Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
About four or five years ago I was on Amazon, looking for books to order, when I noticed that the books were usually cheaper as Kindle editions than they were as paperbacks. “What is a Kindle edition?” I asked myself, and two hours of research later, I knew that I needed a Kindle. My life was probably on the line, as I suspected that I would die if I did not get one.
I’m sure some of you are wondering what kind of rock I was living under, seeing as my first meet and greet with a Kindle happened less than five years ago, but at the time e-books were pretty much an unknown word in Norway. I have come to believe that the publishers did not like this phenomenon, and they put up a fight against it. They lost of course, and unfortunately for them by the time they and the public libraries accepted that e-books were here to stay and they better get onboard, the ship had already sailed. To this day, borrowing e-books from the libraries here is a complicated affair that even I ( an upcoming librarian who spend more time on a computer than away from it) can barely figure it out, and people have found other, less legal ways to get the e-books they want.
When I got my Kindle, I was the first one in my circle to get one, and the only people I knew who had even heard of them were my colleagues at the public library where I worked as an assistant, and even they had never actually seen a Kindle or e-reader. Personally I prefer to read in English because the books I read are usually published in English (there are to my knowledge no writers of Paranormal Romance in Norway, and only a few writers of Fantasy), so not getting Norwegian books for my Kindle did not bother me at all. One of the best things about a Kindle is that people can’t immediately tell what you are reading. The downside was that when I got mine, people were so curious they kept asking what I was holding and how it worked, I had to demonstrate and let them poke around, so I rarely got to read more than a few pages in public before I got interrupted.
Still, though I am very happy with my Kindle. Four/five years after I got it, it still works and I have had very few problems with it. Since I can’t find the books I read domestically in bookstores or libraries, I can’t express how invaluable a Kindle is. I used to spend the same amount for having the books shipped to me as I did for the books, and it would take at least two weeks, sometimes a month for them to get to me. I love having books at my fingertips, ready to be sent to my Kindle and read whenever I want them. Sure, I like the feel of reading an old-fashioned book from time to time, the weight of it, the smell, the feeling of the paper and the sound as I flip a page, but I get that whenever I’m reading a book in Norwegian. And it means that whenever I am reading a paper-book, I appreciate those things even more.
What do you think of e-books? Love them? Hate them? Do you think the book industry is able to keep up with the technology, or did they hold out too long, like they did here?