Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lawrence Block on eBooks

This was in Lawrence Block's newsletter, and I couldn't resist posting some paragraphs :)

From the Lawrence Block newsletter:


I’ve been all caught up in the ebook whirl, and I think that’s the right word for it. All of publishing is changing at warp speed, and I’ve stopped declaring that ebooks are the future. Ebooks used to be the future. Now they’re the present. You can embrace this evolution or you can whine about it, but you can’t effectively deny it. It’s what’s happening, and what’s going to continue to happen....

and--

...I have to say I’m fine with it myself. By the end of the year, my entire backlist will be available on all major ebook platforms---Kindle, Apple, Nook, Sony Reader, etc.---and that includes books I would never have dreamed I’d see in print again. All seven Jill Emerson titles, for example. Selected books by Sheldon Lord and Andrew Shaw. And, well, a few honest-to-God surprises. One’s a Romantic Espionage novel in the tradition of Helen MacInnes, with a pen name on it I never used before or since. I read it recently, and you know, it’s not all that bad. It’s set in the west of Ireland in the mid-1960’s, with an American folksinger for a heroine. I have to say I’m pretty happy with it---so why shouldn’t I acknowledge it? And why shouldn’t it be out there where people can read it?


If you’re not an ebook fan, the odds are you haven’t yet tried the new medium. And if your response is that you really like the physical pleasure of sitting down with a book and turning its pages, well, who doesn’t? A fine well-made printed and bound book is a splendid article indeed, and that’s one reason I’m proud to sell them in LB's Bookstore.

But consider this: we were none of us born with a fondness for books. We had to learn to read, and we had to learn to sit down with books and turn their pages. The pleasures of an ebook reader are no less gratifying, and the learning curve’s not that steep. Imagine the joy of being able to load a hundred books into something that weighs less than a trade paperback. Nothing like it when you travel, and pretty impressive even when you stay at home.

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