Arts and Entertainment, Authors, Books, ebooks

Ebooks vs. “Real” Books? No.

Nah, this post isn’t a part of the common debate about which is better, ebooks or print books. If you have a preference for one over the other, then, hey, more power to you. Long live reading, either way!

Even so, I notice how readers sometimes frame the debate, or refer to books in general: ebooks versus “real” books—as if to say ebooks aren’t also real. Nothing like the feel of holding a book in your hands, and so forth.

Well. Maybe people who used to read scrolls in the past considered those to be real books, and the idea of printing books with a newfangled press contraption would seem too mechanical to them, too unnatural. “Nothing like the feel of unrolling a scroll and reading script written by the hand of a living, breathing human being, not printed by way of a cold, inanimate machine. If it’s not something handwritten that you can scroll up, it’s not the real thing.”

Maybe people from nomadic cultures with oral traditions would say, “Um…why would you need to hold something in your hands to enjoy a story? It’s much better to hear a story in the presence of the storyteller, to hear it directly from the storyteller’s mouth. It’s the only way you can fully trust the speaker. Reading a story on paper would be impersonal and kind of…weird. If it’s not oral storytelling in person, then it’s not the real thing.”

Whatever the form may be, what makes a book “the real thing” to you is in how you’ve learned to think about books. Digital books are real, too. They just come in a different form than print. All the words are there, and that’s the most crucial part that makes a book a book—the author’s words.

As wonderful as a print book is, without the words inside, you’d just have a bound stack of paper.

People sometimes use the immaterial aspect of ebooks as an argument for their lack of realness. Like, “Ebooks are in an intangible ‘cloud’ somewhere. What if there’s a blackout? Then the ebooks are gone.” I used to say similar stuff myself.

Is it true, though? Think of the nature of the Internet, how pressing a “Delete” button doesn’t really remove data from cyberspace. It’s still there somewhere, even if you can’t personally see it. And if it’s still there, it’s retrievable, even if you’re not the one who knows how to retrieve it.

Yes, incidents like fires or blackouts could be unfortunate, but it’s one thing if print books are totally burned up in a fire. If there aren’t any other copies anywhere, then, tangible as they were, you can’t get those print books back. However, because ebooks are in a cloud where data hangs around, there’s a chance that blacked-out ebooks can pop up again during data retrieval.

Besides, I’d say for many to most of us, we already know from life and experience that just because something isn’t physically touchable doesn’t mean it isn’t real. (When’s the last time you physically held the love you have for your family and friends? Is love not real merely because you can’t pick it up and handle it like an object? Not an exact comparison, I know, but you get it.)

The way I think about ebooks has changed over the years. No, I can’t smell ’em or let their pages flip through my fingers, but once I’m focused on the main part, the words, then I can let the story be the story. Even without a physically present storyteller or a scroll of parchment to unroll.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I myself have an overall preference, and I prefer reading print books, for tactile and sentimental reasons. More power to me, and long live reading!

Still, I don’t think hardbacks and paperbacks are the only real books around. I’ve encountered some amazing books in digital form. And, yeah, they’re the real thing.

Past Annual Book Award winners on my blog.

A Few
Amazing
Ebooks
I’ve Read

 

Authors, Books, Fiction

Unveiling Love: Episode IV by Vanessa Riley

regency-books-5

Five Gold Stars

Unveiling Love: A Regency Romance by Vanessa Riley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

unveiling-love-4

My goodness. This series about Barrington Norton, a barrister of color, and his wife, Amora, put me through so much that I’m rather speechless by now. But I enjoyed every winding, pulsing minute along the way to this fitting ending–an imperfect and glorious ending to a tale of suspense and searching, doubt and faith, darkness and light, anguish and love.

Its minor flaws aside, the series is such a must-read for fans of Regency ChristFic. I look forward to reading this author again.

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Unveiling Love in all four episodes

unveiling-love

 

Authors, Books, Fiction

Unveiling Love: Episode III by Vanessa Riley

Regency Books 3

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Five Gold Stars

unveiling-love-3Unveiling Love: A Regency Romance by Vanessa Riley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“Not a victim any more. No more. I won’t be. Monster, you will have a name.”

Even a delicate vase when broken had sharp shards.

She’s still battling the terror of a hazy past incident that haunts her. Yet, Amora Norton is determined to help her barrister husband, Barrington, uncover the truth concerning a string of horrendous crimes. Doing so may or may not help bring the Nortons’ marriage back from the brink of disaster in Unveiling Love, a Regency suspense tale by author Vanessa Riley.

Here I am, plunging through this tale a good deal faster than I expected to. Can’t really help it, since Episode II left me on the edge of my seat (figuratively, as I was actually on my feet), and Episode III here had me engrossed from the get-go.

Yes, this is why I had to download the complete series at once, as I wouldn’t be able to stand the virtual cliffhanging sensation this story would surely leave me with if I had to sit waiting for a following episode.

Really, though, I’m as anxious as Amora and Barrington are to get to the bottom of the troubling mystery that’s left several victims in its wake. And I appreciate how Amora is consciously pushing back against victimhood.

She and Barrington still frustrate me–Barrington jumping to drastic conclusions at lightning speed, and Amora resisting him in various ways when it’s as plain as day how they really feel about each other, how well they fit together. But, hey, their marital missteps play into the need for a true “unveiling.”

I could say more, but I’m ready to just get on with the unveiling, now…

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Unveiling Love in all four episodes

unveiling-love

 

 

Authors, Books, Fiction

Unveiling Love: Episode II by Vanessa Riley

regency-books nadine keels

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Four Silver Stars

unveiling-love-2Unveiling Love: A Regency Romance by Vanessa Riley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Two months to woo a wife, find a missing person, and capture a killer was an incredibly short period of time.

Barrington Norton has cases to investigate and a reputation to maintain as a barrister in the English courts—particularly as a barrister of mixed ethnicity. Hence, more than love is at stake in the midst of the ominous trouble brewing between him and Amora, his wife. They’ll have to decide how much (or how little) their marriage matters in the grand scheme in Unveiling Love, a Regency suspense tale by author Vanessa Riley.

Episode II of this story picks up right where Episode I left off, so I was all in as soon as I started reading. I found the second episode to be somewhat darker than the first as it deals with the effects of events as traumatic as war. Although I felt some of Barrington and Amora’s discussion became a bit redundant, I liked to see them digging into the complexities of their marriage, where easy answers and quick fixes may not be available.

There’s a minor aspect of the plot that didn’t quite line up to me, and there are small errors and inconsistencies in the writing. Also, in both episodes, it seems the narrator may be less than impartial about the story’s villains, perhaps calling them names too often. The antagonists begin to seem less authentic that way, like wicked caricatures.

Still, the author’s style is sensitive, evocative, and poetic in its imagery. There’s an aching kind of beauty in even the dark images. And as much as Barrington and Amora frustrate me sometimes, I can’t help but to forgive them because they’re not clueless or just being dramatic. They’re aware of themselves, which keeps them interesting.

I’m looking forward to moving on to Episode III.

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Unveiling Love in all four episodes

unveiling-love