Sunday, 29 June 2014

Paper vs Electronic books

I have a Kindle.  I have an iPad and an iPhone - both with iBooks and the Kindle app.  I have ebooks stored ready to read so why am I being drawn back to paper?

Ebooks were great when my daughter was a newborn, the whole Jack Reacher canon got me through her constant feeds day and night.  The convenience of ebooks is definitely the main reason to choose them, after all - there is nothing worse than finishing your book on the tube and then having to lug it around with nothing else to read.  With a Kindle (or similar) you can have most of your library with you.

I also love the fact you can get the classics for free and yet free books are how I've fallen back in love with paper.  Since being on maternity leave money has been tight and I began taking my daughter to the library to choose her own books (no one is too young to start 'reading').  Whilst there I impulsively got out books for myself (using my library card for the first time in three years). And I'm hooked. 

So, despite the convenience of ebooks I'm back on paper for the following reasons:
- the feel of the paper
- being able to read in the bath (I had a dream about my iPad and the water meeting)
- I like being able to flick back easily to find a reference
- a good book should be passed on, and this is the main thing I have missed during my flirtation with ebooks: instead of passing a book on I've just had to give a recommendation
- I want books on my shelves so my daughter can discover books I loved with ease.

However, I am grateful people enjoy using their ereaders as this is how I make my living through book sales.  And I think I'll always take an ereader on the tube.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Post Baby Novel

I know - I've been rather quiet.  Who knew a small child could be so demanding?

I've been a first time mother for ten months now and I am still getting to grips with my new job.  It's certainly more demanding than anything else I've ever done.  My daughter gives me her own rewards though, and as she grows I learn so much more about being a human being and our capacity for growth.

During these ten months I finished The Reed Bed (which I started the November before) and started a new Nanowrimo project.  I sacrificed the little sleep I was getting for writing during November and tapped away on my iPad as soon as my daughter was (briefly) asleep for the night.  Then the iPad started misbehaving and PND caught up with me and the sixty thousand words of Snowbound juddered to a halt.  It might have stayed that way if it were not for cake. 

Let me explain: my friend Ellie asked me if I was doing Camp (Nano's spring/summer equivalent) and although I hadn't intended to do so, I've been rather bullying Ellie into completing her novel (followers on Facebook, EHWalter, will have witnessed some of these spats).  I thought I should do Camp so Ellie would and then, somehow, we placed a bet.  The first person to write twenty thousand words won cake.  Fresh, homemade cake.

The promise of cake spurred me on and with the help of sleep training I had a little more time to write in the evenings.  Bit by bit I finished the first draft of Snowbound and cake was won.

For me this was more than cake though, it was reassuring that despite most of my time being spent on nurturing and raising a small human I could still finish a novel.  I could still write.