The Eternal Question, Paper or E-Reader – GUEST POST

Paper or E-Reader?

How Technology Has Changed Our Relationship with Books

I would like to thank Penny Dreadful Books Reviews for publishing this article. Not only do they provide insightful reviews, but they also provide humorous analysis of books and TV shows. Check out their Dreadfully Good section for a list of their favourite books.

Kindle-Oasis-1
Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover

By Christine – As smartphones, tablets and e-readers become more ingrained into society, e-books have become a popular reading standard. After all, you are able to carry almost a library’s worth of books in a device that fits neatly into a backpack or briefcase. It isn’t just its compact form that makes e-books attractive. Unlike print books, you can adjust the font style, size, contrast, color and even look up words with the built-in dictionary. At a basic level, it might seem like personalization and ease of use might be the only differences between e-books and print, but the changes run deeper than that.

Reading Comprehension

Since personal computers first became available in the late 1980s, researchers have investigated how the brain responds differently to screen text versus words on paper. A 2014 study found readers using a Kindle were worse at recalling the order of events in a novel than those who read a paperback.

Although the exact reason why is unclear, researchers postulate it is due to the lack of tactile and haptic feedback when reading an e-book. With a regular book, readers have a visual sense of progress in the form of pages. They can see and feel how far they have read; e-books do not offer the same sort of sensory input. Unsurprisingly, one of the many reasons why people prefer printed books over e-books is because of all the sensory input from the actual heft of the book to the smell of the pages.

Shorter Reading Time

Perhaps the biggest difference, though, is in how people read. Those who read e-books tend to do so in shorter bursts, leading to a more fragmented experience. After all, when reading on devices with internet access such as smartphones or tablets, it’s all too easy to get distracted by that incoming email or checking Twitter.

This leads to poor reading comprehension and retention of information. Both require long, undisturbed chunks of time. Interestingly, this habit has carried over to the printed book as well. Many people will read a book in short bursts whether they’re waiting in line, on lunch break or during their morning train commute.

Attitude Adjustments

Although still just a theory, some studies suggest the reason why people multitask more on screens than papers is that they subconsciously view reading on a computer or tablet as less serious than reading on paper. Many people take shortcuts such as browsing, scanning and hunting for keywords rather than taking the time to read the entire page or even paragraph. Rather than understand the entire section, this basic scan only provides a very shallow overview.

Benefits of E-Readers

While this might seem to spell doom for the e-book, the truth is most of these issues come down to habit. Books have been around for centuries and, until the past decade, have been the only option available. For many adults, transitioning over from the physical to digital realm comes with its own challenges, such as navigating a new user interface.

The younger generation who grew up in the digital age often does not have the same issues. They view e-books as simply another way to read their favorite books. In fact, young, reluctant readers actually prefer e-readers over traditional books as e-readers share more in common with tablets and smartphones than a book. It’s easier for them to use, and flipping through the pages of an e-book is far less intimidating than cracking open a 1,000-page book.

It isn’t only young readers who do better with e-books though. Those with poor eyesight or reading disorders benefit from e-readers as they can adjust the size of the text and spacing of the lines. A study found dyslexic subjects fared much better with e-readers as they were able to format the text in a way that made it easier for them to focus on a few words per line. This improved their reading ability almost instantly.

For avid readers, there are also thousands of independent authors offering their books for low prices—sometimes even free! It’s an amazing way to build up a library without having to spend thousands of dollars a year on a new paperback. The biggest problem with e-books is availability in geo-restricted areas. Depending on where you live or if you happen to be travelling, you may not be able to download a book due to censorship or simple geo-blocking. In those cases, you can use a VPN software such as ExpressVPN to get around these restrictions and download whatever books you want.

Whether you’re in the print book or e-book camp, there are pros and cons to each one, so choosing the best one for you depends on your circumstances. For the moment, traditional books don’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, sales have risen since 2012, and even young students veer more to print for their textbooks. While digital books have certainly changed the way we read for now, once the technology has integrated itself fully into society, it’s possible all of the issues people currently experience with e-books will disappear.

How do you think technology has changed our relationship with books? Tell us in the comments below.

About the Author: Caroline is a freelance writer who finds the intersection between literature and technology fascinating. She loves both traditional and e-books and hopes to spread her love of the written word to everyone who will listen.

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1. Romance fiction is a billion-dollar industry

Romance novel sales total more than a billion dollars a year. They sell as much as sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy combined.

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4. Everybody’s writing romance

Women of every description (and a small number of men) are the engine of this industry.

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I interviewed PhDs, lawyers, and insurance executives. I also interviewed romance authors who worked in factories. There’s an open door for anyone who wants to give it a try. Nora Roberts, the rock star of the romance industry, never went to college.

