The Schizophrenic Life of a Techno-Reader

dog earphonesMy reading life is out of control.

With the advent of ebooks, I worried that authors would lose income because they make less on an ebook than they do on a “paper” book, but if most readers are anything like me, authors have nothing to worry about. Take for example, the book I’m reading right now, Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay. I purchased it months ago from one of my favorite independent bookstores, Quail Ridge Books, but never got around to reading it. When I’m making dinner or driving, I like to listen to a book, and since Sarah’s Key was next on my list to read, I downloaded it to my iPod. So I now owned two copies of the book. But I can’t listen to an audio book in bed because I fall asleep with the iPod running. Since I’ve become a Kindle reader, I prefer reading on my Kindle in bed, so (yes, I know this is insane, and I send my deepest, deepest apologies to the bricks and mortar booksellers, whom I love dearly) I downloaded Sarah’s Key to my Kindle. While I love having the actual book on my bookshelf, I will probably never crack it open.

Here’s where the true insanity comes in. While making dinner, I get to a certain point in the book. Then when I go to bed, I have to somehow find that same point in my Kindle edition (there are no page numbers in either the Kindle edition or the audio version, so it’s a matter of trial and error). Fortunately, Kindle has a search feature, so if I can remember a unique word from the last chapter I listened to on the iPod, I can usually find it in the ebook. When making dinner the following night, it’s a bit more of a challenge to find my new place on the iPod. I am learning patience.

So, Ms. de Rosnay, you have me to thank for your next glass of wine! And thanks, by the way, for writing a wonderful story.


  1. Lindsay on August 28, 2009 at 2:03 am

    I just picked up this book last week at the store! I had heard about it from a friend months ago, and then spotted it in the store randomly last week and had to purchase it!

    On the topic of what I’m reading, I have about ten pages left of Melissa Gilbert’s memoir and then I have to choose from my to be read shelf, not sure which one will win out this time yet…

  2. Diane Chamberlain on August 28, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    How was the memoir, Lindsay?

  3. Denise on August 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I’m glad you are enjoying Sarah’s Key so much. I loved it and immediately thought of you when I read it for obvious reasons. I would love to see the movie.

    Have you seen de Rosnay’s interview at YouTube?

  4. Lindsay on August 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    It was okay. If I’m being honest, sometimes her point of view bothered me; like she came off somewhat pretentious at times. It was an okay read, but nothing really substantial. That’s how I feel anyway.

  5. Ronnie on August 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I remember when you first voiced your concerns about how the new technology (Kindles ebooks) would financially impact authors and I said then not to worry because you have people like me who download books on my Kindle but I love some of them so much I need to own them. Or (and I hate to admit this), I forgot I own the book and then buy it on my Kindle). So you have people like me (and I guess yourself) that double dip. I had rationalized that I would save money in the long run with a Kindle because the books were less money but I think it is costing me more money because of this slight problem.

    By the way I loved Sarah’s Key!

  6. brenda on August 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    After spending l0 hours today replacing my 2 year old computer-laptop…whew…i am finally able to get online again. I have missed too much once again. Diane-some of my kids are going to read Before the Storm…can’t wait until they do…

  7. Diane Chamberlain on August 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Ronnie, I do that forget-I-own-the-book thing too. Also, I do the forget-I-already-saw-this-movie thing.
    Brenda, welcome back! Sorry about the laptop, but glad to see you here. I’m delighted some of your students will read Before the Storm and hope they enjoy it.

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