Monday, April 5, 2010


     So now that I'm all caught up in the colossal (but fun and often informative) time-sucks that are Twitter and Blogger, I'm gradually being dragged kicking and screaming into the e-universe.
      My thoughts about e-publishing have undergone a drastic 180.  While I still believe there's an awful lot of really crappy stuff out there, I think there's a lot of really crappy stuff in print, too. I mentioned one of those print crapola fests on Wendy Marcus's blog Must Have Romance about a week or so ago.
     The premise of the book was that a brilliant, high-powered financial consultant suddenly decided she wanted her most important client to father a baby for her, no strings attached, although they've had no romantic or social relationship up to this point. He's gorgeous, of course. Also incredibly wealthy. (Although why this should matter, if she's truly after no-strings sperm, is beyond me.) She summons him to her office, not to discuss his portfolio, but to inform him of her whim. And not only does she want his, er, DNA, but she also wants him to accompany her to the tropics for a procreation vacation.
     Yeah. Sure. Right.
      I find I am able to suspend disbelief when it comes to vampires and shape-shifters and demons of every stripe, but not when it comes to high-powered financial consultants. Maybe it's just me.  I am willing to put up with the outlandish and incredible in a paranormal. Even in a historical. (Unless, of course, there are zippers present long before their time.) But I find I am unwilling to accept such laughable ludicrousness in a contemporary setting.
      And yes, I once again digress.
      The whole I-Pad craze over the weekend got me thinking about this. I have no need or use for an I-Pad, I think.  But what I really want, is an e-reader. Even  six months ago, this would not have been a yearning. Since then, though, I have downloaded lots of books, some digital first, that I enjoyed a great deal and that introduced me to new authors. 
     It's a question of instant gratification and mobility. If I read an intriguing review and MUST HAVE THE BOOK, I can instantly download it. It's just not that much fun (not to mention uncomfortable), being chained to the computer for 400 pages. Especially if it's a riveting page-turner you cannot put down.
     Try tossing your PC onto your night table at 3 a.m.


Gina Rosavim said...

Oh we must get a Reader in your hands. One way or another. Any kind. You definitely need one. I can't believe it took me as long as it did to get one - and I didn't have a valid reason not to, when you think about it! Now I can't imagine not having it. Always five or six books loaded and ready to read.

You are right, there are certin titles, print or e, which are bad. Plain and simple, and you know, I think it's always been that way to some degree. And I also agree that certain genres lend themselves to the willingness and ability to suspend belief. I think I might have similar issues with that book.

But I also think that part of that problem is that books are shorter these days, e or print. The writer doesn't have the luxury of more pages to weave in a lot of things that may make the difference in believability. I have definitely felt with some titles I've read lately, that if it were only a little bit longer, it would be so much better. And make a bit more sense.

IDK, just some reactions I had after reading a couple books last week.

Kat Attalla said...

Yes, I want an e-reader too. And I agree that reading a book from my PC is a neck-aching experience. But with my laptop on its last legs, the taxes due, and, as of yet not seeing a disability check, I'm thinking that's I'll have to make due with a tube of Icy/Heat to ease the muscles.

Terri said...

Just finished two, Angels' Blood and its sequel, Archangel's Kiss, that were very richly textured and unfolded layer by layer, as did the precise, logical and well-imagined world-building. Each ran about 340 pages (small, condensed type)and I'm eager for the next. My first experience with Nalini Singh and angels. Especially angels that were not all sweetness and light, could be monstrous, and were completely divorced from religion. Riveting, smoldering heat b/w the h/h from the get-go.
OTOH, now reading one of my favorite authors, am up to page 152 of a 437-page book and the h/h have shared one kiss. Tons and tons of info dump telling and back story. I enjoy narrative--especially when it's nicely written--and I'm not the kind of reader that skims over blocks of type to get to the "good parts"--but this isn't remotely lyrical or necessary. It doesn't set a scene or illuminate the characters. And a lot of it is told via dialogue, too. So far the heat between the h/h is...subtle, let's say. Kind of disappointed. Wasn't crazy about her last book, either. But that one had a different problem -- the h/h got together fairly quickly, so the romance had nowhere much to go and we were basically just left with a lot of bad-guy chasing after that.
Ah, well.

Wendy Marcus said...

Hi Terri!
I've been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle or something similar. But I really do like holding a book in my hands. I'm also a little concerned that after a day working on the computer, reading on an electronic device will bother my eyes.

With regard to books, I love contemporary. But as I mentioned in response to your post, the book you mentioned would not be one I'd have chosen. I like fast pace and witty dialogue. Millionaires and foolish plots don't do it for me. I'm also not big into narrative....Dare I say....I am one of those who skims over lengthy narrative to get to the action.

Liz said...

I will probably hold out for the ipad - I think - waiting for all the glitches to be resolved but there is one thing you can't do with an e-reader - throw it across the room when you had it with some stupid plot/heroine/hero, ect

Terri said...

Wendy -- I know what you're saying about the computer and eyes. But honestly, sometimes now I find myself closing an eye when I'm reading a print book. IDK when that started. Read so much over the weekend I was seeing kinda blurry. Seems to have resolved now more or less.
If a book's atrocious, I might skim to see if it'll get any better if I stick with it.
But if the writing really sings, I like to savor it all, especially if it's lyrical and paints pretty word pictures.
I like snappy dialogue as much as the next guy -- I think that's been suffering quite a bit lately. Often stuff I read comes across amazingly stiff and stilted. A great exception that I recently finished: Laura Kinsale's Lessons in French. The hero has a distinct, bantering voice, even when he's suffering. You can distinguish him from every other character easily. And he gets off some of the funniest bits of dialogue I've read in a long while.
Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, a book I don't have yet, but am looking forward to reading just from the excerpt alone, sold me with this bit of dialogue, after the experimenting heroine expresses her satisfaction with a brief peck:
“Kisses should not leave you satisfied.” [He then proceeds to demonstrate.] "They should leave you wanting."
Ooooh. Chills.
And this, from Nalini Singh's Archangel's Kiss, after one of the archangel hero's men, er, angels--asks leave, to the hero's irritation, to present the huntress heroine with a jeweled knife:
"He wanted to give me a blade? What's wrong with that?"
"Blades," he whispered, "and sheaths go together. And your sheath will only ever hold my blade."
Love it!

Liz -- From what I'm seeing on Twitter, people are complaining that the i-Pad is heavier than an e-reader, too heavy to read like a book and without some of the features they've come to expect from e-readers.
I think the i-Pad's really designed to do other things better than serve as an e-reader at present. Things I don't really need right now.
Don't feel like toting around a tablet. An e-reader, though, that I think I could manage!

JL Walters said...

Terri, As you know I've had an ereader for ages. I'm on my second one. Actually the ones at ebookwise are reasonably priced and do nothing but read ebooks. I've just been reading a romantic suspense that had me wanting to throw the book across the room except it was in my reader and was recommended by a friend. Have a real problem with hero and heroine stopping to make love while the villains are about to find them.

Terri said...

I'm willing to forgive this on some occasions. Like, if I'm reading Roxanne St. Claire's Bullet Catchers, for example! But, generally speaking, it's part of my problem with a lot of contemporaries I guess. That Yeah.Sure.Right factor. Kinda funny that I'm taking a stab at one (novella-sized, so maybe I can be forgiven) at present.

Yo said...

I-pad, E-book envy ... need lotto tickets. And does the TBR pile on an E-book reader count? Does this mean we can buy more books?

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