Guest Post: I ❤ Digital Books by Annie Lyons

Today I am very pleased to welcome Annie Lyons on my blog as part of the Not Quite Perfect Blog Tour to celebrate that it is now available in paperback. So Annie, it's your turn to talk:
As the debate about printed versus digital books rumbles on, I feel compelled to wade in and offer the following shocking opinion: I like digital books.

There. I’ve said it.

But before you fetch your pitchfork, flaming torch and a dozen assorted librarians to try to talk me round, let me offer another shocking revelation: I like printed books too.

I know. I’m putting myself out on a limb the like of which has not been seen since we were forced to choose between Ed and David Miliband. (Personally I’ve always liked the Steve Miller Band)

But I’m saying it, people. I’m putting myself right in the middle of the road and daring you to run me over with a heavily laden book trolley. And I’m going to tell you why, whether you want me to or not.

Firstly, like many of you, I am a bibliophile. Since my mum showed me the first page of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, laughing at my impressive ‘pop’ noises and encouraging me to put my fingers in the beautifully reinforced holey pages, I’ve been in love with books. In my house it goes ‘children, books, coffee, husband,’ (kidding, I like him more than coffee). I’ve spent my life enjoying the feel, touch and smell of books. Many of them are pure art, their covers good enough to grace the walls of any gallery. When I worked as a bookseller I became something of a book-sniffer (the new books smell almost as good as the old ones) and the feel of embossed type on a smooth matt cover is like stroking cashmere.

I know this. You know this. Books furnish a room and their content furnishes your soul. My husband has a dog-eared copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin that got him out of a potentially life-endangering moment in India. It sits on our book-shelf; a constant reminder to me of how bloody lucky I am that he got home and I feel a fondness towards that book because of it. Maybe I’m romanticising this but that’s what you do with books don’t you? I can remember where I was when I read all of my favourite books; Ali’s Smith’s Hotel World on honeymoon, Germinal on a train travelling back from Cornwall, The Stone Diaries during a mobile-home holiday in France whilst I prayed for my nine month old son to sleep for just a little bit longer. So printed books rock, they roll and they have to exist forever. End of.

And so to digital books. My e-Reader is dull. Its cover looks like a wallet. It smells of bananas because it lives next to the fruit bowl and the type looks uninspiring against a flat grey screen. At first I didn’t like the page-flick buttons or knowing that I was so many percent through a book (wrong I tell you). I still don’t know how to work it properly because I am essentially too lazy to read a manual so I have to stay on the page I’m reading for fear of losing my place. Most of all, I don’t like it because I suspect it knows more than I do and no-one likes a clever-clogs.

However, despite being a romantic, I am also a realist and a pragmatist. I am only just forty and therefore not ready to start calling the remote control ‘the doobrey’ and asking my children to record television programmes for me. Added to this, I am an author and I need to get with the programme. And the programme demands that you sit up and take notice of the digital age. Having now read a number of books on my e-Reader and used it to check my own manuscript, I have to say it’s very handy. I have grudgingly got used to the flicky buttons and as for the percentage thing, well it’s just maths, isn’t it? Also, I like the fact that you can increase the font size and if that means my eighty-year-old mother can read my books, well then it’s all right by me. Come in Mrs e-Reader, we will make space at our table for you.

There is also another reason why I like a digital book. If Not Quite Perfect had been initially published in print form, it would have very likely sunk without a trace. If it had been lucky enough to make it onto a retailer’s shelf, it would have been fighting for attention alongside the big boys. And it would have lost. It would have appeared in a handful of stores and been returned to a warehouse for remaindering or worse, (don’t say it) pulping.

Instead my virtual book appeared in a shop window big enough to be seen from outer space and its perfect cover (God bless the Carina design team), keen price and favourable reviews propelled it to number 6 in the Kindle bestsellers last year. I know. A brand new book from a brand new author hanging out with the super-stars. That’s not supposed to happen, is it? And it was the digital factor that enabled this. It gave my book space and positioning and yes, it’s cheaper than a latte but a top ten bestseller is a top ten bestseller.

Incidentally, price is an issue in the digital world and the concern that books are being de-valued is a very real one. Books that writers have spent many years crafting being sold for very little is, of course, a huge concern. But you don’t perfect these things overnight and low prices means higher sales.  ‘Swings and roundabouts’ seems like a salient cliché at this point.

The story doesn’t end here though. It has an even happier ending. As a result of its eBook success last year, Not Quite Perfect is going into print this year. The digital-first ‘icing on the cake’ has brought me a ‘cherry on the top’ printed book. Hoorah and thank you eBooks.

And so my friends, I invite you to join me in liking both digital and printed stories. If you love books, you can love them in a multitude of forms; furnish your home and your mind with the really gorgeous ones, the ones that made you see the world differently and created a cherished memory. Go to the library, your local book-shop, your supermarket, your school book-fair and buy those beauties. But if there are books you want to try but not necessarily keep or if you need bigger type or if you just like the smell of bananas, get an e-Reader and go online. It’s not the format but the story that counts.  It’s all reading. It’s all books. It’s all food for the soul.

Thank you so much Annie for stoping by and sharing your love for books, both print and ebooks. I totally agree with you, we bookworms love the smell of a new book, love holding it and turn its pages but without our beloved ebooks we couldn't enjoy some great stories. 

If you haven't read the sensational Not Quiet Perfect yet, here is a bit more information about this fantastic best seller: 

Sometimes having it all isn’t enough…

Emma has everything she’s ever wanted. Her boyfriend’s just proposed and her career has finally taken off. And so what if her latest client just happens to be downright gorgeous? She’s getting married. Isn’t she?
Rachel’s married with 2.4 children (well, actually, 3) and life is all about trying to leave the house in a non-stained top. Once it was about skinny cappuccinos, cocktails and dynamic ad agency meetings. She wants her old life back, but can it ever be the same?

A sparkling, funny tale of two sisters and how often you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

About the author: 

 Annie Lyons is the best-selling author of Not Quite Perfect (now available in paperback) and Not Quite Perfect Christmas (A Short Story). Her new novel Dear Lizzie is published by Carina and is available as an eBook. 

Twitter @1AnnieLyons

You Might Also Like

0 comentaris