If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

You Can Tell a Book by its Cover By Kait Carson

Amazon released its first Kindle in November 2007. It sold out in something like a half hour, and from all accounts (and my memory) remained out of stock until April of 2008. My husband, much more tecnogeek that I am, thought it was a fabulous solution to my habit of carrying a tote bag of books everywhere. I was not sold. Reading was as much about the “hand” of the book as it was about the words on the page. Then there was the heady smell of ink and paper and the comforting weight of the book in your lap. Kindle, endless quantities of books on an electronic tablet. I really didn’t think so! Of course, the price of Kindle books did tempt and the selection was pretty good. Still….

Fast forward a few months. I was diagnosed with cancer on September 5, 2008. Not that I remember the day or anything. Ok, I frequently forget my wedding anniversary, but I never forget cancer diagnosis day. My life became round after round of doctor visits, waiting rooms, surgery, chemo, and radiation. My husband often did the book carting, but by the time I got to the chemo portion of the adventure, spending eight hours tethered to a drip line and selecting the proper variety of books for the duration, he said, “Enough.” He bought me a Kindle, had it loaded with my current TBR selections and a few others he thought I would like and gave it to me. I never did figure out where he hid my tote bag.

I was hooked. An entire library in my lap. YES! And the prices. Why, I could buy six books for the price of one. AMAZING.

I’ve been through three Kindles since and am on my fourth. So, why this testimonial to the Kindle? It’s really a memorial. Although I will continue to use my Kindle for some reading and for travel, it makes sense for home reads to return to the world of the hardcover book.

A recent blogger on another blog listed her favorite books by genre. Several piqued my interest, and when I trotted off to Amazon, the kind folks there told me I not only owned the books, I’d read and reviewed many of them. What was going on? Why hadn’t the pixels on the page and/or the titles of the books made more of an impression? Was this the onset of some other dread disease? It shook me to the core. I have a photographic memory (both a blessing and a curse and yes, I have learned how to find the off switch), yet I had little memory of these books until I read the synopsis.

That’s when it hit me. I have a photographic memory, particularly of covers. When you read a hardback (or paperback), every time you pick up the book you see the cover. It gets imprinted in your memory. The cover and the story become linked—at least in my feeble brain. That’s what I was missing. Pixels don’t seem to leave the same visual residue. That discovery caused me to take a hard look at my bookshelves. Every book on the shelf had an identifiable cover and the cover triggered the memory of the content. The cover was as much a part of the experience of reading as the story. I was not Kindle wired. Fine time to figure that out. Eight years down the road.

All of this has led me to the only bookstore in my area, Barnes and Noble. That’s where I made my second major discovery. I confess, it has been a while since I’d ventured into a bookstore. The closest to me is 35 miles away. Amazon a mere click from anyplace I happened to be. Going back to Barnes and Noble intoxicated me. All those books, the smell of paper and print. The bargain bookshelf.

Let me say that again. The bargain bookshelf. Hardback books costing far less than their Kindle counterparts. Books I had on my wish list waiting for the prices to come below double digits stared up at me from a table in the front of the store shouting, “Pick me, pick me, you know you want me.” My zeal knew no bounds. My husband went off to ask if the store had a grocery type trolley. I indulged myself with fifteen books. All on my Amazon wish list. Books with covers--covers that I would see every time I picked up the book. Books that had that indescribable “hand” and scent. Paper books.

I am in love, all over again.


Jim Jackson said...

Kait -- I don’t have a photographic memory (or much of any kind any more) but I am a visual. So, I totally understand about covers being the trigger. I still primarily read in paper, unless I am traveling, then it’s Kindle all the way with the possible exception of the book I am in the middle of.

Kait said...

Thanks Jim. Do you remember the books you read on Kindle as well as you remember the books you read on paper? Or do you find there is no difference for you?

Jim Jackson said...

I don't think there is much difference -- but then again, unless a book is particularly noteworthy, I forget the details fairly qucikly. I will also say that with the modern tendency for big name authors to have covers that blare their name in 900 point type, the title in 400 point type and no real cover design beyond the author's name and the title, I have no clue whether I have read that particular book or some other one without checking the dust cover for clues. As a backup, I always have the list I have maintained since entering high school of every book I've read.

KM Rockwood said...

I, too, read a combination of paper and Kindle books, depending upon what's available, the prices and where I intend to read them. I get lots of hard copy books out of the library.

