A random thought on e-books
Catching up with Google Reader, I learned via Neil Gaiman’s blog that his story “I, Cthulhu” is posted online. I like Neil Gaiman, a lot. I went to Tor.com and checked out the story – cool illustration. If I had seen “I, Cthulhu” in a bookstore, or library, I would have picked it up. I might, might even have bought it. But the story is online – for free! – and I’m not going to read it.
Why? My eyes are tired. I spend a lot of the day at the computer screen, for work, for school, for email, for wasting time. When I want to sit down with a story, I don’t want to sit on a desk chair. I want to feel something heavy in my hands, turn pages. I don’t want to scroll.
“I, Cthulhu” appears to be an old story. Maybe it’s in print somewhere, and then I’d be interested. But even after taking a computer break, I know I’m not going to go back to Tor.com.
E-books – and what they mean for the future of publishing – are exciting, offering enormous potential for authors, publishers, retailers, readers… and they’re something I have to embrace as a wannabe publishing employee. But a little part of me – okay, sometimes a really big part – puts up a sturdy wall of resistance. Maybe once I get a Kindle I’ll be blown away by its convenience and instant accessibility to so many works. Or maybe I’ll be psyched to read on one of these:
But right now, I’m going to go get an actual book.