As I look around my desk, bookshelves, and the floor around them, al I see are stacks of books. I review for Erotica Revealed and ERWA, so I’m sent at least two books a month. Add to that my book buying habit. The result is teetering to be read piles. Not pile. Piles.
I love it when a publisher sends me the electronic version instead of a hard copy for a review. I don’t have to figure out what to do with the book once I’ve read it, so this is technology I embrace.
Bookstores stopped being interesting to me a while ago. The tables of suggested books up front are just whatever is new that the big houses put out that month, not what’s good. Just try to find an employee in a big chain bookstore to discuss favorite books with. Hand selling is the province of independent stores, but the nearest one to me is miles away and I have to pass through the horror that is downtown LA traffic to get there. No thanks. I’d rather look at their website and order from it.
While I’m all for ebooks, I can’t say the same for ebook readers. After the whole Amazon Fail fiasco last year, I stopped buying books from them. They have yet to explain why all GLBT books were tagged as adult content, even if the content wasn’t sexual in nature, while clearly explicit books that were heterosexual were not affected. That’s all right. They don’t have to explain their backward thinking. And I don’t have to do business with them.So I’ll never buy a Kindle. There are other ebook readers, but from the reviews I read of it, the Apple platform Bowdlerizes copywritten material without permission by inserting asterisks in the “dirty” words. That’s also unforgiveable. A company can choose to suppress free speech or censor if it wants to (such as a radio station bleeping out words in songs) but I don’t need a nanny, thank you very much. I prefer to do business with companies that respect my ability as an adult to handle frank words and subversive ideas.
It seems odd to me that new technology is being used to enforce ancient prejudices while older technology (printing is technology) is the source of open ideas and freedom from censorship. Maybe that will be the saving grace for the print publishing industry. If only they could come up with a way to store books efficiently. I can’t bring myself to throw away a book, and given my reading list, I can’t hand them over to a library either. So the stacks of books around me grow. If only they were electronic files. For some reason, I have no problem deleting those.