My conversion to EBooks (and how I nearly converted back by accident)

ebooksEBooks have changed my life. I was an avid reader beforehand, but one of my worst sins was a tendency to try and read five books at once. I would have Moby Dick, Jurassic Park, Memoirs of a Geisha, A Game of Thrones, or one of my many books of poetry all beside my bed, dipping in and out of each one as I pleased. It was a flawed system, but it worked and – since I love reading (and writing)– it allowed me to indulge my love of books at a quicker rate. The real problem came when I had to try and pick one to take anywhere. If I knew I would be on a plane or a train for an extended amount of time heading to one of my publishing events, I would look forward to the chance to read for a few hours, but dread sitting down and realizing that the book I really wanted was at home on my bedside table.

This is why I took to EBooks like a duck to water. For the longest time I was sure that I would need to have that physical object with me. The romance of the smell of the pages, the way the felt. I was certain that I would get a headache. But somebody bought me an EBook reader for Christmas and I have not looked back since. I went through the process of converting my library into a digital format. Lots of the older books were available for free online, and I would shop around to get the best deal on novels I really wanted. I collected lots of different titles on my computer, in lots of different formats, which I hadn’t realized might be an issue. Thankfully, you can convert between the formats using software, so I just download, convert and move the title onto my device.
What I really enjoy about having all of my collection with me at all times is not just the choice when I’m out and about, but the weight and the space. Some of the bigger books can be an absolute hassle to carry around all day and I have been sorely tempted to leave a few behind. Luckily though, with my new collection, I always know that it’s going to be a light weight solution. And it has been entirely seamless and an easy transition. That is, up until something went incredibly wrong and I thought I might have lost everything.

Like I mentioned, I keep all of my digital books on my laptop, downloading what I need from a variety of sources and converting them, as I need to. This works well and meant that I had a good library built up on my computer and was steadily working my way through it. But then my laptop broke. I have absolutely no idea how it went wrong, or why or what happened. It was just a broken laptop. At first I was just annoyed. I don’t use it for much beyond social networking and a bit of shopping, so I would have to get it fixed, but I was in no great hurry. Then I remembered where all of my new books were. Books I had already spent money on.
Like my own personal burning of the Library of Alexandria, this broken laptop had robbed me of all of my books. I was distraught and suddenly in desperate need of getting my computer repaired. You may have grasped that I am no computer expert. Thankfully, I managed to find an IT specialist who was, by finding this site. who was. I have no idea how he fixed my laptop, but all I know is that he has recovered all of my information and my digital reading material. While this hasn’t put me off EBooks, I’m certainly a bit more wary of where I keep them. I’ve got backups of backups now. Whether I’m reading Primo Levi or Article 3, I like to know it’s not my only copy. But thankfully, the dedicated IT guy was there to help me through my difficult time.

After this experience, I decided to talk to my publisher. One of the great things about being both an author and an avid reader is that I have a personal understanding of the things my audience may be looking for. Until that point, all of my poetic collections had only been physically printed. I was able to convince my publisher to covert and offer my books in digital format. It was no surprise when we enjoyed a nice little bump in sales due to this decision!

This entry was posted on Monday, January 27th, 2014 at 7:01 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.

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