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I love libraries, book stores, book sales, yard sales with books and my overflowing bookshelves. For me, the feel of a book is akin to that of a record album. I'm not a fan of the compact disc. I may be drawn to a book because of the author or the title. Other times, the cover art pulls me in. I’ve even been known to buy books that I will likely never read only because I liked the cover.
I tried a Nook once. The Sacramento Public Library has them available to borrow, and I thought I should give one a try. I like to talk with the Nook sellers at the local Barnes & Noble. I enjoy when they load a new book and show me all of the features. I even enjoy when they tell me about the accessories, but I have yet to buy one.
I’ve considered buying one several times. Amazon has the Kindle, and many other companies have their own versions of electronic book readers. Electronic books are being published every day and are offered free of charge or for just a couple of dollars. Some electronic books, however, are only a slightly lower price than their paper version. Some, sadly, lack quality editing (more on that in a special column about electronic publishing).
I love to hold a physical book in my hand, flip the pages, make margin notes (or not), and carry my book with me on errands. Or to school. Sure, I know that the thousands of books I have here could be stored on an electronic book reader, and I also know that if I had the electronic versions, I’d have a lot more free space, but what would I do with that space? With the bookcases? With the books? With my bookmarks?
Electronic books do have benefits. Carry hundreds of titles. Enlarge the font size. Obtain free classics. Read newly released titles that have been out of print for years (more on that in a future column).
But can you really curl up on the sofa with a comfy blanket in front of a fire on a winter day with an electronic book reader? I should also mention that formatting can be an issue for graphic novels and poetry. And can you wander the shelves of the shops and libraries for these electronic titles?
So, this week’s question is, “Electronic or paper?”
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Aug. 25 - Face in a Book - 5:30 -7:30 p.m. - Local author Owen Sullivan will read from his debut novel, "The House's Money," from local nonfiction press Authority Publishing. About publishing a piece of fiction, publisher Stephanie Chandler said, "Owen Sullivan’s book has an interesting relationship to the current economy so it seemed like a good fit for us."
Aug. 25 - Franklin Community Library - 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Local authors participate in a Read-In, reading from their own short stories.