Monday, August 5, 2013

I Wanna Be A Real Boy!

Real boy? Real books? Such a conundrum!

Last night an author on Facebook commented that she preferred "real" books, not ebooks. She likes to "touch" them and "smell" them. And then a whole slew of authors chimed in that they, also, preferred "real" books.

And I thought....hmm.

1. That whole smelly book thing is creepy.

2. I think she means "print books" but used the unfortunate term "real" implying that digital and audio books are somehow not "real."

3. I would imagine the millions of readers who spend millions of dollars a year on digital books might disagree about that term.

4. I would also imagine the millions of authors who publish their digitally-formatted books might disagree with that term.

5. A friend on Twitter said "If books on Kindle and Nook aren't real does that mean we can buy them with Monopoly money?" (I sure hope so, because I have four Monopoly games in my basement!)

6. Another Twitter friend said "A book is real if you can read it." Word.

7. There is nothing wrong with still loving print. (Although an environmentalist might disagree about that). But implying that ebooks are somehow subpar and unreal is idiotic. I personally prefer digital for these reasons: I can adjust the font size on my Kindle which makes reading MUCH more comfortable for me. Too many print books have teeny-tiny text which is utterly ridiculous. I also read hundreds of books a year. My house would be filled from floor to ceiling with books if I purchased all of those in print. And finally, there is nothing like the instant gratification of sitting on the beach in Florida with my Kindle, deciding I want to read such-and-such a book by Julie Garwood, clicking "BUY NOW" and voila! it's on my Kindle and ready-to-go. It's a freaking miracle. Love it!

Has anyone else noticed that snobby behavior has escalated this summer? Trad pubs/bloggers/reviewers dinging self-pubs. Literary types dinging romance. Print authors dinging digital authors. RWA blatantly discriminating against small press and self-published authors.

It sort of makes me want to become a farmer. I guess farmers can be snobs, too. "My tomatoes are better than your tomatoes, goddammit!"


And now, onto the review portion of this segment!

I read three books this weekend.

1. Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare

I had a lot of problems getting through this book. It just wasn't engaging, the characters were too flat at the beginning (although they perked up a bit by the end), and worst of all the phonetic Scottish dialogue! OH MY GOD! I love a good Scottish romance as much as the next guy (in fact I am obsessed with Julie Garwood's Scottish stories), but it's difficult to slog through dialogue like this...

"Doona ye think I ken that?"
"Tis no proper, and ye ken it."
"Doona say I dinna warn ye."
"Ye donna ken more than that."


I understand that some authors are trying to add a Scottish flavor to their books by using this sort of phonetic speech, but Christ on a cracker, kick it down a notch!

Anyway, the ending saved this one, but not enough.

Grade: C+

2. Dom of the Dead by Virginia Nelson

I know. If I read a book about a ghostly dom, then I get what I get, and I can't get upset.

Summary of this book:

Oh God! I miss him. He's dead!

Spank me, Ghostly Dom!

I am so sad. I loved him and never told him!

Spank me! Spank me! Oh oh oh!

I love you!

I'm going to get you a collar.

I'm devastated!

Please, Master.

You're dead.

No you're not.

Yes, you are.

No you're not.

Yes, you're not.

I am so confused!

I'm so confused! (Moonstruck)

Anyhoo, I am now calling this book the Bullshit Ghostly Dom.

Grade: I'm so confused!

3. FINALLY! A big, huge, fat winner! Stranded with Her Ex by Jill Sorenson was fantastic. It has man-eating sharks, marine biologists, a hot Filipino dude cooking lumpia, a rekindled romance, a deranged lunatic on an island, lots of suspense, and very hot chemistry between the H/h. I adored this book and could not put it down. My only beef was that the ending was just a tad too rushed, but otherwise this book was the perfect summer read. HIGHLY recommend!

Grade: A-

Later this week I'll post some pics my son took in New Orleans. Happy August!



KT Grant said...

You can still rub your digital reader or whatnot all over your body like a print book, so I don't understand why "ebooks" aren't "real" books.

As long as it has words, who cares how you read it?

Penny Watson said...

Also, if you need your ebook to smell, there's this product...

Geekamicus said...

