Last night my wife and I made our normal Saturday evening trek off to a local mall, which we do to get out of the house and grab some fresh air while getting a little exercise. Inevitably one of our stops is Barnes & Noble where we go to, as I like to put it, “visit the books”. Because I read a lot it’s not too often that there isn’t a new release from an author I follow, although I do admit to occasionally just taking note of the title–especially if it’s a best seller–and waiting until I get to one of the discount chains to grab it. But many of the authors I read don’t write in genres that make best seller lists, so it is rare for me to go more than a couple visits without some sort of purchase.
Now I have nothing against the technology of E-readers per se, and can see how they might be useful for people that travel a lot and don’t want to lug around a bagful of books, but for up and coming authors or those “non best seller” folks E-readers won’t exactly be great news in the long run. And in a world where paperbacks don’t exist an encounter such as happened last night wouldn’t have taken place, and a couple of authors might not have made two new fans.
As is my custom I wandered over to the science fiction rack where I checked out the new titles. There were a couple of new ones, Kevin J. Anderson’s The Map of All Things and Jadi Jones & Danielle Bennett’s Dragon Soul (their website is so outdated I’m not bothering to link to it). While browsing the rest of their stock I saw a young gentleman (20ish) taking a look at Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International. Having read that I mentioned to him how much I liked it and that it was well worth picking up (along with the second book, Monster Hunter Vendetta). He did grab them both, and we talked about some of the other authors we liked (he also had Anderson’s new book in his hand). Listening to our discussion was another gentleman in the aisle, who tossed in some of his opinions of his own. He also ended up grabbing both of the Monster Hunter books.
While we talked the second gentleman continued browsing and picked up a copy of Rowena Cory Daniells’ The King’s Bastard, which I’ve also read and loved. After talking about the series he ended up grabbing all three books of the King Rolen’s Kin trilogy, and the first gentleman grabbed the remaining copy of The King’s Bastard. I made note of a few of the series they talked about and we all went off on our own ways.
So two authors I enjoy reading have added two potential new fans, who will (hopefully) continue to buy their books. That likely wouldn’t have happened in an “e-book reader” dominated world.