Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Want It All: A Bold Proposition for Publishers

I want it all. I know I'm being greedy, but still, I want it all.

I want the e-book, the tree-book and the audio book. I think, if you spent $25 for a hardback, you should get a code to download the e-book and a code to download the audio book, even if those are temporary downloads, like checking out a book from the library.

This brilliant and yet probably a controversial idea only came to me recently.

When I first got my Nook, I only downloaded a few books I knew I wouldn't want on my bookshelves anyway. Books I knew I probably wouldn't want to read more than once, or books I wouldn't come back to later to flip through on some lazy, casual day.

Lately, though, I've read a few that I've gone back afterwards and bought the tree-book for. So yay authors and publishers. You got two out of me. Because I wanted to take it on the go, thought I'd only want to read it once, and then decided it was one I MUST have for my bookshelves.

Then last week, I checked out the audio book Under the Sabers, the non-fiction book the TV show Army Wives is based on. I wanted to read the book but it was checked out of the library already, and not figuring this one was one I'd read more than once, I figured I'd get the audio book to listen to at the pool or in the kitchen while cooking.

And while I loved doing those things - especially this weekend when I let my husband play in the pool with the kids and I laid nearby listening to hour after hour - I really, really wanted the paper book in my hands. I'm not an audio learner. I don't understand things nearly as well listening as I do if I can see it written, which is why in college I was a prodigious note taker. It's always been in one ear and out the other.

So while I love listening to a good story, this book is chock full of all kinds of great information I feel like I'm missing by listening instead of reading.

And an audio book isn't good to pick up and put down between kids pestering you for drinks or conversations about where to have lunch. It requires concentrated time to focus that a book is much more forgiving about.

Everyone seems up in arms about ebooks taking over, and the death of paper books, but the fact is that every type of book - paper, digital and audio - all fulfill a different purpose and are good for different things. Sometimes I'm fine with just one or the other.

But other times... I want them all.

Is that really asking too much?


  1. This is pretty much all I want too!

    If you're buying a hardcopy, the digital book should come with it. I'm surprisd that no one has started to try that out yet, and see how it works.

    I know I've purchased DVDs before and gotten codes to download the digital version on Itunes for free. It was simple, and it's nice to have the digital version on my Ipod when I travel.

  2. I doubt a $25 three-for-all would be economically feasible for publishers.

    On the other hand, it might lure new readers. Hmmmm.

  3. While we're talking options, most of the time I'd like to have the paperback rather than the hard cover. That surely isn't too much to ask :)

  4. Just give me the paperback and I'll be happy to. BTW, been reading the list of authors you gave me and I LOVE them. Starting the Lottery today--hope it is good but prefer the other authors so far.