Books, E-books, E-readers, future of books, Future of Reading, Rachel Gardner

Storytelling and saving the Grandkids

(Mute the Jukebox below)

A post by Rachelle Gardner came through my blog box this morning. It was so cute I couldn’t resist talking about it some more. Rachelle asked “Do we miss the days when a book was just a book?” The responses came fast and furious this morning. The comments could be divided among the ‘real’ book camp , the ‘convenience’ contingent, and the ‘I love both worlds,’ group.

This had me thinking ten years into the future-hopefully when I become a grandma, or ‘Nana’ as my kids call their grandmothers-will my grandkids read/hear mainly e-books? Will they want to sit with me on the couch or their bed while I read them a story from an old print book? Will they ooh and ahh over colorful but one dimensional illustrations? Will their chubby toddler fingers have the dexterity to turn a page instead of swipe?

My teens/young adult kids speculate e-books will reign. All of them spend 95% of their reading time on iPhones, computers, and Kindles. This is where they get their world news, local news, community and social news (Twitter & FB). All of their friends in the 16-25 age range have similar reading habits.The only paper magazines they read are skateboard and music mag’s and that’s because they aren’t in an e-version yet. My college kid can’t wait for e-textbooks and neither can I since this translates to a more affordable cost for a book he won’t keep.

Although my kids read a lot of paper books growing up, they don’t seem to have an issue with joining the e-book world. So I have to speculate that they will read to their children from e-readers. In the next ten years the e-book will probably evolve to 3-D holographic illustrations, making it exciting, but eventually dulling the imagination.

They will tell their kids, my grandkids, how they had to dust the bookshelves for Nana and how she used to collect book markers. They will have to explain those too. But for now, I just hope my grandkids will love the written word and enjoy storytelling.

I still have my Companion Library of Classics that my mom bought in 1967, 44 years ago. They are in fairly good shape and I suppose they can last another ten years. Now, I must sign off, I have to go box them and a few other favorites up and save them for my future grandkids.

Now which favorites make it into the box? Which books would you choose to save for your grandkids or great grandkids?

Amazon Prime, Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet, E-book sales, E-books, E-readers, Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet

Oh no, I just pre-ordered a Kindle Fire and now rumors say B&N will debut a new Nook tablet in just a few weeks . I skipped the regular Kindle in lieu of continuing to read “the good old-fashioned way,” until I tried Kindle on my phone. I’m not hooked, but it’s a great way to have books at your fingertips and in your pocket when you don’t want to carry around a one to three pound book in your purse. Plus I hate smudging up my books with the crap that makes its way into the depths of my bag, you know lipsticks, pens, cupcake crumbs. 

But back to the new Nook tablet. It’s about $69 more than the Fire that comes out on November 15, plus it has more memory and has goodies like Hulu. But it  looks like the FIre is still the better choice. Whew, I hate spending money and then finding something better for nearly the same price. 

I put a toe in the e-reader water because the e-book options and low prices are intriguing.This article on e-books tells the black and white story: adult hardcover and paperback sales are down 18% this year. The revenue from e-books has surpassed hardcover revenue this year. This makes for a tempting option to forego traditional “legacy” houses, the Big 6, and jump into the self-publishing world. The battle of opinions on both paths run wide and deep. 

The Wall Street Journal is heating up the debate with their plan to publish e-book bestsellers. Amazon is offering an e-book loan program for their Prime customers.These two items help push the envelop further in deciding whether to buy an e-reader or not and whether to enter the foray into publishing a book in e-reader format.

Everyday I’m tempted to go down the path of self-publishing but I have an agent who is looking at my two manuscripts. When the time comes for a thumbs up  or thumbs down, I’ll have to reevaluate my choices. Who knows, I may read my own novels on my Kindle Fire by next year.