Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adding a Neglected Argument to the Great E-Reader Debate

In the process of working with Aggie Villaneuva, I found she had somehow translated the e-copy of The Frugal Editor for purposed of her research for her Kindle reader. I am a big fan of Kindle (all my how-to books, including TFE, are available as Kindle downloads) but I didn't know that a Kindle owner could change a Word doc to Kindle for reading on a plane or--in Aggie's and many other cases--simply to make reading easier. I asked her to tell us a bit about that and here is what she sent me. Please welcome my guest blogger with many comments.


Adding a Neglected Argument to the Great e-Reader Debate

By Aggie Villanueva

I thought I’d and throw in my two cents, adding to the ceaseless e-reader debate. Of course, I’m a writer; you’d be hard pressed to keep my two cents out.

Publishing halls resound with debates over e-readers vs. traditional books. Book lovers recant. They cover the spectrum from citing economic considerations for traditional publishing houses, too much ease for the commoner to get a book out there, digitizing our brain cells, to just plain “I like the smell and feel of my paper books.”

As do I. Even as a child I would bury my nose deep in the binding of my open pages and inhale. The perfume of musty paper warehouses still equals bliss for me. But there is an aspect to the arguments that has been barely acknowledged, though it’s the main reason I scurried to order a Kindle; health reasons.

I suffer from severe Fibromyalgia, arthritis, bursitis, and back disc disease, some of which are extremely degenerative. Just lifting some of my heavy research books is painful. Imagine my difficulty in holding one open and propped for hours on end, while simultaneously maneuvering notebooks and writing pages of notes.

Though I executed this with ease only a few years ago, it is literally impossible for me today. With my e-reader I only have to manipulate the pencil thin and lightweight Kindle (I soon hope to add the Nook to my virtual library). No shuffling through notebooks full of scribbles that crippled my hands. In fact, no scribbling now either. I type my notes into the Kindle and with a touch of a few buttons recall every note and bookmark.

I eagerly await the day I can upload those notes and bookmarked sections to my word processor to finalize my research. But I’m optimistic. The new Nook and Kindle are both constantly adding functions.

The great debate can keep raging among the literary elite. For me the question lay not in economic ease for publishing houses, the death of our traditional libraries, moral implications, or even the literary bluebloods keeping indie writers in their place.

When you can’t make use of the paper volumes of old you embrace digitized technology with fervor. Because of my Kindle I can now delve into the murkiest of research waters without pain that prevents my working. E-readers have empowered me to accomplish what you do without a second thought.

What other argument is there?


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Guest Blogger Biography:
"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aggie Villanueva is dubbed by artistic peers Grandma Moses of the American Southwest
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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