I’ve been staunch over the years in saying that I will never get an eReader. People have asked me countless times, told me over and over how convenient it is and how the ink in the screen doesn’t hurt your eyes, and I always just shake my head. When it comes to reading, I throw my environmentalism to the wind and consistently buy paperbacks, convincing myself that the world will forgive me, since I don’t throw them out when I’m done with them.
However … what I’m realizing is that many of my colleagues and new friends in the speculative fiction community are primarily publishing their work digitally, instead of in print. In many cases, the only way to purchase their work is in Kindle format on Amazon. Plus, a lot of the magazines that I would like to be published in are most easily available on eReaders. Since I’d like to show my support for my colleagues and read as many different magazines as possible, an eReader is proving more and more essential. So, most likely, this year I’ll be breaking down and getting one, but only as part of my profession.
To anyone who knows me well enough to say, “A ha! We knew you’d come around eventually!” – I won’t be reading everything on whatever Kobindle I decide to buy. There’s something truly special about sitting down with a real book that an eReader can’t replicate. Between my day job and my writing (and often my entertainment) I spend way too much time staring at screens, so the last thing I want to do is put the bulk of my reading onto a screen, too. And don’t tell me about how the eReader screens aren’t really screens and won’t hurt my eyes because there isn’t any actual glare. It’s not a book. I won’t feel like I’m reading a book, and even if my eyes starting to hurt is all in my head because I’m stuck in my ways and susceptible to a placebo effect, I’m not changing my tune.
That said, I have to admit that an eReader might be an essential tool for emerging writers nowadays, at least in speculative fiction. Which is why I’m going to adapt, ever so slightly, if it’ll help me in my craft.