Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Author Spotlight Week - How Author Vijaya Schartz became addicted to her ebook reader

A few years ago, although my books were available in eBook as well as paperback, I didn't read eBooks. I felt guilty about not reading on a device like many of my readers did, but such was life. I didn't read eBooks. Out of guilt, I purchased an eBookWise reader. Never took it out of the box, which still sits on a corner of my desk.

Once in a while I would read a pdf book on my computer screen, because I needed to read it and it was not available in paper, but that was it. I couldn't make the switch. I so loved the feel of a hard cover or a paperback in my hands. Change is hard. Any kind of change.

I should mention that my office library is a jumble of sagging shelves, and it became hazardous to pile one more book on any of them. I told my husband he didn't make the shelves strong enough. He said I was just stuffing too many books on them... which I did, but what else could I do? It's the nature of books to keep piling up.

Then last Christmas, he surprised me with a phone call. "I'm buying you an eBook reader. Do you prefer the nook or the kindle?"
It was nice of him to ask. He seemed so excited about getting me the perfect gift that I didn't have the heart to tell him I preferred paperbacks. All the time thinking about the eBookWise Reader still sitting in its box on my desk, I said I wanted a kindle, because Amazon has more titles than Barnes & Noble, and their eBooks are often cheaper due to their constant promotion sales.

On Christmas day, when I took the kindle out of the box, I had a shock. It was feather light, elegant, simple, uncluttered. It took me five minutes to figure it out, and in that time I loaded all the eBooks I had stored on my computer over the years onto it via email. I purchased a few new titles from my favorite authors, and lo. Within ten minutes, I had an entire library at my fingertips, ready to read and carry around with me. I felt light, happy, unencumbered.

Vijay's Library

Looking at my office library shelves, I could already tell this would be a big change in my life. My husband was all smiles, saying I never needed to buy another paper book again. I quickly corrected him. I would still need research books and such, but we agreed that popular fiction, from now on, would be eBooks only.

Then I started reading. And reading. And reading. I could read anywhere, anytime. I turned off the TV after my husband went to bed and read avidly, simply enlarging the font when my eyes were getting tired. In the last six months, I read more books than in the past three years.

I also categorized my lists of books on my kindle, so I don't have to fumble. I have my TBR list (new books waiting to be read), my list of favorites and TBRR (to be re-read), and various lists by genres and by authors, so I can quickly and easily find any book when I want to peruse it.

As a result of getting exposed to so may authors, I think my writing improved, my mind is getting more nimble and creative, having imbibed so many experiences through reading. I also increased my field of knowledge, and often, when I read for research (yes, now I do research on my kindle as well) I just take a pen and jot down only the information I need for my next novel. Later, I transcribe my notes into a file on my computer. And no, that doesn't explain the clutter of papers on my desk. It was there all along.

Now I love my kindle and could not imagine not having it. It has become part of my life. My only concern is to find more eBooks for my TBR list. I worry when it's getting low. Heavens forbid I would run out of books to read. And although I keep buying eBooks, my husband is all smiles... and so am I.

Now if anyone wants an eBookWise Reader, I have a brand new one for you in its original box, real cheap...

Vijaya Schartz
Romantic Science Fiction with a Kick


  1. Vijaya, LOL! You're shelf is pretty scary, Sweetie.
    I love my Kindle. I like that there is a great amount of titles avail for it, but the best feature, for me, is the text to speech feature which allows me to listen to stories in the car on the way to work and on the way home. Good choice on the Kindle.

    So...what are you doing to do with the library?

  2. Vijaya,
    I'm not to your place of acceptance yet. I too received a Kindle for Christmas and download all the ebooks stored on my computer. But there isn't much chance of me running out of reading material yet. :-) Plus, I still have a tower of TBR books in paperback. And just earlier in the week, when I had the opportunity to buy a book for $14 or the same as an ebook for $7, I still chose the paperback. What's up with that?
    But, on the flip, I've read four books straight on Kindle, without a paperback in between.

  3. Oh, that change thing! I too love the feel, the smell, the essence of holding that book. But there is a lot to be said for having an entire library in that one little device. Congrats on the new release. I adore that cover!!!

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys. The funny thing about eBook readers, is that they creep up on you. I would be lost without mine now.

    As for my library, I'm considering new shelves. I've seen some criss-cross diagonal book shelves and they are calling to me. Maybe those won't bulge.

    In the meantime, I'm happy with my kindle.

  5. Vijaya - I'm a holdout, too, even though my most recent books are available in e-book format.

    But you may have given me an idea for my next Christmas present.