Confessions of a Luddite

I have a confession to make.

I don’t really like reading e-books.

I spend all day in front of a computer at my day job. On the weekends, I spend at least half of each day in front of my laptop, writing fiction. Despite anti-glare and backlighting, when I read a book I don’t want to have to pull out another device. I don’t want to carry another device around. I don’t want to press buttons and scroll and hold a plastic thing in my hands. I want a book made out of paper.

Also, I have arthritis in my hands, so using an e-reader is physically painful after a while. Maybe when they get lighter….

(If anyone’s wondering, yes, I am prepared for the demise of paper books; I have a lovely stash for when the paper book famine comes.)

Some practical concerns of mine include cost of the reader; losing files from the reader; losing the reader itself, full of purchased files; and especially, since I am a worrier, worrying about losing the reader that cost so much, or the files.

It’s nothing against the content of e-books. When there’s an e-book I want to read, the first thing I do is buy it, then see if I can print it out, usually on scrap paper, and read it that way. I recycle the print copy when I’m done.

If I can’t print the book out, I put the book into the e-book folder on my laptop. There are a lot of books in there right now. I mean to read them. I want to read them. But it takes a while. Usually I get to my e-books when I’m on, for instance, a long trip (some Amtrak cars have plugs for laptops, and so does the Bolt Bus). But even then, I might read a paper book instead.

And, if I really enjoy the book, I wait for it to come out in print. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t.

My choices end up being self-selecting. I read a lot of books, and I read them quickly, but because I prefer the old-fashioned format, I miss a lot of what’s good in the e-book world. Then again, I miss a lot of print books as well. I know that, eventually, I will have to adapt or be left behind. But for the moment, I’m happy as I am.

I haven’t run out of things to read yet.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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3 Responses to Confessions of a Luddite

  1. LDWatkins says:

    I want to hold the book in my hand, maybe steal a look at it throughout the day when busy otherwise, and think about holding it in my hands, or maybe in my lap if I doze, and then take it to bed with me to read a few pages before I fall asleep. Nope, I want a book!

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    Perhaps we need furry e-readers….

  3. Heather says:

    I have difficulty reading books on the computer or other device as well. Like you, I want to be able to hold the actual book in my hands, to curl up with it in a hot bath or in bed… Plus, as you mentioned, there are health aspects. My left elbow gets really sore if I hold the Nintendo DS too long, so reading a book for hours with an electronic device would definitely be out. Thankfully, I don't think we'll see the demise of print books any time soon.

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