As a Goodreads author I have a confession to make. I do not enter fully into the spirit of the site. For me it is an excellent way of discovering what readers think of my books, something that is of great importance to me as an author, but not so much to others. This has led to some self-imposed restrictions on my membership. As an observer rather than a participant I don’t feel comfortable entering discussions or reviewing other authors’ work - whether it be to criticise or recommend - and so I leave that to readers. They earn that right.

Gone are the days when a thriller writer had to wait to see if some reviewer on a national newspaper - who probably didn’t actually like thrillers - might give his or her new book a sniffy mention – usually not in my case. Now we can see what hundreds of people who actually buy and read our books think and that is just so much better and so much more useful to readers too. They no longer have to rely on newspaper reviews or what promotions people write about titles published by their employer. The internet made this revolution possible and with it has come the e-reader – the reason I’ve been moved to write this.

I have become thoroughly fed-up of hearing ill-informed utterances from so-called book lovers who take every opportunity to denigrate the e-book and promote their own credentials as the only true readers. They love bookshops; they adore books; they love the smell and the feel and touch of books and they loathe e-readers. Well, I am the last person in the world to deny anyone their fetish for paper and cardboard - that’s absolutely fine by me, but when I heard someone say the other day that they would rather be seen dead than holding a Kindle, I felt I had to say something.

Books are not sacred. They’re not even important. It’s READING that’s important. The choice is not between reading a book and playing with an electronic toy. It’s between reading exactly the same content on paper or on an electronic screen. True, the screen doesn’t smell or feel like a book, but it’s brightness can be adjusted, its font and type size can be changed and it will remember where you’ve left off when you fall asleep at night. With an e-reader the bookshop comes to you wherever you are in world and you can browse at will – just like in a regular bookshop – although you’ll be denied a conversation with that nice young person who offers to order the title you’re looking for because they don’t actually have it in stock. (nearly always true in the case of my books!)

In truth there’s a place for both traditional books and e-readers because not all book content transfers well to an electronic platform and I appreciate holding and reading a well-produced and beautifully illustrated book as much as the next person, but I say again, it’s READING that’s important and not the medium you choose to do it on.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest perhaps I should calm down and say a big thank you to the many people who have read and reviewed my work over the years. Your comments are greatly valued and much appreciated. I hope that 2015 brings you much reading pleasure . . . on whatever medium you choose.
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Published on December 27, 2014 10:19 • 994 views
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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick I totally agree. I have had an eBook reader for many years now and I am a librarian. I love the fact that I can take 1000+ books with me in my pocket but I also love the fact that there are exquisite 'coffee table' books that will never be faithfully reproduced on any any e-device. Ever.
Its all about the READING as you so eloquently say. Six of one, half a dozen of the other as far as I am concerned.

Just by-the-by I read 'Hypocrite's Isle' a few weeks back and blown away by the majesty of the story, plot and implications. A GREAT read.


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