How our reading has changed

I have to say that like all authors, I love to get a good review that the reader has enjoyed one of my books. I was pleasantly surprised this weekend to get an email from a lady who found an older book of mine, and liked it so much she posted a review.

How the world has changed. How many of us remember the only way to get a book was to go buy it at the store, and if they didn’t have it in stock, they would order it, they would give you a call when it was in, and you’d go get it, happy to take home, knowing what you were going to be doing for the next few hours.

Then came Amazon. If you ordered enough books, shipping was free, or if you only wanted one or two, the cost of shipping was better than having to take the time to go out, and add the cost of gas to get to and from the store.

Then came e-books. Not only are books cheaper, no shipping. Except e-readers were really expensive, and most people don’t find it relaxing to read a book on their computer.

Then came laptops. Then came Kindle and Kobo and other inexpensive e-readers. Now we have tablets that are so small and convenient (and lightweight) they’re the same as an e-reader, except it does everything your computer does, and often more.

Now you can read books on many cell phones.

I like to think that with all these advances to make reading easier and books more accessible (many  older books are now available again as ebooks), in addition to being cheaper, that more people are reading.

That is, if everything is charged… Yikes…

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