I’ve always been a paperback girl. I like holding a book in my hand and sniffing the new product. My bookshelves are full of novels I’ve read, loved and plan to read again. My family has to prise books out of my hand, to donate to good causes. I give books as presents for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. I was the class bookworm at school and at home I could be found under my bedclothes, reading a book, at any time of the day. Homework often got neglected because the novel I was engrossed in, was too important to put down. I’ve got sun burnt on the rocks at Llandudno, because I was too busy reading to remember suntan lotion.
When I began writing my own stories, no one in the world could persuade me to publish a kindle version. That was not going to happen. I needed my novels to be real. Readers should run their fingers over the cover, bring the book up to sniff, flip through the pages and hold it against their hearts. I wanted my friends to have my novel on their bedside tables and in their bookshelves. I needed to peep over my glasses and see my novel fitting snugly between the others on the shelf.
Good friends almost ruined our friendship by asking, “So when is the Kindle version going to be available?” I’d smile politely but my eyes flashed before I could stop them. How could they? It was the ultimate betrayal. There was no way I’d even consider…
And then the email came. My book was now also being offered as a kindle version, on Amazon.com. I expected to be devastated. But something strange happened. I began to think of my readers travelling to work. They could snatch another few words at train stations. The bus stops were perfect places to glance down at their kindles and finish a chapter. Airport lounges were ideal. Now the four hour wait in Dubai could be used to catch up on some reading time. No more overweight suitcases to contend with. Instead of three measly offerings, I could pack as many books as I liked. Wait… did I just say I?
I glanced at my bookshelf guiltily. Was I about to betray my paperbacks after all? Could they stay and share the space with a kindle?
I allowed these alien thoughts to percolate overnight and by the next morning I was standing in the cue at Exclusive Books. “Could you tell me about the kindle thing?” A broad smile revealed perfectly white teeth and black curls bobbed on her shoulders. She popped one on the counter and leant towards me. “What do you need to know?”
I’d just been kindled!