I am really excited about them. Yes, they’ve existed for a long time and they still only account for a tiny portion of the books we buy. But their numbers are growing exponentially while the rest of the industry struggles along or declines. Ereaders get more and more abundant, flashier, cheaper, and their battery life gets longer. I think they’re where the world is going.
It’s hard to shout down those who feel nostalgia for the book. Books can be beautiful. The experience of reading a physical book will never be replaced by any ereader. But it’s not like books are going away. There are books from 1450 that still exist. There are more books printed every year, using up ink, paper, cloth. Forty percent of them get pulped every year. I love books. But you know what I’d rather have? Trees.
So I have thrown in with the ebook revolution. Weightless Books, if I haven’t hyped it up to you already, is an ebook website I built and am operating together with Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press. It offers ebooks, delivered to you instantly by email, from a small but growing set of independent publishers including Small Beer Press, Featherproof Press, Blind Eye Books, Fairy Tale Review Press, and, as of today, The Homeless Moon. Yes! All three of the Homeless Moon chapbooks are now available from Weightless in a variety of formats to suit most any ereader, at the low, low price of $0.99 (and yes, they’re still available for free as well, but we’re trying to be supportive and we hope you will too).
So. Read ebooks. Consume less paper, waste less energy shipping it back and forth and then paying somebody to set it on fire when you cast it aside, read more, read better, save the world.