Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy, romance novels with great covers to attract your attention. When Joan turned to ebooks instead of print as a way to get her stories to her readers quickly and efficiently, she made a great decision. Her most recent release, Romeo and Judy Anne, was ranked #486 last week on amazon.com in the Kindle Store at $2.99.
Like most of us, regardless of the genre in which she writes, Joan likes to read a variety of authors in a wide range of genres. Some of those books turn out to be keepers.
Books Change--Or Do They? by Joan Reeves, Guest Blogger
A lot of people think that ebooks are a flash in the pan. That they're not "real" books. Does that make them fake books? Real books get respect. They get treasured. They get saved and sometimes find a permanent spot on a reader's shelf. They have become a "keeper" that's to be held and eventually re-read.
Do you have keeper books? Perhaps a keeper shelf? Chances are, if you read a lot, you do. I know I have, not just a shelf, but entire bookcases of keeper books. Many don't understand this compulsion to read books that we've already read. How best to explain the desire to revisit a book after a year, or two, or ten?
I read a wonderful quotation about this very subject that was attributed to the late William Robertson Davies, one of Canada’s most popular authors. Mr. Davies wrote novels and plays as well as dramatic criticism. He was also a journalist and a professor. Mr. Davies explained the allure of books on our keeper shelves this way: "The great sin is to assume that something that has been read once has been read forever."
Ah, we keepers of books can attest to that. We have our favorites that we turn to again and again, and each time we discover something different in those well-read words. For my daughter, the book she reads every year is Dune. For me, it varies.
Will ebooks make keeper books a thing of the past? I think not. One of the many things I love about my Kindle is that it makes my keeper shelf virtually limitless. I can store a thousand books and access them within minutes.
As someone who has moved frequently in her life, and has had to cull the library each time, I love knowing that I never have to get rid of a book again. No more do I worry about the weight of boxes or the imminent collapse of an overfilled bookcase. I carry my library with me now in my purse. I even have the books arranged in collections by genre.
My keeper shelves in the study contain The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, Watchers and Lightning by Dean Koontz, A Rose In Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss, The Ninja by Eric Von Lustbader, Shotgun Saturday Night by Bill Crider, Panzer Spirit by Tom Townsend, O. Henry Short Stories, my 12th grade English Lit book, the Jane Austen books, and so many more. I'm finding those same books as ebooks and loading them to my Kindle too.
Recently, I was flattered to receive an email from a woman who described herself as a "confirmed fan" of mine. She'd bought all my ebook romantic comedies and said they were keepers that she planned to re-read when she felt she needed a lift. You better believe that put a smile on my face. My ebooks are keepers to her. I know I mark some ebooks as keepers. I think we can justifiably conclude that the concept of keeper books will not slide down the digital divide and disappear.
Mr. Davies used the example of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair in his discourse on re-reading. The book is usually required reading in college, but the book you read at 18 is different, you’ll discover, from the one you read 20 years later. The older you get, the more your vision of that book changes. The words have not changed, but the experience you’ve incurred with every year changes you so what you get from the book will be different each time.
I once thought that reading a book again was like meeting an old friend after a long absence. In life, when this happens, we see the changes in our friends. In re-reading a favorite book, meeting that old friend again, as it were, we note that the book has a different resonance. It affects us differently. Same number of pages. Same words. The book has not changed. We have.
Thanks, Joan, for this excellent reminder to revisit our "keepers." I have quite a few that I'd love to read again and see how "they" have changed.
Joan Reeves is the Kindle Bestseller Author of 5 romantic comedies and Written Wisdom, Quotation-Inspired Essays for Writers and Readers. Learn more about Joan and her books at her website and her blog, Sling Words.