S.G. Browne

E-Books, Schmee-Books

(A purely emotional and occasionally irrational rant against digital publishing)

Call me old school, but I think e-books and e-readers suck.  Kindles, Nooks, BeBooks.  Whatever the hell the Borders e-reader is called.  They all suck.

Why do they suck? Lots of reasons.

One, they’re helping to put brick and mortar bookstores out of business.  Maybe the neighborhood bookstore is a business model that is doomed to failure in the new technology of the 21st century, but as far as I’m concerned, a town without a bookstore is a town without a soul.  And with all of the bookstores closing over the past couple of years (which I realize is due to the economy and other factors besides just e-books), there are a lot of towns in danger of becoming soulless.

Two, I like the tactile experience of reading a book.  I like the feel of a book in my hands and the smell of the pages.  I appreciate the cover art and the colors and the textures.  E-readers lack the warmth and the personal connection to the written word.  I want to curl up with a good book, not a good electronic device.  (Insert requisite vibrator joke here.)

Three, when I go into someone’s home, I like to see the books they have on their shelves.  You learn a lot about a person from what they read and the music they listen to.  But much the same way the iPod and iTunes has all but led to the extinction of the home CD rack, with e-readers and e-books, bookshelves are going to become a thing of the past, as well.  Which will make for very sterile homes.  Plus from an egotistical POV, I want to be able to walk into someone’s home and see my book between The Great Gatsby and Cat’s Cradle.

Four, and, most important, e-readers take away the chance of me being able to see someone reading my book in a cafe or at an airport.  If you’re reading Breathers or Fated on a Kindle, I have no way of knowing, so you deny me the joy of having that moment of walking past and getting a little thrill because you’re too cheap to spend an extra few bucks for a trade paperback.

I understand that e-readers are convenient for traveling and they make taking dozens of books along on your two-week vacation a piece of cake.  I also realize the benefit of being able to download new books while lounging on Waikiki Beach or nursing an espresso in a cafe in Paris or while enjoying a mineral bath at a day spa on one of Jupiter’s moons.  It’s tough to beat on demand book delivery right to your fingertips.

But as for the argument that e-books leave a smaller carbon footprint?  E-readers are made in factories that pump out greenhouse gases and they’re composed of parts and batteries that are as biodegradable as a 1970′s polyester leisure suit.  Paperback books, conversely, are made of, oddly enough, paper, which is biodegradable.  And while paperback books are made from trees, of which I’m a fan, trees aren’t cut down to make books.  They’re cut down to make your sleigh bed and your coffee table and your desk.  The leftovers are used to make books.

By the way, my arguments against e-books and e-readers aren’t based on any empirical evidence.  I didn’t do any research in the writing of this blog because to be honest, I’m too damn lazy.  Besides, I don’t believe in using facts to back up my arguments.  Anyone can do that.  I debate purely on emotion and gross generalizations .  So don’t throw any numbers back at me to prove I’m wrong because I don’t care.  This is my blog.  Numbers don’t matter here.  Except for the fact that I get twice as much in royalties for every e-book sold as opposed to every trade paperback, which doesn’t really help to support my rant against digital publishing.  Damn it!

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Filed under: Just Blogging — S.G. Browne @ 7:58 am

More Questions, More Answers

Here are links to a couple of more interviews I’ve had recently as part of my Fated blog tour.

The first one is up on Reading Frenzy, where I talk about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, why I took up writing, and my favorite character in Fated.

And you can find another one on The Inner Bean, in which I discuss my writing process, mojitos on the beach, and why I’d most likely be Sloth.

Hope you enjoy the interviews!

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Filed under: Fated,Interviews,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 12:16 pm

Southern California Signings

I’ll be signing at the following locations during my southern California tour for Fated.  If you’re in the Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, or San Diego areas, come on out and say “hey:”

December 3
Barnes & Noble
5:00PM – 7:00PM
829 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA

December 4
Dark Delicacies
2:00PM – 4:00PM
3512 W. Magnolia
Burbank, CA

December 5
Borders Books
1:00PM – 3:00PM
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bear Street
Costa Mesa, CA

December 11
Mysterious Galaxy Books
6:00PM – 8:00PM
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302
San Diego, CA

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Filed under: Fated,The Writing Life — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 7:05 am