couldn’t think for two days and libraries

Seriously.  This blog didn’t even come to mind during those two days.  Then, I decide to write and wow! It’s been a while.

So, I’m now past the three hundred page mark in my story.  Getting very close to the end of my typing.  (Yes, you understood that correctly.  I couldn’t think for two days, but I managed to type in my revisions.  This is only possible if you make extensive notes during the previous phase.)

I’m wondering if I should get a Kindle (or a Nook or something similar).  I hesitate because the books I love and own are easy to thumb through.  I have a tendency to pull a book off a shelf, flip the pages until I just stop, read whatever is there and start the whole process again.  It’s not the same with an e-book.  I really like websites where each chapter has an individual page with a table of contents that allows you to skip to whatever chapter you’d like.  That’s the closest I’ve come to the same experience I get from paper.  Maybe an e-reader will be different?

So anyway, in the past few months, ever since I began debating if my reading media should change, I’ve been keeping an eye out for articles on the subject.  This is a nice one called The Fractured State of Reading and Publishing.  He brings up an interesting point about paper books turning into a specialty shop kind of thing.  For those with the extra money, I assume.  I mean, I’ve never walked into a stationary store.  I usually use plain, white paper.  But most of my correspondence is through e-mail.  It’s cheap.  I save letters for times when I really want to put my own personal stamp on what I want to say.

As for books, I’ve always been amazed at people who would buy large amounts of them.  And not read them.  I’ve heard it’s a way of putting them on their “to-do” list.  Yes, it supports the author, but I’m picky about what books I own.  I’d rather go to the public library where I can hold them, skim them, see if the dialogue works, if the plot moves well… then I’ll borrow it for a full inspection.  Only after I’ve done that will I consider buying it.  Some of them I check out of the library a couple of times before I decide.  If I continually go back to a series (the exception is manga*) then I know it’s one that should be in my library.

So, now the question in my mind, after reading that article, is this:  With the relegation of paper books to little boutiques in the corners of malls (or their future equivalent), will we need an electronic equivalent of the public library?  Would it be like the early subscription libraries where you pay a fee to borrow however many books you like, or will the attempt I’m seeing by local libraries to offer e-books through their websites take off?

Whether it’s through an existing institution or something yet to appear, I feel it’s just one more reason to get an e-reader.  Even if I can’t feel the pages under my thumb.

*Why Manga Is the Exception:  manga can take anywhere from one to hundreds of chapters to tell its story.  That means years of keeping up with the plot, not knowing if the mangaka is going to let you down at the end.  I can think of more than one series where I held off buying anything in it and patted myself on the back when the ending disappointed me.  Or, if it’s a popular series, someone will get the bright idea to “fluff it” instead of keeping the story tight.  A series has to be pretty amazing to induce me to purchase it before it’s done.  In the meantime, I check it out, sometimes repeatedly if it has a complex plot, from the library.

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