Thursday, 13 December 2012

Kindle or Regular Books? - The Liars Gospel

Yesterday I popped into town to pick up a prescription. As usual, there was a small queue of people. I was told to come back in ten minutes when my order would be ready. Rather than slope about the town, I went into the local Havens charity shop. The only thing they have that interests me is old CD’s and books. As I have just got rid of about 100 CD’s I headed straight to the bookshelves.

When I started writing The Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry I used to, when imagining myself as an established author being interviewed, having to make mention of my influences and favourite authors. Of course, I had one or two but most of those who have inspired me to write, back then anyway, were people like Frank Zappa, Kate Bush and, with a little more credibility, Alan Moore. I felt a bit of a fraud really. It struck me to write one had to know about the likes of Jane Austen, William Burroughs, Dickens, Mark Twain and so on. I knew a bit, enough to make a conversation but not a very informed one. Now I am filled with a fire to read and read and then read again. But also, a desire to learn about all the authors I possibly can.

To be honest I seldom see anything that suits my peculiar tastes. I don’t personally think they are that odd but few books ever leap out at me saying me, me, I buy me. This time, though two books did catch my eye. One was Alan Bennett’s Writing Home, his memoir with some essays (a snip at  two quid) and the other, at only £1 was Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. It irritates me somewhat that I cannot read them yet as I still have about 50 unread books on my shelves but I simply could not pass them by.
When I self-published I chose to go the Kindle route. I had studied what I thought to be the pros and cons and having spoken to the likes of G.P Taylor and others took their advice. This seemed the only option at the time as I didn’t have the money to have them printed and not one literary agent or publisher (the few I tried – I should have stuck with it) didn’t want to know. My books are published on Kindle All four of ‘em (plug plug). So why is it that no one I know has or wants Kindle? My children, with their iPods, iPhones, iPads and PC’s, all of then techno to the hilt, have no desire to own one? My oldest daughter is 29, earns a fortune so has the wherewithal to have almost what she wants. I can’t see the point she tells me, I’d rather have a page to turn. My son, 27, who has a large collection of books, shares the same opinion as does my youngest daughter, 20. It is that tactile quality they like, that and the smell that an old book gives.
I like Kindle, not in some sycophantic or self-defensive way either; I think they add something to the reading experience. I’d rather take a Kindle on holiday than half-a-dozen or so novels. And if I want to read a George R.R. Martin book on the train or a plane I don’t have to put the weighty tome in my case but a light, easy to handle Kindle. Note here that I would have both: book on the shelf and a copy on Kindle.
Of course, books will always be my first love. My father was a bookbinder. It is a fast fading skill. I love a well-crafted book, one that has been thread sewn, gold leafed with an embossed, decorative cover, a book that smells of times gone as you turn the page.

I recently made enquiries into purchasing a book shop. Its owner said she wanted to retire. The fact that W.H.Smith had just opened a store in the High Street had so she said, little or no bearing on her reasons for selling. She did later admit Amazon was more of a problem. My thoughts on both, which she dismissed out of hand, was to sell the Kindle device in the shop but also go online. I believe she should have embraced all options, not just the Kindle, but any and all other makes too.
I passionately believe that in years to come books, paperbacks at least and not my first love case bound, will still be selling. Paperback Books and Kindle type devices will share the market.
Here is one such book that I highly recommend. Purchase how you want, Kindle or regular book it doesn't matter but read it. It is rather good.

all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?

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