I love having a huge selection of books when I'm travelling. When we got stuck in Heathrow airport for almost an entire day, I was glad I had my Kindle. When I had surgery and was lying on my back for hour after hour, I discovered I could easily hold a Kindle and read, while a physical book was too heavy and very awkward.

I'm not sure covers trigger much in my memory. There are some books I know I read and enjoyed, but I can read and enjoy them again because, while I remember that I have read them, I don't remember enough about how the plot worked out to spoil it. I do tend to remember characters more than plots.

Since my original publisher for the Jesse Damon Crime Novels went out of business and the series was picked up by Wildside Press, the first five books have new covers. I think the new covers are more effective, but I was a bit sad to leave the old ones (which were owned by the company, not me) behind.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I borrow books from the library and am slowly getting used to reading on a tablet.

Warren Bull said...

I like to read books in print, although when I travel extended distances I use a kindle. I don't think one format is more memorable than the other.

Grace Topping said...

Terrific, thought-provoking blog, Kait.

I have been holding out and don't own a Kindle. But, and that's a big but, I recently got a smart phone (I was a long hold out on that one too), and I discovered that I can download books and other things. My one big love is recorded books. I am having a terrific time downloading recorded books directly from the library and other sources. If I finish a recording in the middle of the night, I can go to my list of downloaded recordings, or even sign in to my library account and download one--without leaving my bed. Pure decadence. Do I remember books that I've listened to as much as the paper books I've read? Hum? I'll have to think about that one. I'm not sure.

Recorded books are hands free. I can listen while cooking, doing housework, driving. Try it at the risk of getting hooked.

Shari Randall said...

I definitely prefer paper, even for traveling. That's actually one of my biggest pleasures - scouring used book sales for a paperback classic mystery I haven't read, or haven't read in a long while. For me, paperback means vacation. Maybe it is the "hand," the feel, right? There is something to the physical experience of reading a book that is so different from a Kindle.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I don't own a Kindle because I love the feel of a real book even for traveling. I can always find room for a book or two and maybe more. Recently I heard on NPR that there's been a resurgence in paper books and they're selling more than e-books now. Strange as it may seem, I like being surrounded by bookcases full of books I've read or plan on reading when I get to them, or sometimes rereading books I've already read like the Margaret Maron marathon I read this past winter.

Julie Tollefson said...

I read quite a bit electronically - I have Kindle and Kobo devices, and I have Kindle, Kobo, and Nook apps on my iPad and iPhone. But my true love is paper books. I love that I have an entire library of my own at home, with shelves dedicated to signed books written by friends. And when I finish a digital book and need something new to read, my first instinct is to hit up the local bookstore and see what new treasures it has for me.

Kait said...

HI all, so sorry, catching up after a crazy day of crisis after crisis. Nothing all that serious, just time consuming.

@Jim - you have a list of all the books you read since high school! WOW, that is impressive. One of the reasons I do love Amazon is that it keeps my purchase lists for me.

@KM --characters more than plots. That's wonderful. Every good book is character driving, don't you think? I wondered how authors feel when their books are re-covered. As a reader, I find the new covers draw me into the story again and will often buy and read the re-covered books again. Although the story hasn't changed, the new cover often changes the emphasis and I want to read it again.

@ Margaret - what differences have you noticed between the two? Are you finding that you enjoy different aspects based on the...is delivery system the right word?

@Warren - I am surprised to hear you say that! Given your love of classic mysteries, I always picture you book, not e-reader, in hand.

@Grace - I gotta ask, how many books did you bring on your trip? There used to be a text to voice feature on one of the Kindles I owned, but it was definitely an electronic voice with odd pronunciation it may have improved, or it may not even exist anymore! I should check that out. I've always admired people who can listen to a book, seems to be the ultimate multitasking operation to me. I used to commute to work with a friend who always had a book in the tape player (this was before the advent of CDs). I think I'm too visual for the format. I would listen, but find myself following a train of thought and losing the train of the story! I eventually read the book for most of the books we listened to while commuting.

@Shari - Exactly!

@Gloria - I can't imagine a house without books either, Gloria. I love having them around me, I've culled them way down as a result of all the moving I've done, but there are some that will have to be pried from my cold, dead, hands.

@Julie - My sentiments exactly! Even if I opt to buy the book in Kindle, I'm finding a weekly bookstore run a necessity!