where the pages were turned down.
(Frankly, I don’t see the value of spending energy on hating things.)
I don’t care if you only have ‘real’ books or a kindle or a tablet or whatever.
I DO care that you read and enjoy stories.
If you dislike the progress and hate the alleged move away from ‘real’ books then where do you stop? Are paperbacks acceptable or should we only read hardbacks? Or just leather bound, gold lettered tomes from our own library? Scrolls? Clay tablets? Do purists adhere only to the oral tradition?
It especially annoys me to see established authors decrying electronic books. I’m quite sure they all stick by their principles and would never allow their stories to be available on them if they feel so strongly about it. Oh. Hang on a minute… Not to mention that it feels terribly dog in the manger when e-publishing has given an outlet to so many new writers. They wouldn’t be concerned about the competition, would they? But they love books, they really really do…
(And yes of course, like all rational people I have concerns about Amazon. But that’s a whole other topic)
It’s probably timely to insert a quick plug here (Oh Matron…) and add that my books are available in real paper with a nice shiny cover and for kindle – look here!
So. I wouldn’t presume to tell you who to praise or worship or not, who to love or who to rub your genitals up against – so why would I presume to tell you how you should read?
If you read, then keep reading – and do it however the hell you like!
And I couldn’t resist adding the wonderful Elvis Costello on the next step after everyday, everyday you read the book…