Paper books are in no danger

in my library.  This afternoon I found myself pre-ordering three more from the Mystery Guild:  Charlaine Harris’ Dead Reckoning (the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel), Steve Berry’s The Jefferson Key (a new suspense thriller featuring Cotton Malone), and Earlene Fowler’s Spider Web (the latest installment in her Benny Harper quilt-themed mystery series).  All three will be available in ebook form (at prices comparable to the Mystery Guild’s), but I’m a long-time fan of these series and have all the previous books in hard cover.  I don’t want to break up the sets.

New books and old books seem to be widely available in electronic form.  Many publishers are making ebooks available as soon as the traditional versions hit the shelves.  And old classics, especially those no longer under copyright, abound.  Many of these are free or very inexpensive.  I certainly don’t begrudge a dollar or two to whoever has done the work of digitizing a book worth preserving.

But there’s a long stretch in the middle, books still under copyright but no longer current.  Over the last few weeks I’ve popped over to the Amazon site frequently, wondering if this or that old favorite is available as on ebook.  The answer is often no, but many are still around in print.  And I’ve been buying them, reminded by my browsing of books I really want to read again.

And if I want to read them again, why can’t I just pull them off my bookshelf?  Because I’ve lived in this house for thirty five years, and if I’d kept all the books I’ve owned over that time, the place would look like one of those trainwrecks on cable TV, a hoarding disaster.  I may not be a dedicated housekeeper, but you can see all my furniture.  The only obstructions on the floor are Nutmeg’s belongings.  She chews on newsprint, but as far as I can tell she doesn’t read.

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