5. Women in the romance community are more likely than the general population to be currently married or living with a partner.

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6. Romance authors become personal friends with their readers, and readers find one another.

In the romance community friendships that begin online – based on a shared love of books– often become real and enduring friendships.

Beverly Jenkins and her readers are in constant contact at Beverly’s Facebook page, talking about books, football, music, and the ups and downs of their everyday lives. Every other year, Beverly takes a trip with her readers to places where her novels are set.

Radclyffe invites beginning authors to her farm in upstate New York, where she leads workshops on romance writing, and several of Eloisa James’s loyal readers told us they found their closest friends, with whom they communicate every day, through Eloisa’s blog.

7. Romance writers get tremendous support from one another Why are these women so happy to pull a less experienced writer up the ranks? I asked many authors this question, and almost all of them told me stories of their early romance mentors–and their desire to pay it forward.

At a Romance Writers of America (RWA) national conference, unpublished writers are always welcome (something that does not happen at other writer conferences), and there are dozens of workshops taught by established writers about everything from plot structure and writing

knife-fights, to social networking and negotiating contracts. You will see bestselling novelists sitting down for coffee with unpublished newbies, critiquing their work and giving them business advice.

8. Romance authors are on the cutting edge, pioneering new technologies Romance writers and readers were the first to enthusiastically adopt e-books, a service which works well for anyone who buys hundreds of books, and romance writers have always been mavericks of social media, using it effectively to build fan communities.

Romance has been at the forefront of the biggest change to take place in publishing in the last 200 years: self publishing. Together, romance authors have figured out how to succeed in self-publishing. Instead of being secretive, these one-person indie publishing houses share their knowhow and numbers (not a common practice in publishing).

9. You can take courses about romance fiction at Princeton, Harvard, DePaul and dozens of other universities Literature scholars, cultural historians, and popular culture studies professors founded the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance five years ago. They hold annual conferences, and they’ve also started the peer-reviewed onlineJournal for Popular Culture Studies. It’s a growing interdisciplinary field.

10. Romance writing isn’t an easy gig You might think writing romance novels is more of a breezy pastime than a professional venture, but the deadlines that romance novelists face are incredibly rigorous. Susan Donovan described the feeling of being on-deadline saying, “There’s always a flame behind your ass.” Some women publish three or four books a year. On top of this, most novelists handle their own promotion, and self-published authors also handle their novels’ distribution. When you’re a romance novelist, you are a one-woman business.

I had a blast exploring the romance community over the last four years. In creatingLove Between the Covers, I discovered one of the few places where women are always center stage, where female characters always win, where justice prevails in every book, and where the broad spectrum of desires of women from all backgrounds are not feared, but explored unapologetically.

*Originally featured in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/laurie-kahn/romance-novels_b_7109458.html

Director/Producer LAURIE KAHN’s films have won major awards, been shown on PBS primetime, broadcast around the world, and used widely in university classrooms and community groups. Her first film, A Midwife’s Tale, was based on the 18th century diary of midwife Martha Ballard and Laurel Ulrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Midwife’s Tale. It won film festival awards and a national Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction. Her film TUPPERWARE! was broadcast in more than 20 countries, won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for a national Best Nonfiction Director Emmy. Kahn previously worked on Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, The American Experience, FRONTLINE’S Crisis in Central America, All Things Considered, and Time Out. She’s a resident scholar at Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center.

For more information on the film, http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/ 

 

CARNAL WHISPERS: MIND STALKER by Reily Garrett

To delve into another’s mind is to revel in the depths of truth

 

CARNAL WHISPERS: MIND STALKER

Carnal #3

Reily Garrett

Releasing July 11th, 2016

To delve into another’s mind is to revel in the depths of truth, cringe in the face of past and imagined horrors, and suffer their dreams, all while searching for balance and serenity.

Daniele is a mysterious, gentle, and loyal young woman harboring knowledge capable of destroying millions. Thumbing her nose at fate, she hides in plain sight while concealing her extraordinary talent, enduring isolation despite her fantasies of a normal life.

 Marc, owner of the BDSM club, Ambrosia, is determined to protect the elusive beauty stalked by a psychopathic killer.

Hidden underneath her vulnerability, he senses a courage and determination forged from horrific circumstances. While adapting unique scenes to free her from fear and low self-esteem, he strives to stay one step ahead of a branch of the government answering to no one.

Each must rely on the other to survive a world where betrayal and deception, desire and trust, weave a fabric that threatens their sanity.

 

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Reily’s employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction

Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed…after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.

In life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but our imaginations can be. Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short. Cherish your time

 

 

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