It wasn't too long ago that all books were published in print. I'm not talking extra goodies from authors - which would be found of their websites - but books published by a publisher. There would be physical books. You could go to a shop and buy, or go to the library and borrow. They were available to everyone who wanted them.
Then techology advances and eReaders were invented. And then it was you can go to a shop and buy, go to a library and borrow, or press a few buttons on an online book store and you will instantly have your new story on your eReader! Great stuff! Right?
Well... yes, but also no. For those who didn't have an eReader, they could still buy or borrow the physical book. But what about short stories/novellas? We would normally buy them in a physical anthology, and we can still do that, but there are some that are only available as eBooks. Yes, you can say that there are apps you can download which allows you to read eBooks on your computer, but what about someone like me who likes physical books, who gets headaches if they spend to much time reading on a computer, who doesn't like the actual experience of reading online? Oh, well... tough. Sure, an eReader will probably stop the headaches thing, but it's not a physical book, and they are expensive. I'll come back to that point later. But really, you have to have an eReader or a computer to read certain stories. And not everyone has them. I'm thinking some of the elderly here. Sorry, you people can't read these books.
Then technology advanced further. We now have smart phones. Some smart phones had eReading apps where you can read books on there. Then things were advanced more. You can get apps for reading! World Book Day was on Thursday, and an app was released in the UK for Apple gadgetry. A few years ago, I remember you could buy World Book Day books for about £1, and you could read a short story by one author one way, then you flipped it upside down and you could read another by a different author. Available to everyone! This year? Six short stories were only available to those who had Apple gadgetry. I don't have a iPhone, an iPad or an iPod this app would work with. So I can't read these short stories. I miss out again. There is another app I know of , The World of Richelle Mead app (more info in news post on Monday), where you can get cool content on your phone. Awesome! But they also allow you to buy Mead's YA novels through the app, and through the app, you can read anotations from the author. Again, only if you have an iPhone. How about making things like this to other smart phones? Or, you know, people who don't want to use a gadget to read?
I am not against advancing technology and the publishing industry taking advantage of it. I think that's all awesome! If it's going to make it easier to read or encourage more people to read, it's all good. But not everybody wants to read like this, or is able as these gadgets can be expensive. A lot of people may have a Apple gadget or an eReader, but not everyone is able to afford them. I don't want to get political here, but everyone knows we are in a recession. Times are hard, money is tight. I cannot afford to waste - and it would be waste, because I don't need these things - money on an eReader or an Appe gadget to be able to read. There are other things I need to spend my money on. It annoys me that I have to consider buying an eReader in the first place, just to read some stories I'm currently missing out on, but to know that's not going to happen for a fair while because I can't afford it... that really sucks.
I have always thought of reading as a luxury, one of those amazing things in life that you can't really compare the experience to, but a luxury that was available to anyone who could read and wanted to. Now it seems some aspects of reading are a luxury available only to those who can afford it.
I want to read. Let me.
N.B. I'm not moaning about authors here. I know they don't get much say in things like this, and they're obviously going to be all for getting awesome extras to their readers - I am all for that too. I just don't like how we have to get ahold of it all.
Thoughts, ideas, anything? I'd like to hear your comments!