Don’t get me wrong…if you love e-readers because they help you read more often/easier/in a way that ensures no one on your subway commute can see the cover of your self-help book about how to overcome your intense fear of Slinkies, then have at it. I just know that for me, printed books are my preference. Maybe this is because I write my own books on the computer, so electronic books often automatically become “work” in my mind no matter the author or topic. Maybe it’s because I resist change (I do. I’m pretty much the only person under the age of thirty who still has an AOL e-mail address, and I will cling to my Blackberry until the day someone tries to steal it so fast and violently that they rip my whole hand off with it.). But while those things might be true, I think the most likely reason I lean towards printed books is because they happen to be less dangerous.
Let me explain.
Books are not safe in my house. If I was a book, I would be terrified to live here. Why, you ask? Because the mortality rate of books in my home is extremely high, and none of the causes of early demise for literature around here are particularly painless. Methods of torture for books include being ripped apart by a toddler (who may or may not have inherited my penchant for thrillers, but that’s another post for another time), becoming the hairball-catcher for one of the not-so-naked cats (Yes, there is one naked one), and being buried under a pile of other, heavier books when our makeshift book shelves buckle and send our extensive collection raining to the floor.
But as bad as those fates may be, the worst of them—and the one that accounts for the highest percentage of book deaths in this house—is the very reason I steer clear of the e-reader: the bathtub drop.
I can’t count the number of books we’ve laid to rest due to a dip in the bath bubbles. I’m a tub-reader (Definition: Person who reads in the bathtub, not a person who reads bathtubs). I’m a perpetual workaholic, so the only time I let myself “off” long enough to squeeze in a respectable chunk of a book for fun is when I can rationalize it by pairing it with general human hygiene (sounds psychologically healthy, huh?). This habit benefits my favorite authors immensely; any time a copy meets its watery doom, I shell out several dollars for two more—one to pick up reading where I left off, and another as a backup for when, inevitably, the first of the two new copies makes a splash all its own. I’m pretty sure Katrina Kittle owes a substantial percentage of her sales of The Kindness of Strangers to my serious bathtub addiction.
Which brings me back to why I’m still quite solidly in the books in print on paper camp and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future. If I were to let my e-readers take “swims” as often as my paper books, I’d likely need another job to support my book habit. But this time, I wouldn’t be paying the author a second time for another copy of their book I loved so much—I’d be paying a big company for a new e-reader. So, the idea of simply replacing the damaged merchandise is not only pricier in this situation, but it doesn’t appeal to my sensibilities as much, either. After all, who would you be happier to give a few extra dollars to on a given day? An author whose work has informed, helped, or entertained you, or to a stockholder whose name you don’t even know but who happens to hold a few shares of that e-reader company and has so many dollars in various stock statements that he won’t even notice when the investment you shelled out shows up in his statement numbers, because that amount you spent, while significant to you, didn’t even make a blip on his radar?
Besides…while I don’t think you can be electrocuted by making your e-reader your accidental rubber ducky, I’m just not keen on adding anything into water that contains me that happens to carry a charge of any kind. If by some off-chance it so much as gave me a little zap, I’d probably need to buy a dozen self-help books about how to overcome extreme fear of bathtub shocks. And given that I’d be too traumatized to ever buy another e-reader, everyone would be able to see those books’ covers on my subway commute.
Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby Marshall has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic. In addition to her 9,502 jobs, she is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer and occasionally indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress. She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and a charming array of cats.
About COLOR BLIND: There is something unusual about Dr. Jenna Ramey’s brain, a rare perceptual quirk that punctuates her experiences with flashes of color. They are hard to explain: red can mean anger, or love, or strength. But she can use these spontaneous mental associations, understand and interpret them enough to help her read people and situations in ways others cannot. As an FBI forensic psychiatrist, she used it to profile and catch criminals. Years ago, she used it to save her own family from her charming, sociopathic mother. Now, the FBI has detained a mass murderer and called for Jenna’s help. Upon interrogation she learns that, behind bars or not, he holds the power to harm more innocents—and is obsessed with gaining power over Jenna herself. He has a partner still on the loose. And Jenna’s unique mind, with its strange and subtle perceptions, may be all that can prevent a terrifying reality…
Color Blind is Now Available:
On Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pbs3uts
On Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/pbs3uts
And other places books are sold!
To learn more about Colby and her books, check out her website at www.colbymarshall.com