Deb Tawna’s in the bath with a glass of wine and Giancarlo

I’ll admit it – I was skeptical when eReaders first hit the market.

There’s something about the holding a real book in your hands, savoring the heft of the cover in your palms, pausing to lick your finger and turn a page. Did I really want to give that up?

Then I got a Kindle for my birthday.

At last, I understood. I don’t think of my eReader as a replacement for regular books. It’s just an alternative, and a convenient one at that.

When I packed for my 10-day Hawaiian vacation a few weeks ago, I couldn’t figure out why my suitcase was so empty. I pride myself on being a light packer, but you could seriously fit a whole crew of Chippendales dancers in there (something I certainly considered).

Then I realized it was the lack of books making my suitcase so light. Where I might normally take a dozen paperbacks on a trip like that, I had only one real book, plus my Kindle loaded with several dozen titles.

That one real book was the divinely fabulous Populazzi from our own Deb Elise Allen. As much as I loved the book and the thrill that came with reading it on a beach under a palm tree, I found myself getting annoyed. How did all the sand get stuck in the spine, and why was the @#$% wind whipping the pages around?

The eReader was easy though. No crevices to clean, no bookmarks to lose, and I could lie there flipping pages with one finger while my imaginary cabana boy fed me frozen grapes.

The one thing that worries me is my fondness for reading in the bathtub. I’m a little afraid I might drop the eReader, a possibility made more likely by my habit of sipping wine while I soak. On the bright side, a friend recently suggested I give my Kindle a name. That means I now get to tell people I’m climbing into a bubble bath with a glass of Chianti and Giancarlo.

On a serious note, I’m thrilled with what eReaders seem to be doing for the romance genre in particular. Hey, I’m the first to admit there are plenty of people reluctant to be seen in public turning the pages of a novel with a cover that features a bare-chested warrior looking vaguely constipated.

That’s probably the reason romance novels have become the fastest growing category in eBooks.  A recent article in The New York Times included some fascinating tidbits from the head honcho at my own publisher, Sourcebooks:

Dominique Raccah, the publisher and chief executive of Sourcebooks, an independent publisher in Naperville, Ill., said her romance e-book sales had grown exponentially this year, outpacing any other category. In the first quarter 8 percent of total romance sales at Sourcebooks were from e-book sales. By the third quarter that number had gone up to 27 percent. (Major trade publishers say e-books now make up about 9 to 10 percent of overall sales.) “You’re seeing the real development of a market,” Ms. Raccah said.

With shelf space getting harder and harder (I said harder) to come by, it’s cheering to know romance readers aren’t going anywhere, and they’re perfectly happy to buy our books electronically. To me, that’s a good thing.

So is the fact that someone can tell me about a hot new book, and with a few simple clicks, I own the book and can kick back on the couch to read it. As a result, I’m buying a lot more books.

Do you own an eReader? If so, has it changed your reading habits in any way? If not, do you plan to get one? Please share!

And please keep your sudsy hands off Giancarlo. He’s mine.

20 Replies to “Deb Tawna’s in the bath with a glass of wine and Giancarlo”

  1. Uh, Tawna, as soon as I saw the picture I freaked. I, in fact, have bathed my Kindle and, after leaving it in a bag of dry rice for, oh, several weeks (for drying out), it only partially functions. The little box (up/down/left/right/enter) thingy doesn’t work. This weekend I am getting out my miniature tools (remember, I am a geekette, I will, when forced take electronics apart). If I can’t get it to work, it’s back to Amazon. So now I keep paperbacks for the tub. (Since I am a “parallel reader”, I have no probs with eBook and treeBook running simultaneously…)

    Actually, what really fried my grits was not that I dropped the friggin’ thing. It was laying beside the tub and when getting out, I somehow flicked the shower curtain, which tipped the thing into the water. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Kindle. One handy-dandy place for an entire library. And I read 3-5 books a week (seriously). I have stored pdfs on it, which I need for research. Bus schedules, eTickets for the airport, etc. And, now some of the scientific publishers actually now make Kindle format for their downloads, wahoo!! If I don’t get my baby working on the weekend, I *will* replace.

