Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two eBook Posts By Writer Gary Gibson

One was picked up by The Suits at the digitalist, but I'll link below to the originating blog, White Screen of Death.

Why I Bought A Sony Reader -- I love posts like these -- particularly by writers -- because they often express opinions outside of those passed around like used coins on tech and book sites. One of them is this:
I still can't quite get my head around the notion of reading a book and not being able to put it on my bookshelf.

And I will continue to harp on this issue, quoting everyone who also mentions it; it is my eHammer:
When I first moved out of home and into a flat with friends lo, so many years ago, there were two things that caused me the greatest difficulty when it came to the physical process of moving. A collection of nearly a thousand vinyl lp's, and almost as many books, went with me. They had to be stored, they had to be visible, and I sure as hell wasn't going to leave them behind. They felt like they were part of me. And yet every time I wanted to move to a different flat - and I moved around quite a lot over the next several years - I had to drag this vast tonnage of plastic and paper with me every single time.

This I also loved:
I find myself irritated by the sniffiness of certain critics who can afford the luxury of sufficient living space they can afford to decorate their walls with thousands of books. I hope the e-reader gets into the hands of all the people who love reading but simply don't have the room for all the books they want, who, like me, don't have the luxury of a well-appointed library in their tiny flats.

Ah, it reminds me of those lines of dialog from Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective, young Philip dreaming about a better future:
I be going to have *books*. All over the -- on shelves, mind. I be going to have a *shelf just for books*.

Yeah. Well, at one time I had those shelves. Now they're boxes. And I want only what matters: the glorious words.

Also, the very notion of display shelves of books is part of that dying print culture.

And the post that was picked up by The Suits: short fiction in the age of the ebook
To my surprise, I'm reading more short fiction since I got the Sony Reader than I have in years, mainly because of two factors; short pieces make for a nice occasional break from a full-length work, and I've found quite a lot of sf anthologies for sale online at quite a bit less than they'd cost me if I bought physical copies of them from a bookshop. The same goes for some novels as well. This is a bit ironic, since I recently commented on a Tor.com article that I didn't read short fiction any more because I couldn't find anything to read.

It's a post I'd recommend to Warren Ellis, who is keeping on eye on those dying nasty-paper digests.

One other point about short fiction: Sony has a ton of them up at their ebookstore.

Sony's gotten good press here. I'd suggest they get the Reader into the hands of more writers. I'd suggest, in no order, John Straley, Christopher Fowler, Victor Gischler, Nathan Singer, Cliff Burns, Matthew St. Amand, and Tito Perdue (all are in my bookmarks). (Unless they've already admitted defeat to Apple.)

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