Today’s SBD: an occasion when the paper beats the ebook.
I’ve been reading more and more ebooks, and fewer print books. There are some authors I still buy in print, primarily series books that I’ve been reading for a while, like Robb’s …In Death books. I’ve got the original paperback releases (back before everyone knew Robb was Nora Roberts) and the hardbacks from when the series transitioned to that format. Owning paper for that series (and a few others) is a hard habit to break.
But there are many authors I’ve discovered via browsing at Fictionwise and other booksellers; having discovered these new-to-me authors in e-format, I haven’t felt any particular urge to buy a more "permanent" copy of their work to put on my Keeper Shelf. (FWIW, the back ups of my ebooks? Really don’t have the same cachet in terms of keeper-dom as the shelf does. It’s not like I can point people to my external drive and say, hey, take a look at the pretty covers and blurbs.)
Anyway, back in October I read Steve Kluger’s Almost Like Being in Love, which was excellent. Check out the reviews here, here and here. (I bought a copy after reading the first review.) As I read the book on my iPhone, I kept thinking that the epistolary style must show better in print. The narrative was told via memos, letters, court transcripts, emails, etc. And the formatting on the iPhone, which can be a little wonky anyway because of the conversion to the electronic format from the manuscript, left a bit to be desired.
Today as I was browsing in a bricks and mortar store (first time in a month!), I found a paper copy. While flipping through it, I realized how much more visually attracting and pleasing the different presentations are in the paper copy than the ecopy. The changing fonts make a difference, as does the pagination for the transcripts and the graphic/block-styling of the memos and emails.
I loved the book when I read the e-version, but how much more would I have squeed about it if I’d read the paper version?
I resisted the urge to buy a paper copy, because I don’t *need* one. But it was a very close thing.