eReaders Are NOT The Future . . .


. . . Netflix is.

Just half-kidding on the Netflix thing.  Now to get serious for a moment.

Yesterday I went down to the indoor  law enforcement handgun range run by the local community college, as I consider it all but mandatory for anyone exercising their Second Amendment Rights to remain both proficient and safe in the use of firearms.  Otherwise don’t bother with handguns because failing to do so makes you an unacceptable risk, not only to yourself but to those around you as well.  Also, I wanted to try out my new .45 ACP semiautomatic.  “Ah HA!” you the reader said triumphantly, “The real reason has come out.”  But I digress.

So, while I sat waiting for good friend and former colleague Keith McKay and his lovely wife Belinda to join me, I sat down in the lobby, pulled out my ever-present eReader, and continued where I left off reading Need to Know by fellow indie author Christine Merrill.  In that short half hour wait perhaps five people strolled by and, of those five, two stopped to ask me about the eReader I was holding.  Both wanted a demonstration as well as my opinion as to which of the myriad choices currently on the market they should consider.  In other words, 40% of the total strangers who saw me and my eReader were intrigued enough to stop what they were doing, inquire about it, ask if they could hold it, and wonder aloud which one was best for their needs.  This is a very friendly and folksy city, as you’ve probably guessed by now.  But again I digress.

Now, I know there are those of you who love the feel and smell of paper pages and cloth covers, who seek the thrill of what lies beyond the current page—your index fingers poised and twitching to flick it over to what awaits you next, and who use your previously read books as a decorating accessory to occupy a treasured space on your otherwise empty and lonely shelves.  May I point out that there were also people who twenty-five years ago loved their typewriters and swore they’d never give up theirs in favor of a word processor.

As with the typewriter of old in the century just passed, the time has come to face head on the 21st Century.  Forget that you’re saving a tree, or even a forest.  Forget the baggage weight limits imposed by airlines as you struggle to keep below fifty pounds that load of vacation books tucked between your socks and underwear.  Forget that holding a book and turning a page is a two-hand affair and that your arms get tired holding that tome you’re constantly lugging around.  Forget the frustration as you discover the need to put that book aside and reach for a dictionary to look up a word.

Think about this instead:  eBooks are usually cheaper, often significantly so, than the equivalent dead and pulped pine tree version.  Some of today’s eReaders weigh only half a pound yet hold up to 3,500 books.  Most eReaders can be held with one hand while turning the page, and you can perform both of those functions equally well with either hand.  Additionally, the eReader I own automatically links to a built-in dictionary, allowing me to look up a definition just by moving a cursor to the offending word exposing to the world my current state of ignorance.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, eReaders allow you to access authors who are just as talented as any of today’s bestselling authors, but who were passed over by a publishing industry that has grown far too risk-adverse to take a chance on a relative unknown with a new and innovative voice writing about something heretofore untried in traditionally published literature.

So you see, eReaders are not the future.  They are in fact the present and, if you do not have one already, the present is passing you by.

A clarification on yesterday’s blog entry:

My good friend Mark Vaikai asked that I set straight for the record my comment about the origination and meaning of the Mãori Polynesian words ‘vai’ and ‘kai.’  Both words originated in the Cook Islands and are derived from the Mãori dialect.  If you take a gander at http://www.cookislands.travel/Tourism-Cook-Islands/Our-Language_IDL=4_IDT=273_ID=1331_.html you will see that ‘vai’ and ‘kai’ translate respectively to ‘water’ and ‘food’.

For more on the fabulous Cook Islands, please visit the official travel website at: http://www.cookislands.travel/

Until next time let me wish you Kia Orana, which Mark tells me is Cook Islands Mãori for, “May you live long.”

4 Comments

Filed under eReaders

4 responses to “eReaders Are NOT The Future . . .

  1. Great blog post! I totally agree, ereaders are the present. You eloquently said exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people. Well done. 🙂

  2. David K. Williams

    So, I made a little $$ on Netflix stock. What is the best way to ka-ching on the eReader movement?