I've read two really different posts on the indie/trad pub debate this weekend. The trad pub one just smacked of arrogance (i.e., most readers aren't smart enough to read my book. And my personal favorite a dig on the stupidity of people who read and write romance. Grr.) There was also a Huff Post article entitled "Dear Mainstream Authors, Stop Bashing Independent Publishing and Get a Clue". I liked that article enough to pin it.

I have friends who go on and on about only reading books printed on paper. There are arguments I can buy (I'm afraid that Kindle will take back the book I bought if they lose the rights) and ones that smack of Hooeyism (the people will think I'm smarter if I'm a luddite argument).

Both formats have their place. I can read a paperback during take-off and landing, but I can't click to look up that word for which the author had to use the thesaurus.

Heidenkind said...

I've never been a big fan of book smell, personally. It makes me sneeze.

Penny Watson said...

Hey Geek. I've noticed a backlash against self-pubbed books/authors recently. It's odd. The only thing I can think of is that as their success becomes more prominent, so does hostility and jealousy?

I actually don't like reading print anymore. I hate how the pages don't stay down. (#firstworldproblems)


Penny Watson said...

Tasha...I still think folks talking about book "smell" is creepy. I imagine them burying their faces in the book and sniffing. Like glue or something.


Pauline said...

This just made me LOL! Thank you. I love my print books (though I refrain from smelling them. I buy them to read), but I rarely actually pick up a print book anymore. Turning my own pages is exhausting! (grin)

And yeah, the self pub bashing has really ticked up because the news has trickled down that self pubs are making a living writing. Not all of them, but more than when there was only trad publishing.

RWA has finally started to recognize self publishing.

And finally, your reviews were hysterical. I enjoy your blog posts and will look forward to the NOLA pics. I used to live there. :-)

Tales of Whimsy said...

I love eBooks.
They're sooooo convenient, portable, and good for the environment.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am here to sort your blog out.

Or, you know...comment a bit.

Comment the first! I have yet to see an American author get Scottishness right. They never fail to overdo it and let me tell you, NO Scot speaks like that.

Did they, in the past? No. Such dialogue tries too hard. Doona? Who the shit says that? Dinna or dinnae, maybe (mebbe?) but it's not all och, jings, crivvens and help m'boab.

Interestingly, someone on GR or Amazon once dinged me for trying too hard to make a character Scottish. I was like, uh...dude, I *am* Scottish. I think I know how we speak, and how we act when we're in the company of non-Scots.

Maybe I should have put in a few ochs and doonas instead of, y'know...a plot or a three-dimensional characters.

Comment the second! I used to "communicate" with some festering fucknut online who bitched about ebooks not being real books...coincidentally when I beat her to publication. (I'd still like to beat her to...a pulp.) Well, the furniture and DVDs and books and clothes I've bought with my royalties seem real enough, and she's still unpublished, so if you're reading this, pal, suck my fat hairy PUBLISHED girlcock.

Ah, I feel purged now.

You love it when I get a rant-on, don't you? :D

Penny Watson said...

Hi Pauline! Thanks for stopping by.

I think RWA is trying to make some little concessions (allowing self-pubs to enter contests, but they still require print books, which effectively eliminates majority of self-pubbers...ugh!) because members were dropping out. It's all about money.

Penny Watson said...

Juju! "Dead tree" books are definitely NOT good for the environment. Excellent point!

Penny Watson said...

Scarlett...tell me how you really feel.


Julia Barrett said...

Love the reviews and the rant! I have plenty of Monopoly money too, and poker chips. Maybe I can buy some of those fake books with poker chips?

Pauline said...

You are right, Penelope. But it took a while to figure that out. O.O

I see I forgot to mention that I love ebooks and have been digital reading since, um, well, almost last century. LOL I still have my old Rocket Ebook sitting around. Though now I use a kindle. :-)

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Amen! Although I do admit to book sniffing, I've come to hate holding large books open in my hands/arms.

SO much easier to read a tablet while lounging in bed!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

PS Don't judge me for book sniffing. It's a lifelong habit!

My child now does it, ha ha.

Penny Watson said...

Julia...I highly approve of using poker chips to purchase ebooks.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Pauline. I am always right. That's just one of the rules around here.


I am one of the old-timers for Kindles, too! I also love reading on my iPad. I'll never go back to print!

Penny Watson said...

HMCW--I think there might be a 12-step program for Book Sniffing.