Quote of the Day:  I’ll use the words of wisdom for the Publicist Extraordinaire, Krista Rolfzen Soukup of Blue Cottage Agency. She says that the publishing world is constantly changing. When she first got into the business in 2009, she was reading article after article on the demise of the paper book. “Everything was going to ePublishing!” People were up in arms about it. Then, article after article came out about the benefits of paper books, and cries of “What’s going to happen to our society when paper books disappear?” There was talk of children’s brains going to mush (or, maybe I just thought I heard that complaint). The truth is ePublishing has evened the playing field. Now, the Top Five publishers, who were once the gatekeepers, no longer have all the power. Regular Joe and Jane Bookworm can now write books and have them published through small presses, Indy publishers, self-pubs, and the infamous eBooks. And, guest what? More people than ever are reading. Words have become more accessible to everyone. “Our ways of getting and sharing our words are unlimited,” says Krista. “Having all these options makes the pie bigger.” And, I like pie.

Mary Aalgaard on a book treasure hunt in Lincoln City, OR, used bookstore.

Mary Aalgaard on a book treasure hunt in Lincoln City, OR, used bookstore.

So, why am I ranting about this today? I feel duped by an article posted on Facebook that claimed to be about Indy Bookstores. I love Indy Bookstores. I like visiting the one near here, and checking out the ones in other cities that I visit. I also LOVE used bookstores. They look, feel, and smell like a mystery. I go in them with my treasure hunter’s nose, ready to sniff out a fantastic find. So, I clicked on this article, ready to feel happy for Indy Bookstores. One sentence in the article mentioned that Indy bookstore sales had a slight increase lately. The rest of the article was about the store-owner who was a cranky old guy who hates eBooks, the words awesome, perfect, and amazon, and the people who use them. The article went on to praise the paper book and bash the eBook, and I was annoyed. That’s a tired old story. We have both, let’s move on. The paper book is not dead. Electronic transmissions haven’t taken over our brains. Some people will only read their information on tangible printed pages. Some people will only read information electronically. And, some of us, will use whatever method is the most accessible in any given moment. 

I’ll compare paper and eBooks to my piano and keyboard. I love to play the piano. I’m a piano teacher and an accompanist. I like the feel, smell, action, sound, vibration from playing on my baby grand. That feeling will never be replaced by an electronic keyboard. I also have an electronic keyboard because, quite frankly, it was too hard to pack up the baby grand and take it on the road. The keyboard is set up in another room where the waiting piano student can play songs and fool around with sound with the headphones on while I’m working with her sibling. When piano parents ask me what instrument to buy, I talk to them about their needs. What do you have room for? How many people are in your family? Will you need the headphone option to make practicing easier for babies to nap or dad to watch TV, or a sibling to practice another instrument? Do you have access to an acoustic piano and the ability to move it? It comes down to What is most accessible to you?

I  got a Kindle for Christmas from my boys. I immediately downloaded several books by authors whose blogs I follow. Easy sneazy, I can buy their books, read them, write a review, and support an Indy author, with low risk to all involved. I also got a stockingful of paper books from “Santa.” I can snuggle up with those at my leisure, then pass them along to a friend. I still drag them along when I go to appointments, especially when I have to wait for one of the kids, and invariably, someone asks me what I’m reading. With the Kindle, I can access the audio version and listen in the car, or while taking a walk. I can read in any kind of light, and load it up. Instead of packing five fat paper novels that wouldn’t fit in the tour pack when we ride to the rally in Sturgis in August, I can bring the Kindle, which also works to check email and the internet. It will be more accessible.

So, can we move on to other topics now? Paper books are tactically better. E-Books are more accessible (unless you run out of power). Writing is important. Sharing our words connects us. Don’t we live in a wonderful world where we can connect in so many ways and chose our favorite source? I’m hungry for pie. Anyone else?

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What is the most accessible way for you to get, and share, words?