Does the delivery of text affect your interpretation?

16 Mar

Yesterday, I spent the morning in the library researching new media and how it has affected our decisions about e-publishing. It was all very academic in its approach, taking into account convergence culture and post-modernism just to mention a few.

I wrote 1600 words in three hours whilst studying a huge pile of text books. I didn’t really have a direct path to follow. I was just tying it altogether, trying to create organised content in an area that is very rarely written about in a rapidly evolving industry.

I took a break and read through what I had written. Why was this industry evolving? Who was pushing the change towards eReaders and the e-publishing industry?

We know it is not the traditional publishers. Authors are adapting to (some even embracing) the change, but most still have some reluctance, still wanting to take the traditional route if offered. So is it the reader?

I think most people with an eReader, although finding positives, understand that it is a luxury, not a necessity, and not necessarily something that they would miss. Would they?

I have read through many reasons about why an eReader is a positive experience, most of which rely on external factors such as saving trees. So, where has this phenomenon come from?

My conclusion is that the only people who benefit from eReaders’ are those whom create and sell them, along with the content. This demographic is made up of predominantly Amazon and Apple.

However, I remain open-minded at this stage in my research; I may still have this completely wrong. Maybe you can help me out here. Do you have an eReader, what benefits do you see to owning one?

I understand the benefits for writers, and I won’t knock them, but for readers it is intriguing to understand what part of the experience you enjoy most. Does the delivery of content affect your experience?


7 Responses to “Does the delivery of text affect your interpretation?”

  1. Charlotte March 19, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I think I disagree. I say ‘I think’ because I haven’t exactly devoted hours to the consideration of the topic. However, here are my reasons:

    I bought an e-reader a few months ago, purely as a reader. I didn’t yet know at the time how many waves e-readers were making in the publishing world, so my writer brain didn’t have a lot to do with the decision. My main reasons for buying one were as follows:

    1) Convenience. I travel quite often, and that’s likely to continue. I can’t bear to be away from home without sufficient reading material! As a reader, and purely as a reader, there’s nothing to beat the convenience of my Kindle when I’m away. Instead of filling my bags far too full with as many books as I can carry, I just take the Kindle and I have hundreds of books with me – including a whole library of my favourite, comfort books. It’s so fantastic I can’t believe it took me so long to buy one.

    2) I had heard that some agents and authors were moving to publishing books solely in digital form. I was also becoming aware of how many new magazines and periodicals were cropping up in digital format. As a reader, I want to be able to access whatever reading material takes my fancy. I didn’t want to be locked out of a lot of the content due to lack of equipment. This reason may tie in more with your argument, but it hinges on WHY agents and authors are doing this. Is it to create demand for literature in new formats, and to boost demand for e-readers? Or does it have a lot to do with the ease, speed and convenience of it as a form of publishing? The prospect of waiting a year to see your book on the shelves is daunting.

    • Ellie March 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks for responding to this Charlotte. I have been thinking about what you have said since I saw your response. I wanted to chat more about this but i definitely think I need to create some surveys and get a wider opinion.

      I understand both of your points, but how do you feel about the experience? As in do you like the feel of books, the texture of the paper, or is it really not important. I think what im trying to ask is given the choice, which would you choose to read?

      • Charlotte March 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

        I do love the physical object of a printed book. The cover art, good quality paper and suchlike do make a difference – but usually only when I’m standing about holding it, admiring it and thinking about how nice it is. When actually reading I don’t even notice the difference when I’m deep in the story. The e-reader does have some advantages over a book, though, most notably in not requiring both hands to hold it and turn the pages. I find that comfy.

      • Ellie March 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

        And to think I never thought of that. Many times in bed I have snuggled down reading wishing i could bury my hands to keep them toasty. An eReader would definitely solve that!

  2. Jessica S March 17, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    I’m with you, Ellie. 🙂 I’m not sure what the appeal is either… Maybe it’s pushed by us (writers) subconsciously, because we like the convenience of self-publishing our masterpieces?

    • Ellie March 17, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Yeah I am swaying towards the technology was created, and the rwiters created the need. The readers are just being swept away in the hype. I will have to create some surveys and stuff to get an overall opinion.

      • Jessica S March 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

        Hey, you can delete this comment. I just sent you like five e-mails. Did you get any of them?

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