Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shannon McKelden - Happy Readers

Many of you know that I run a blog called The Happy Writer, to help writers find their happy place(s). It’s important for readers to be happy, too. They should read what they want, how they want...and I happen to believe they shouldn’t have to defend themselves.

I talked in February about how I’d become an e-book convert. To recap, when I sold my book, The Kiss Test, to Carina Press to be published as an e-book, I felt I should probably give up my prejudice against e-books and get an e-reader and try some out. Didn’t take long before I was sold.

I’ve happily bounced between paper and e-books for the past year. My horizons have been broadened, and I’ve never been a happier reader. My (young adult) daughter, on the other hand, has been adamantly against e-books. We’ve had many a heated discussion about how she would NEVER read on an e-reader and never buy an e-book and that she would remain forever a loyal paper reader.

Until last week when she bought her own Kindle.

What changed her mind? I can’t remember what pushed her over the edge. Likely it was a book she wanted to read that was only available on Kindle. Then there was the sudden realization that she’d be able to carry with her and read all the graphic design books in PDF form that she’s been collecting for years. (Somehow it hadn’t occurred to her that THOSE were e-books?)

I spent several days telling her, “I told you so.”

Now she’s having to defending herself to a friend who is adamantly against e-books/e-readers. Shoe’s on the other foot, which works for me. :)

I have to admit I’m a bit baffled at the lengths people will go to to discourage people from reading e-books or owning an e-reader. I get that some people prefer books in paper form. I get that they like the feel of the books in their hands or the smell of the paper and ink. What I don’t get is why they seem so determined that everyone else should make the same choice they do. I mean, really, would they be as single-minded that everyone should have the same favorite color they do? Or drive the same car?

I figure, life is all about variety. In vehicles and colors and reading material. Readers have hundreds of choices from genre, to author and, now, reading formats. And the way I see it, there’s plenty for everyone to choose from, to make them happy. What I love, or what I choose to read, doesn’t take away from anyone else’s choices and what makes them happy.

Most of us readers of Tote Bags ‘N’ Blogs are romance readers, and none of us like it when people disparage the genre we like to read, right? So, I hope, even if you aren’t an e-book reader yourself, you’ll at least be open to the possibility that some day you might find yourself the proud owner of an electronic reader. And even if you never do read electronically, I hope you’ll support those who choose different methods of reading, just like we hope people are accepting of us reading romance.

Remember it’s all about Happy Reading!

Shannon McKelden is the author of three humorous women’s fiction novels, including her latest, The Kiss Test, a digital book from Carina Press. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, where she writes and runs the website


desere_steenberg said...

Very inspirational post myself I am the owner of a e-reader but I only read books on there when I am on the go or when the book is only available in eformat.

The rest of the time I like cuddling up with my printed copies !

But each and every person has a right to choose what they read and how they read it as long as they enjoy the story !

Take care

ev said...

Who cares how they read as long as they read!!

And why is there always such a big thing about those of us who read digitally as opposed to paper and ink, but I have never heard of such a controversy with audio books!

Estella said...

I love my ereader!

Christine Young said...

This sounds like a discussion I've had with my youngest daughter. I would have thought the younger generation would be the first in line. The only reason, she says, she would use a kindle is for trips. Then she might consider a book that is not paper. LOL
And who is old? I love my Kindle.

Shannon McKelden said...

Desere: I agree about still loving paper books! I can't imagine ever giving them up completely, but I'm loving the variety and the option of choosing which format to read in.

Ev: Great point! I never even thought about audio books, but you're so right. No one bashes audio book listeners.

Estella: Shout it proudly! I love mine eReader, too!

Christine: That is pretty interesting, if you think about it, that the younger generation may be more resistant than the rest of us. I wonder if it's because of the greater variety of young adult books these days, many of which aren't available as e-books? I know there are far more YA book choices than there were when I was a young adult. :)

marybelle said...

I have a Kindle & move between ebooks & hard copies. It's a new world & I love having the choice.


Nas Dean said...

Well I guess, variety is the spice of life! I love reading books, so it really doesn't matter to me whether it's ebooks or print copies, as long as I get to read!