So you can read my books

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


A post should be like a mini-skirt:

Long enough to cover everything.  Short enough to be interesting.

So here goes:


The Associated Press reported a survey that says there is a generation gap in e-readers:

Readers under 30 prefer cellphones and computers. Those over 30 like dedicated devices such as the Kindle.

The Pew Research Center's latest study focuses on young readers.

Among e-book users surveyed, between ages 16-29, more than half read one on a desktop or laptop and around 40 percent use a cellphone. Around 25 percent used an e-reader.

Among respondents 30 and older, 46 percent preferred e-readers, just 25 percent cellphones.

According to the report released Tuesday, teen readers were less likely to read an e-book than those immediately older.

 Around 12 percent of respondents aged 16-17 read an e-book over the past year, compared to 21 percent for ages 18-24 and 25 percent for ages 30-39.

Did you get that?

Only 12% of teens had read an e-book this past year!  Only 25% of those over 30 had read an e-book this past year!

That leaves a whopping 75% that had not read an e-book!

Of those who do read e-books, the vast majority are female.  Are writers in danger of providing a service few want?

What do you think?

Donna Hole emailed me last week, inquiring:

"How do you get the most of your Kindle Fire?" and "Do you use other computer for your author needs also?"

She also wrote:

When I want to read, I want to just read. No phone, no e-mail, no blogger updates. I hope to get lost in a story and think of nothing else. So, I'm having a problem giving up my dedicated e-book reader for More, even though it is the same price. I also have this little Acer Netbook; and I love it.

Donna added:

So, can you give me some insights on how you use your Kindle Fire? 

Can you update your blog from it? Read any Kindle formatted books? Can you edit/write from it?

  How easy is the touch keypad to access? Is it more for movie watching and game playing than word processing? How portable is the Kindle Fire?

My answer?

I use my laptop to write my blog and my novels.

 It is small enough to take anywhere in my apartment. AND IT HAS AN ACTUAL KEYBOARD. My fingers hate writing for any length by touchpad.

But I can update my blog, reply to comments.  I can read Kindle formatted books.  I can send my current WIP to my Kindle and edit/write my WIP from my Kindle Fire.

The touch keypad is easy to access for anyone who doesn't have ten thumbs like me.  :-) 

I subscribe to several magazines that come directly to my Kindle Fire.  Reading them from it is a breeze.  I am child enough to love even the ads in W magazine.

I do not have cable so I download my favorite TV episodes for $1.99 each and they are stored in the unlimited capacity of the Cloud.

You can piggy-back your internet access from your smartphone to your Kindle Fire.  It is portable enough to put in my mini-back pack ... or in your purse.

It would easily accomodate your life as a writer.  It would also let you carry a small library for research or for fun reading whenever you find yourself unexpectedly with free time during the day.

I answered Donna here because I thought some other of my friends might have similar questions.  Donna, I hope I have helped in some small way.  :-)

© Raimond Spekking / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)



  1. It seems like the whole e-reader thing is still in flux...hard to tell what will happen when the dust settles.

    E-formatted books are already accessible for computers and cells, so I think authors will do alright, even with a teen target audience.

  2. Jennifer:
    I certainly hope so. Still, teens are the least likely to read ebooks. Publishing is certainly in flux like you say! :-)

  3. I myself own a Nook and an iPad. I use my iPad for reading kindle books and apple books. I use the Nook for Barnes and Noble purchases.

    I absolutely love my iPad. High retina display makes everything crisp and clean. I can make the print larger which is good for me because I don't see all that well. And I can look up words that I don't know.

    I think from this study, we can definitely infer two things. 1) If you are an author of young adult books, you had best be getting a publisher that specializes in print or if you choose to self-publish, you'd better have a print version of your book available or it's not going to get read. 2) Ebooks are on the rise. As they become more popular and begin to saturate the market, expect those numbers to change.

  4. Betwixt and between is the best description for me.

  5. i myself, like to read a book. but i think bringing a tab would definitely be good from bringing a lot of books!


  6. Interesting research, and I probably agree with Michael's conclusions above. Although I think that's going to change, and suddenly, in the next 2-3 years.

