Monday, March 12, 2012

Joanna Trollope: Guess She's Not Too Fond of E-books

According to Ms. Trollope, "you cannot love a library of e-books." I read about it in The Telegraph.

The article says this:

"She (Trollope) also claimed the rise of e-books was “homogenising” literature by putting the works of Leo Tolstoy and Katie Price, the glamour model, on the same screen."

I don't really understand that statement. I really don't. I've read Tolstoy and Snookie on my e-readers and never even thought of comparing the two. In fact, had it not been for the e-reader I probably wouldn't have read half the classics I have read in the past few years. Then the article goes on to quote Ms. Trollope about the weight of books and something about how authors visualize books while they are writing them. Maybe it's generational, but I don't get anything about the these preferences between print and digital. The only thing I didn't see in the article...I may have missed this because to be honest I skimmed a good deal...was that she didn't get into the smell of print books. This is a smell that has passed me by. And I don't think I'll ever understand why so many people crave this smell.

Of course Ms. Trollope has a right to her opinion and I do respect it. The great thing is now we can all choose between print and digital and get the best of both worlds. The problem is that's not going to last. If you don't believe me, take a look at little kids these days and see what they are doing. Right now the discussion about e-book and print book is relevant. But fifty years from now, when all kids will be reading digital, and will be reared by parents and grandparents who started on digital books, I doubt this will even be a discussion. It might even be a joke.

But what really surprised me were the comments left on this article. It's been a long time since I've seen such strong opinions about e-books.

Absolute balderdash! EBook sales are already way ahead of hardback sales, and before long eBooks will dominate the publishing market. So no matter what she thinks, the iPad and the Kindle will pretty much replace paper, and soon.... And the idea that the heft of a book is an indication of quality.... good grief! Obviously a woman who thinks that size matters :-)

Stupid woman. "You cannot love a library of e-books". Yes, I can. I do. Welcome to the future, Ms. Canute! I suspect that the real reason why she is against e-books is financial - something to do with the royalties.

There are more comments and most seem to be in favor of digital over print. I think it's worth checking out. Just for the sake of the fact that there seems to be one thing in common among published print authors who've been around for a while: they don't like e-books, and they will give you tons of emotional excuses as to why they don't like them, but I've never seen a practical reason. And I have to wonder if one reason they don't like them is because of all the competition they've been getting in recent years.

In the article, Trollope also said this:

I don’t think we should worry. There is a great excitement at the moment [about e-books] but I’m not sure we’ll be so excited in three years’ time. And children like books. They like looking at a line of Anthony Horowitzes and saying, 'I’ve read every one of those’.”

I've wondered about this, too. I'll admit that I wasn't sold on e-books in the beginning either. But, like I said earlier, if you have any doubts take a look at what kids are doing these days. I doubt Ms. Trollope, or anyone else, is going to make them stop reading e-books, working/playing on computers, and finding ways to learn in a world that is constantly moving forward. And when you see what these kids can do nowadays...as young as two years old...it's fascinating to watch.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

at first i was old fashion and wanted the book in my hand i even download and printed your book sout cause i wanted it in my hand. then i finally broke down and got a kindle and havent looked back and like you i have read some books i bet i would have never picked up other wise.

ryan field said...

I was the same way. Now I only read e-books because I enjoy them more.

Anonymous said...

I don't hate e-books, they're probably inevitable anyway...But something will be lost if the old-fashioned BOOK goes the way of the dinosaur.
I eat fast food, and quick-fix foods, but I still have sets of antique china and sterling flatware because sometimes a meal should be eaten the old-fashioned way. Especially a really good one...:-)

Barb said...

You can't carry around your "library" of 1000 print books, but you can carry around a library of ebooks! I wouldn't go anywhere without my kindle. I wonder if authors get paid less for books sold in electronic format than they do for print books? Maybe that's why she doesn't like them! ( Or maybe hers just aren't selling!)

ryan field said...

Barb...I don't know why some are so against them. I don't think you get paid less, but don't quote me on that. It could be the competition. Readers now have more choices than they've ever had before.

Anon...I'm the same way. And I have more books than I know what to do with. But I have to admit that when I started reading e-books and found how personal it was...for me...I hate the thought of going back to print books. But I typically read e-books on a dedicated e-reader. I don't like any other distractions. I have an android, but use that for other things. My favorite e-reader is the basic, simple Kobo with the quilted back. I take it everywhere.