I’ve now read a total of two books on my Kindle app for my Android phone. I’m in the middle of a third, and I have a number of others queued up. I have the Kindle app on my (work) Windows XP machine, my Windows 7 machine, and my MacBook Pro. And I’m definitely seeing the advantages to having the books electronically. I can read them literally anywhere I am, at any time, without having to tote around a huge backpack or satchel, and without having to have a bright light.
But there’s one major question that this trend brings up: when I see my favorite authors at conventions, what do I give them to sign?
It’s not an issue for me, yet, because I still buy five or six dead-tree books for every one e-book, but at some point, the convenience is going to win out over the “nostalgia,” for want of a better word. The tactile feel of the paper, the smell of the ink and paper, the weight of the book, the sound of pages turning . . . It’s a multisensory experience that just isn’t the same when the book is just electrons. And yet, if the book is good enough, the medium just isn’t as important. I’d read Jim Butcher’s books shaved into the backs of baboons. Granted, it might be a little difficult to mark my place, but . . .
So, have authors found a solution to this, yet? Or do we just need to start carrying around a deck of index cards at conventions and book signings?