The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that my countrymen are stuck in a rut, particularly when it comes to the question of books. Judging by sales figures it would seem that the English perceive ebooks to be nothing more than yet another passing fad from across the pond in the good old US of A.
To the reading public of the UK, convention still dictates that a book can’t possibly exist unless it is made of paper, cost lots of money to produce, take years to appear on the book shelves, and be sold for an exorbitant amount. Plus, unless the writer of said book is lauded and fawned over by the media, how can they possibly be taken seriously as a writer, let alone exist?
I was recently told by a fellow writer and good friend of mine who lives in Europe that while discussing ebooks with a French neighbour of his recently, the neighbour floored him by asking, “how do you turn the pages?” When my friend offered to show his Kindle to his clearly out of touch neighbour, plus how it worked, the neighbour declined.
For all my fellow Englishmen and those across the channel who are of a similar stubborn, out of touch frame of mind regarding the electronic book format, here are a few pointers:
Ebooks are environment friendly. No tree is ever murdered in their manufacture, nor do they cost megabucks to produce. It only takes a few hours for the book to appear ready for download as opposed to a conventional paperback which can take a year. An ebook is an electronic computer file. They take up practically no space whatsoever on any hard drive, meaning you don’t have to file them away on dusty shelves, destined never to be opened again once you have read them.
If you don’t have a Kindle or some other ebook reader handy, you can store them on your desk top computer or lap top, accessing them via a totally free Kindle for PC/Mac application or similar.
Guess what – ebooks won’t break your budget either. There are an enormous number of ebooks available for less than £2.00 these days. The best part is you don’t have to specifically make a trip into town to visit the shelves of your nearest book shop. If you have a computer, all you have to do is find the book you want on whatever online book outlet you use, click on it after paying for it, and wait while it instantly downloads to your computer, smart phone, tablet or ereader within a minute!
Come on UK. If the Germans can embrace ebooks, surely it’s good enough for us. Currently, they are the second largest market for ebooks after the USA.
For god’s sake get your heads out of your backsides and enter the twenty-first century. I know it’s not easy, but please try. You never know, you may actually find you like the idea of having your personal library at your fingertips, especially if you are one of the thousands who commute back and forth to work each day by public transport.
Ebooks aren’t the spawn of the devil people, despite what most major publishing houses would have you believe! They are merely the electronic age’s most convenient way to read that book you always wanted to lose yourself in for a few hours.