Bats or Swallows as Ebook

When everyone started talking about eBooks, my official position was that I was anti-ebook. Why would I want to read a book on a computer or a reader? I loooove books. I love holding them and looking at them and whenever I read something that really gets to me, I like dog-earring the corner of the page (Actually, some people think that by doing this I actually hate books. Andrew cringes whenever he sees me folding over a page, but I’m not the kind of person who writes in my books and I never have stickies around when I’m reading. So I dog-ear.)

Then a few things happened that changed my mind. First, I got an iPhone, and downloaded the Classics app so that I could read sections from Robinson Crusoe or Alice in Wonderland while stuck on the metro without a book. I liked that. Then I went to Greece, and while I was away a few books came out in North America that I couldn’t find in bookstores in Athens. I wanted to read Emily Gould’s And the Heart Says Whatever and Vendela Vida’s The Lovers. So I downloaded the Kindle app, bought the electronic versions and read them. I wasn’t bothered by the teeny iPhone screen too much and, most importantly, I was able to read the books. The other reason my opinion changed is DUH, I can adapt! And so can you! Things change, especially technology. Roll with it. Since then I buy maybe 1 eBook a month. I like always having something new to read on my phone, especially essay collections (like, Best 2010 Food Writing or some Jonathan Ames). And I still obviously like books; this is the floor by my bed right now:

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THIS IS ALL TO SAY. Bats or Swallows is now available as an eBook at the Kobo store for the amazing price of $4.69. The physical book is beautiful and special, but I think the stories work really well in eBook format. They’re the right length and you can read them while you’re delayed on a bus, easy. Also, you don’t need a Kobo reader to get the book. If you have an iPhone or another type of smartphone, you can download the Kobo app for free, and from there you can browse books and purchase them.

When it went live this morning, the first 10 people to buy the book also got limited edition Gelaskin protective skins for their Kobo readers (pictures here). I wanted to tell you about the contest too, but those first 10 copies went fast. If you won, congratulations!

3 thoughts on “Bats or Swallows as Ebook

  1. I also love paper books. We have a huge collection. Many are in bookshelves and many are on my bedside night table, and on the floor and under the bed.
    I like the way a book smells – old or new. The old smells are a story in themselves. And I rejoice in the small puff of dust when I pull a very old friend from the shelf and huff across its top end. My Annotated Alice is like that.
    My history with books befriends a history with life. I am becoming iOld.
    So, for Christmas, I bought a Kindle for my wife. She’ll try it. She’ll probably like it – especially the larger fonts and the lighter weight of a cyber Trilogy. If she likes it we’ll buy me one.
    Old books will still be old friends and our seven pairs of reading glasses will still be searched for and usually found in our hair. But Kindle will introduce us to new books and new writers. Of these newbies, I have a warm feeling that the best will come home with us as paper and find space on the shelf and under the bed with our old friends.

  2. Peter, thanks for your comment. I hope your wife enjoys her Kindle, and that you don’t steal it too much from her. Totally agree that the books you like electronically will eventually lead to real-life-paper books. Personally, as an emerging writer, I love that more people will be able to read my book because it’s now more widely available. The future!

  3. Like Peter said, I like holding a book. The paper, the font, the smell, the satisfaction of turning pages until the end, feeling like I accomplished something.

    But living outside the USA for so many years and not having access to as many books has forced me to embrace other methods, whether it’s a Kindle, e-book or online download I read on a computer screen. That’s life. It evolves.

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