The e-book is a relative newcomer to the publishing scene, and, like many newcomers, it is viewed with suspicion and even hostility by some people. How can such an electronic monstrosity seriously replace the good old book? You can’t hold it. You can’t turn its pages. You can’t get high on the smell of new print….erm…sorry, maybe too much information there. Can you take an e-book into the bath? Can you take it into the loo? Can you stick a little book mark thing in it and come back to it later? Can you write little notes in it for future reference, thereby, if it’s a library book, causing deep irritation to your fellow lenders for some years to come? And even many of the writers themselves are reputedly not too keen, particularly in view of the fact that e-books with the same amount of content as print books are also markedly cheaper.
Well, O.K., if tradition is where you’re at and you’re not about to shift from it, fair enough. But one or two things do need to be said in favour of the new kid on the block. Re. taking it into the bath or the loo; well, yes you can, actually, given the right equipment. Can you pause where you are and come back later? As a matter of fact, yes on that one too, and you won’t have a dog-eared bookmark which has fallen out by the next time you pick up the book. Can you write reference notes on it – well, you can keep and store references, reviews, questions, whatever you like, and the pencil marks won’t run out in a few months and you won’t be giving apoplexy to elderly library users either. And, speaking as a writer fortunate enough not to need or expect his books to be making him a living (and if you do go into writing fiction and poetry expecting to make a living, good luck to you on that one, because not many do, believe me), what you’re mainly interested in is at least a few people actually getting to read your stuff, and if e-books make that a good deal e-asier, then hooray to them, is what I say.
It maybe won’t come as a huge surprise to you now to know that this writer does have an e-book on offer – two, as matter of fact, one with 25 prize-winning stories in it (all of them? You’re damn right, all of them, and how many books like that do you know?) Why don’t you visit your bath or your loo (for our American friends, the washroom or the john) with First Flame for company, maybe sampling one prize winning story between no. 1s, no. 2s or washing your hands, or maybe between shampooing your hair and clipping your nails? Meaning you’re going to finish up not only beautiful and cleanly presentable, but literate with it. What’s not to like?
My other e-book is full of poems, and all fifty of them have either been published by magazines of quality, or done something in poetry competitions, or both. Sampling them is even easier; you could quite easily fit one in between cleaning your teeth and brushing your hair, and you’d even have something to think about while cleaning your teeth or brushing your hair, which are both, let’s face it, just a teeny bit on the boring side.
Go get them, or just pop in and say hello – www.bruceharris.org
Two last thing about e-books. They don’t go all soggy when you drop them in the bath, and your dog can’t eat them. What’s not to like?