Ereaders: Not a Zero Sum Game

Posted: January 18, 2013 in Reading, Stuff

I’ve said a few times here and there that my preferred format for reading (and also writing) just happens to be dead trees and ink. Even more specifically, mass market paperback is what I like to read the most. 90% of my shelves are stocked with mass market books. Books have to be pretty exciting for me to jump at them in hardcover or oversized size. Even with some of my favorite authors, I’ll wait around for the mass market size. In fact, I waited out Ananthem, one of my shelf of honor books. Took a solid year to come out in its hefty softcover.

So why would I get an ereader?

Well, because my wife is awesome. Sums it up.

Beyond that, occasionally in the last year I’ve been lacking without one. It sounds a bit more harsh than it really was. There were pangs of longing. More stories are being exclusive to the ereader. I’m not calling out the death of traditional yadda yadda. There’s just more. And just as writing and film are two kinds of storytelling with different strengths and weaknesses, I’m finding digital and print are having their own strengths.

The “Aw, I’m missing out” feelings first came when Tobias Buckell ran his kickstarter for The Apocalypse Ocean. It’s an excellent book in an excellent series and actually the first thing I put on my nook. The ebook was a five dollar kick. The hardcover was fifty. By all accounts I’ve seen, it’s a crazy nice special edition, but more walking around bucks than I had handy. (Remember it was right before my kiddo was born) The second came from Saladin Ahmed’s Engraved on the Eye short story collection. It’s amazing and in the queue to do a full post on. Short version, I was blown away by some of these stories and there’s even a prequel short to his novel. Another ebook only thing. The third thing is John Scalzi’s The Human Division, which is the grand experiment from him and Tor to bring back serialization to SF. Short version, yes please.

My nook has become packed with short stories novellas and comics. Oh yeah, the HD screen is awesome for comics.

I’m letting my ereader specialize in the things that it’s good at and sticking with my dead trees and ink for the things that format is good at. I am embracing the ereader but I am never going to get read of my paper books. The only conundrum this has led to is having an even larger to-read pile. I’m ok with that.

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