Tuesday, August 3, 2010


When it comes to e-anything, we're usually right out in front with the Beta products. We still have movies on the big laser disks that came and went in the eighties. A couple of years ago I asked my husband to print out some photos of my miniatures so I could make an album to take to signings. I was picturing a booklet with plastic sleeves and a colorful cover from the card shop. He came through with a digital frame, before I knew they existed and long before they were popular.

So you'd expect me to have some kind of e-reader, but I don't. Not because I love the feel of a book; plastic feels just as good to me. And I seldom smell my books, so that's not a problem. And I'm certainly not a nostalgia buff—I miss very little about past decades, except perhaps The Perry Como Show and Chelsea Clinton as a child.

The e-advantages of having immediate gratification when I want a book NOW, and being able to carry an enormous number of books for the size of one, are very appealing. So what's the hold-up?

For some reason I'm waiting for the perfect e-reader. As soon as I zero in on one, I hear about a glare on the screen or a jerky page turning function, and I pull back.
I think it says something about my decision-making strategy, or lack thereof. Usually my husband makes the e-decisions, but I'm the main reader in the family, so it's up to me.


Just as I was resigning myself to the fact that I'd have to do the research myself, one of my students came through. I teach a class in "Science, Technology, and Cultural Change" and the lovely A. S. chose e-readers as the topic of her paper this term.

Between her paper and Joanna's blog yesterday, I may be zeroing in on yet another device that requires a charging cord and finger dexterity.

Then I'll be able to justify at least $13000 worth of e-books.


Cryptoman said...

When someone purchases one of your books to read on an e-reader like you own, do you get a royalty payment?

If you don't, that would seem to me to be the same situation as a "pirate" getting a copy to read; putting the publisher in the same business class as the "pirate."

I know for a fact that some authors with books on e-books receive no royalties from those sales.

Camille Minichino said...

Same here, Crypto man, re: authors who don't get digital royalties. There's no standard way, whether it's a big or a small publisher, to guarantee that e-book sales will be accounted for.
And with some big houses, it's take-it or leave-it with regard to trying to negotiate those terms.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'd be curious to hear which e-reader you ultimately choose, Camille--or at least the features that helped you to decide.

Annette said...

I've had my iPad for a week now. I love it and downloaded several books. I can choose books from iBook, Kindle and B&N's eReader.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Camille, I'm not sure that there's a perfect e-reader out there, but it's like computers IMHO. You jump on the train, and there will be another one leaving the station, but at least you get to enjoy the ride!

Camille Minichino said...

I agree, Joanna - you can wait forever! There's always going to be a new one. My Droid was out only a couple of weeks before the next version was advertised.

Betty Hechtman said...

It's hard to pick because whatever you buy today will be replaced by something better in a few months. And it might even be cheaper.