King to Readers: You’re Just Too lazy to go the Bookstore
Oh, Stephen. No.
“I have no plans for a digital version,” King said. “Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”
I don’t think it’s wise for authors to tell readers their reading format preferences are wrong and lazy. And what about the fact that some bookstores are now selling eBooks?
King can say FU to readers because he’s got market clout. He can be confident that every bookstore in the country will not only stock his book but order plenty of copies so that readers, when they come in, will indeed find his book available for purchase.
What if I’m a reader looking for a book by an author who ISN’T Stephen King? I can assure you that readers may not be able to find that book. For some authors, digital is the ONLY way to get their books into the hands of readers.
What if I can’t get to a bookstore? What if there aren’t any bookstores convenient to where I live? What if big fat books like the kind King writes hurt my hands? This is NOT a joke. My mother, who has arthritis, took to cutting apart paper books to get them into small enough chunks so that she could hold the sections without pain. Needless to say, she wasn’t reading hardbacks at all. I bought her a Kindle and suddenly, she could read as much as she wanted– without pain.
What if I have a sight-impairment and reading books in print isn’t possible?
What if I just prefer not to have paper books anymore?
“Let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore.”
Just reading that gets me hot under the collar.
Let Them Read Print!
That sentiment, so full of privilege, set off a revolution back in 1790. The point is not what Marie Antoinette ACTUALLY said, but the danger of the privileged elite telling the unwashed masses to solve their unhappy conditions by simply doing something else–that happens to be impossible– is a warning that’s endured for more than 200 years.
It’s offensive. It reeks of King’s privileged position in life. I’m sure he has a car and the time and money to drive to his nearest bookstore and buy all the print books he wants. He’s sighted (to the best of my knowledge). He’s completely oblivious to all the reasons a reader might not be able to read his book in print.
It’s also judgmental about format and preferences that are not his. What if I don’t want to read in paper? What if I’ve found that reading on a digital device is a far better reading experience for me?
Why should you have any say at all in how I purchase and read a book?
If I were a reader, and I am, I’d be pretty damn pissed off. And guess what? I am.