    (FYI, there are water-proof covers available. I think they’re more “splash-proof” than “dunk-proof”, but maybe sufficient if your Kindle decides to walk the plank — pun intended, harhar.)

        1. Thanks for the tip. When I resuscitate this one, or get me a new one, I will keep this in mind. I too love the “reading in the tub with lots of bubblebath and a glass of wine”… I would really, really, really love to sneak into Tawna’s house and steal that big tub with all that light and everything. I am sooooooooo jealous!

    1. LOL, thanks for your concern about Giancarlo. I plan to start putting him in a Ziploc baggie, or maybe I’ll get one of those fancy schmancy covers!


  2. I own a Kindle and I’m buying many more books because of it. I still buy hardcovers from authors who are friends and colleagues and the occasional favorite fiction author. The only place that has suffered because of my Kindle is my local library – I don’t go as often as I used to.


    1. I know what you mean about the library. I keep hoping that will be an option soon, as I’ve been admiring the selection of eBooks at our local library!


  3. I LOVE my Kindle. Didn’t think I would, but I’m a total convert.

    I see Deb Kim has already told you about the Ziplock bag idea. Take the worry out of reading in the tub or on the beach. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad I got the Kindle as a gift. It’s the sort of thing I never would have bought myself, but now I’m a total fan.


  4. Yep! I have a Kindle and adore it. Best part about it is I always have a book with me. I’m one of those sick puppies who enjoys re-reading old favorites. When I get stuck in a long wait at the bank or my doctor’s office, I can spend the time doing something enjoyable.

    I also email my own WIPs to my Kindle and review chapters while pedaling the elliptical machine at the gym. Reviewing online is too tempting to rewrite as I go. This way, I am forced to read, not rewrite. I can make little notes with the keyboard, but not succumb to the temptation.

  5. I’ve been talking about ereaders a lot lately. I don’t own one but you could say I’m doing some research in the event I ever decide to purchase one. The one interesting thing I learned from Elizabeth Ryann, which you might not find so since you own a Kindle, is that the Nook has a library lending feature. Hopefully the Kindle will follow suit soon enough.

    And also, the ziploc baggie thing for bath time. Genius!

  6. So … constipation is sexy? Or is that just how cover designers see it?

    I’ll admit, I don’t read romance, so I’m at a bit of a loss, but I have seen those covers in the bookstore.

    I definitely plan on getting an e-reader, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

  7. I LOVE my Kindle and marvel at how it even came to be. It’s truly an amazing treasure that certainly holds more books than the Bookmobile — my first experience of a library — ever did.

  8. My question is – should I give my e-reader the same name as my other – er- electronic devices? Or should it have it’s own name so I can have 2 (or more) imaginary lovers?

  9. I love reading in the bathtub as well. I adore my iPad, but I REALLY love books. Going to Hawaii Sunday, and going to go ahead and load the suitcase with paperbacks. Kinda don’t want the iPad on the beach, but I will load it up with ebooks for the plane ride… unless my daughter commandeers the iPad for Angry Birds. Better bring paperbacks on the plane too…

  10. In Florida, I used to read regularly in the pool. Found my books got wet far more often than my e-reader. I’m too tall to relax comfortably in a tub, but I’m happy reading in a hot tub or a pool!

  11. I have an older Sony eBook reader (i.e. you can’t make notes and need your computer to download stuff). I bought it to cut down on buying paperbacks.

    Yeah, right. That worked out great. Not.

    Paperbacks are just so shiny! And oh so colorful! My bookshelves are one of my favorite things in the living room. That and my comfy couch. Anyway, back on topic. I love both. I love me eReader as much as I love my paperbacks. I usually pick up one or the other depending on my mood (though the reader wins out when I’m traveling). And I have at least cut down on buying paperbacks. I’m aiming for half-and-half but am not quite there…

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