Isn’t the word ‘bibliophile’ fun? It sounds like someone who gets pervy with books. And, ahem, I’m sure there are some people who might do that (coughweirdoscough) and there certainly are books that are pervy (that’s another topic altogether), but a bibliophile is simply a lover of books.
I love books. I love a good story, yes. I am a storyteller and a story-lover. But, I just love books. The very bookiness of them. The smell, the feel, the taste (yes, books have a taste – not that I lick them (that would be pervy!) – but when something has a smell, sometimes you “taste” it on your tongue), the sound of pages turning, the beauty of lovely illustrations on quality paper and the look of a great cover: books are a visceral experience. I am all about the story but, for me, the package matters. Therefore, I have not yet embraced or experienced the appeal of cold, hard, sterile, fragrance and taste-free e-readers.
Now, I have heard all the arguments from space-saving to tree-saving. None of these arguments sway me. There is only one argument that has a chance to: the stories themselves.
I am now finding that some stories that I might like to read – intriguing tales written by some very talented authors – are ONLY available as e-books. This frustrates me. I would like to read these stories. I search for a hardcopy version, only to find out none exist.
Every fibre in my book-loving being is screaming, “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” I find myself wanting to shake these authors by the neck and say, “WHY? Your story looks like a really good one! Why wouldn’t you lovingly place it on real, turn-able, taste-able pages for me?” I walk away in disgust. But, in so doing, am I being a hypocrite?
Yes, I said hypocrite. Am I being one? After all, I know of plenty of people (myself included) who aren’t so keen on downloading MP3 music. They, like I, would prefer a physical album they can hold in their hands (as well as listen to with their ears). Here I am, asking these people to download my album and single (psst, hey you, have you checked them out yet?)! I have my music up for sale – for download – as MP3s. Why? Because I cannot afford the cost of producing a physical CD. I have had no other recourse to get my music out to the world. And, really, I am grateful that I have this option. It was that, or nothing at all.
Now, will some people miss out on my music because they flat out refuse to embrace the e-generation as pertains to music? The answer is, of course, yes. And, how many good stories and good authors will I miss out on if I don’t break down and get a Kindle? I know that a lot of the e-books out there are from best-selling authors whose work graces my very real book-shelves, and the reason they have chosen to release e-books is to appeal to the Kindleophiles (that sounds a lot worse than bibliophile ever did). On the other hand, there are quite a few independent authors for which – like me and my MP3 albums – this is their only chance to be heard! As an independent music artist, I am asking people to hear me. These independent authors are asking me to read them. So, here’s confession #1: I want to read them!
Confession #2: I don’t want to miss out on the stories from authors I already love, simply because they choose to release a story ONLY as an e-book. Yeah, do I wish they’d offer both? Am I even sure why already successful best-selling authors sell stories which are exclusively downloads and not also available as a traditional pager-turner? Nope, not sure… but, whatever the reason, I still don’t want to miss out on the story.
So, yeah, I get it now. Someone want to buy me a Kindle?
The fine print:
For those of you who are curious, the book pictured with me at the top of the page is my all-time favourite book, ‘Till We Have Faces’, by C.S. Lewis. Delicious.