It’s a blustery day in Seaside, Florida, a town many of you may know from the movie The Truman Show. I was taking a quick break from Tender is the Night for a fun beach read, The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King, which takes place in Seaside and the surrounding area. I love that–reading a novel that takes place where I’m physically located. I was actually on the deck at Bud & Alley’s when I read “we went for an early supper on the outdoor deck of Bud & Alley’s.”
I went in Sundog Books, the wonderful independent bookstore located in Seaside. Picked up book after book. Then my eyes fell on a copy of Tender is the Night. I’ve been reading the book on my new Kindle. And not liking it very much. Not picking it up very often. Normally I take my book up to bed with me, but there’s something not-very-cozy about heading to bed with my Kindle.
Anyway, I suspected that it was not the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald that were the problem, but the very cool electronic gadget that I was reading them on. Standing in Sundog Books, I opened the copy of Tender is the Night and began reading. I was mesmerized. And disappointed. How could it make that much difference? And I love gadgets. And the Kindle is so cool. You can download a book in a few seconds. You can search through the pages of the book. You can take an entire library with you when you travel. But it’s not the same, I’m so sad to have to admit.
So I bought that copy and went across the street for a great lunch–a lobster roll and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It doesn’t get any better than this.
That’s a great looking cover!
I think that paper books, at least for me, carry a lot of memories from early childhood when we first discovered the delights inside.
There is a lot to be said for color. And there’s a reason so many buy ‘decal skins’ and specially-designed covers for their Kindles. It reminds them more of books and it tells me that color and texture are missed even by the most avid Kindle users (who often say they can’t do without the device/holder).
I’ve already written my own reactions to reading an author’s words on a Kindle, an experience which, even for my own admittedly often-odd mind, even more mesmerizing for other reasons. I’d not give up most of my paper books though, at least not the ones I enjoyed very much.
Since you do have a Kindle, maybe visit at http://kindleboards.com (I’m not affiliated with them but visit it regularly to see how people are feeling about their Kindles and their reading).
I was interested in recommending your Painting Story to a friend who’s a painter but couldn’t find a place to get it. If you’ve not had it published, have you given thought to self-publishing via Amazon?
If a book gets a large readership (usually via starting at lower rates and then increasing it once it becomes known), Amazon even has a new feature of choosing to publish books that do very well with Kindle readers.
There is maybe more talk about that on the Amazon forums but the Kindleboards are a gentler setting and very well organized and searchable (whereas the Amazon boards are not).
Since you’re already much read on the web with so many web publications wanting your work, I would think Amazon’s digital self-publishing might be something to consider. Apologies if this is not something you’d want to consider.
Hi Andrys- Thanks for going back to this post. After reading what you have to say about your Kindle, I’m actually looking forward to giving it another try.
Thank you so much for mentioning The Painting Story to a friend! I have had so many requests for it that it does make me think about alternate means of publication. I also have a hope that if I can sell the novel I just finished, publishers would be interested in The Painting Story (which is a quiet story) as a second novel.
Intriguing! I believe I would miss the tactile-ness of reading a book. For me, Kindle would be akin to being nursed as a baby by a robot.
Christian-thanks for taking a look at this post and for leaving a comment. I enjoyed visiting on your blog. Let me know if you “find” 1999!