    I have many educators in my family, and most schools have plans in place to have eReaders/tablets in the hands of every student in the next couple of years. (Many have already put them in the hands of teachers in preparation for the rollout.) When that occurs, YA and middle grade eReading will likely jump in a hurry.

    I think the tech is still expensive enough that most families don't have a tablet-like device or eReader for every member of the family. And if you're reading, you're likely hogging the iPad. Once the kids have their own, it's game on. :-)

  7. Hi Roland - This is great information. Very interesting. And the Iron Man 3 trailer was awesome!

  8. Crap... you mean since I'm 31 I need to get a Kindle? ;)

    Roland, I enjoy ALL of your posts. You're such a fantastic writer/blogger and great influence in this community. I always learn something new when I come to visit! :)

  9. I detest cell phones, do not facebook, twitter or do ebooks. I guess that makes me a dinosaur so there is no hope I will ever be published from a blog or publish a book for that matter.

    I guess the urge to hold a book in your hand is a way of the past.

  10. Michael:
    Quite an insightful response. I can do all the things on my Fire that you can on your iPad which, like you, is nice for the size of the print late at night!

    Your two points are well taken. #1 especially explains why my own eBooks are not being bought. I had hoped the KINDLE FOR PC would help some. Oops.

    I think you EJ are right that eReaders will be on the rise in future. Victor and Alice hope so!

    Betwixt and between seems the story for my whole life! :-)

    icedgurl trek;
    On my blood runs when I have to wait for a hand-off of rare blood, I appreciate having a portable library with me to answer a question that comes to me.

    I hope you are correct about the schools planning soon to have eReaders/tablets in the hands of every student. Alice bristles at the thought of being in the hands of EVERY male student. She is a proper Victorian ghoul, after all!

    Amazon with its cheapest Kindle will invade many homes this Christmas I believe ... that is if we all survive Dec. 21st! :-)

    I'm glad you liked the info. And wasn't the IRON MAN 3 trailer awesome indeed?

    You look 21 so you have at least 10 years before you have to get a Kindle for appearances sake!

    Your last comment made my evening. I often feel like a disc jockey spinning posts but with no one calling in to let me know anyone is out there! Thank you, Roland

  11. Gail:
    I used to be like you until the head of a blood lab in the local hospital sang the praises of the Kindle. A hurricane hit, preventing me from using any of my PTO's as I did emergency runs, and I ended up with enough to buy one when they were not as affordable as they are now.

    I still love tangible books, especially the leather-bound ones. I have eight book shelves in my apartment. But now, I have a portable library with my Kindle Fire. And I can download for FREE sample chapters of books whose reviews interest me from THE NEW YORK TIMES.

    In many ways, I am still a cyber-dinosaur, but I am learning there is fun in the unknown, too. :-)

  12. I have an ipad, iphone and laptop, but still I like reading real books just a teeny bit more than ebooks. I'm adjusting, though!

  13. Ebooks are a second choice for me. I prefer print. I use a laptop, but it stays in a fixed position at my desk.

    If schools are going to provide ebook readers, it should be across the board to all schools, inner city as well as suburban and rural districts.

  14. I love my eReader, though I fought hand and tooth against it at first. If I really enjoy the book I still buy it in printed format to support the author though.

  15. Lydia:
    I like real books, too. But the Kindle Fire lets me bring so many more books with me wherever I go.

    Print books used to be first choice for me, too. Now, I prefer Kindle or audio books (the voice actor has to be good though!)

    If the author is self-published, he or she gets more royalties from an eBook purchase than a print one oddly enough. Thanks for visiting! :-)

  16. Hi Roland;

    Thanks for the post, and all that research was marvelous. I'm sorry it took me so long to get here; I'm having troubles keeping up with all my friend's posts.

    Yes, this does answer my questions and then some. And thanks to all the comments, those were informative too.


  17. Donna:
    I promised Monday I would do a post, and I try really hard to keep my word.

    But as a rare blood courier, I know only all too well how hard it is to keep track of all my cyber-friends!