Saturday, 3 September 2011

A few words...

I saw my book as an ebook for the first time, last night, my friend brought over her new Kindle. I'd seen the 'raw' epub file on Adobe Digital but it's not the same, you don't get a proper sense. I'd already downloaded the first Kindle for PC version, a year ago, but the spacing was wonky in parts so it was withdrawn. The spacing is thankfully fixed, though, because they can't convert asterisks easily, in Chapter 17, FAQs, it looks like one long conversation between the stranger and Helen rather than snippets. Original is here. I also came across 'the Tag', this should be the Tay, in case you are wondering, a river in east of Scotland, we have not gone to Germany.

I imagine in many books where the format is not exactly straightforward there are wee glitches, the technology is still evolving. So, yes, I am happy enough with my ebook, though it still seems odd to me, I cannot imagine reading one. Scrolling through the text, my arm got tired, repeatedly pressing the same key. My friend's a total convert, she downloads stuff to her phone too, and finds it thrilling. I think the key is to see ebooks as well as not instead of. We toasted my first glimpse of the Kindle TSoM with pomegranate juice, I would've preferred champagne but I have antibiotics for wisdom tooth (being taken out next week).

Still, paper books are objects of beauty. They are irreplaceable, to me.

Scrolling to the end of the ebook, I was struck by the epilogue, and probably the most important fragment of my novel, especially resonant now:

If we look through the round window, and really strain our eyes, we can see some of the powerful people who didn’t believe in the illness – GPs, psychiatrists, journalists – standing shamefaced in the corner. They are wearing dunce hats and stuttering apologies.

There has been a leap in ebook sales since 'The Threats' so I can only hope more people are reading and learning (and enjoying the novel as a novel). And for that I am very grateful to Kindle.

*I should add I've started using Kindle for PC just to download book samples and that is very handy. I love the immediacy.

** International Consensus Criteria for ME, July 2011, now on PubMed.

1 comment:

Tamara Epps said...

I will always love my physical books but I also love my Kindle as it's much easier (and uses a lot less energy) to hold and 'turn' the pages. I also make use of being able to change the size of the text so when I have less energy I can make it bigger and therefore easier to read.

I think you are right when you say we should see ebooks 'as well as' books in print. But for now I appreciate how much more reading I can do due to my Kindle.