Gentle eReader

I’ve had my Kindle now for about a month. I got one because:

1) I’m a writer and see a future in ebooks, especially for the Kindle.

2) I’m a reader and see no future in my towers-of-paperbacks (mostly romance) around the house.

3) It’s so nifty! And only $139! And you can read all the fun sexy stuff you want and none of the other parents at your kids’ soccer game will know what you’re reading!

4) None of the other parents at your kids’ soccer game will know what you’re reading!

I’m not an early adopter, by any means. I barely use a cell phone. However, I read massive amounts of fiction–lately, romance–and I loathe having people know what I’m reading. Have you seen the covers on a historical romance novel? I’m relatively new to the romance genre (past 5 years) and haven’t developed my thick skin yet about pink satin breasts popping out between my fingers. If you can imagine that. There you are, sitting on the bleachers watching gymnastics class (see, I get around) and you have seen your little darling hop on the trampoline about seven thousand times already over the past three years and so… you grab a moment for yourself. You unzip your purse, pull out the newest Lisa Kleypas or Eloisa James or Sherry Thomas that you can’t stop reading until it is done done done, because the characters are charming and brilliant and hilarious, and the writing is charming and brilliant and hilarious–

And then some woman you know from the school, maybe another parent, maybe a teacher, smiles and sits down next to you with her hardcover of Freedom under her arm and glances down at your pastel paperback…

So, I’m weak. I admit it. This is not a scenario to which I am immune. There are brave women out there (at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, for instance) who shrug it off. They’re over it. They’re out and proud.

Well, I’m getting there, but in the meantime, I’ve got my Kindle, and I don’t think I’m the only one who appreciates the privacy. I think there’s a whole world out there of Incognito Romance Fiction Readers–often at children’s sporting events–who yearn for just this state of self-indulgent bliss.

Now if those publishers would learn to price their ebooks at something reasonable, I just might buy them. Indie writers (Joe Konrath at the helm) are showing what huge sales are to be made with reasonable prices. I think I’m pretty typical that I’ll buy an ebook under $5, but only paper above that.

Since most publishers are still pricing new mass market releases around $7.99, I’d better work on that thick skin.

Here’s hoping they figure out how many of us are here waiting for cheaper ebooks…before our kids go to college.