Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Real" Books

I hate to do this because I've been writing a lot of posts within short amounts of time lately, and I don't really want to seem annoying, but this FRUSTRATION could not be kept under wraps.

First off, let me give you the background history (as I do with most posts) while I cool myself down. The history is this: I for one, cannot stand nooks or kindles or any other sources of electronic reading. In my personal opinion, it ruins the reading experience for me since I am one of those readers that likes to underline passages, dog-ear corners, and write on margins. Some readers like to keep their books as pristine as possible, but I am quite the contrary. An outside measure of how much I love a book is by how worn it is. The worse it looks, the more I love it. This is made perfectly clear by the two copies of Jane Eyre that I own that are each marked up in their own special way.

However, I'm straying away from the point. Back to the electronic reading. Anyway, it is because of my love of "real" books, that I have thoroughly despised eBooks. I know that sounds harsh, but I'm really afraid that if we get too caught up in the wonders of technology that "real" books won't even exist anymore, and that scares me. Because of this fear, I've purposely steered away from the Kindle, though numerous people have suggested it to me.

Now, my frustration is beginning to come in. I'm beginning to feel hurt by the injustice being done to "real" books. Yes, I'm being a little melodramatic, but I call it injustice because that's what it looks like through my eyes. EBook readers are getting more benefits than "real" book readers!

How did I become so hurt by this all of a sudden? Well, it first came to my notice with Jane Eyre. You all know my relentless obsession with the novel. Before the newest film adaptation came out, I went to my neighborhood B&N and purchased the movie tie-in version, which disappointed me greatly. Other than the movie poster cover and "production notes" consisting of two pages, the book was virtually the same. How is it then, that I found out that if you buy the eBook movie tie-in that you get the whole movie SCREENPLAY with it for less money!!?? What I wouldn't give to have the screenplay! And why is it that an eBook gets it, but a regular book doesn't and yet, the regular book costs more? You may have some economic explanation, but I am thoroughly pis---...I mean, Angry!

And it doesn't just stop there. All this time, I've been waiting for a Jane Eyre spin-off that tells the story from Rochester's perspective. FINALLY, one is here. It's called Jane Eyre's Husband. Well guess what? That book isn't even being released as a "real" book! It's only available as an eBook! What is the world coming to?

Maybe my frustration stems from jealousy of those who are now reading the Jane Eyre screenplay off of their Kindles while I sit here trying to keep the lines in my memory or because someone is now reading Jane Eyre's Husband while I can't even access it. Am I wrong to be jealous? Maybe it's also the fact that I've been offered a Kindle and didn't accept it and am just now feeling the effects of refusing it. Either way, I'm horribly sad.

I know that those of you reading this are probably mentally answering all my questions.

"They put extras on the eBooks to encourage you to buy a kindle."
Yes, I understand that. That's also exactly why I'm trying hard not to fall into the "gimmick" trap. Still, it's hard not to when an eBook is offering a book and a screenplay at a pretty low price.

"Kindles and Nooks save paper."
I am all in favor of preserving the environment, but there are other things besides books that can be penalized for the lack of environmental awareness in the world.

Call me old-fashioned, but unlike most teenagers nowadays, I like talking instead of texting. I like to write freehand instead of type (unless it's for the sake of time). I like to turn pages instead of touch a screen! And not only that, but I'm of the sound belief that the more "digital" our world becomes, the more the intelligence of the newer generation diminishes. For example, a girl in my class today raised her hand and said that she didn't know how to write in cursive. Mind you, this is a tenth grade honors class that I'm in, and this child says she doesn't know how to write in cursive!? My parents taught me cursive when I was young, so I was utterly surprised by the number of kids in my class who weren't taught because the school system didn't render it "necessary." The point is that technology has its definite advantages, but our world needs to find a way of working towards the future as well as preserving the past.

I understand this may seem horribly over-dramatic and that my want of a Jane Eyre 2011 screenplay turned into a multi-paragraph RANT, but can someone please tell me that they agree with me? Am I the only one who notices these things? I need the assurance that someone understands where I'm coming from and believes that I'm making a solid point!

Comment please.


  1. Hi there. I found your blog through BronteBlog a couple of days ago and have been enjoying reading your posts on Jane Eyre and Shirley. I read Shirley a long time ago and enjoyed reading your review of it.

    I understand how you feel about e-books. I majored in English in college and books are my life. I read every chance I get and I have a library with literally hundreds of books. Real books. Like you I never wanted to buy an e-reader but I broke down and bought a Kindle in March precisely so I could read "Jane Eyre's Husband." The book is so wonderful I feel it was worth purchasing the Kindle, but you don't have to buy a Kindle to read e-books from Amazon. You can download free software from Amazon which will allow you to download the book as a pdf. This is how: in "Shop All Departments," hover over "Kindle" and you will see a lot of choices. Choose "Free Kindle Reading Apps." You can download the software to a pc, iphone, etc., and then buy and download "Jane Eyre's Husband" without buying a Kindle.

    As for your classmate's ignorance of cursive: Interestingly I read an article recently in the New York Times ("The Case for Cursive," April 27) about how an entire generation is ignorant of cursive - they can't write in cursive or even read it. Teaching handwriting went by the wayside some years ago because of budget cuts and the misguided rush to teach only "practical" subjects, so it seems the ability to read and write in cursive is on the road to obsolesence.

  2. Hey there!
    I found your blog today because I was busy procrastinating and thought I'd type in to Google search what I most love: Jane Eyre;)

    Woman, I love your blog. And I love Jane Eyre. Which is probably why.

    Completely agree with this post. I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. "What if e Books completely replace REAL ones?" I went cold all over just thinking about it. (You aren't the only melodramatic one) But when you think about it seriously, it is a truly frightening thought.

    Also, I love that you're resisting all the Kindle, ebook jazz - so am I. And I'm completely jealous that 'real' book readers don't get the same advantages as well >:(

  3. @Lady Disdain: I can't tell you how good it feels to meet people who love Jane Eyre the same way I do. Also, thank you for your other comment. I'm SO glad that you enjoy my posts and that we seem to have so much in common. I completely agree with your analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. The book brings out such conflicting emotions in me because I tend to like novels with a strong central female character, but in Tess the social commentary is made clearer through her weakness, which I found a little harder to accept.

  4. @RhubarbsMom: Thank you for your tips on the Kindle! I now fully intend on downloading the software so I can read "Jane Eyre's Husband". I've been aching for a book that would tell Rochester's story correctly. There was another book from his perspective that I read a while ago, but it strayed significantly off the path of the novel and left me unsatisfied. Was "Jane Eyre's Husband" true to the original? As for that article you read, my mother read one just like it a few weeks ago. When she told me about it I brushed her off and told her that she wasn't giving our generation enough credit, thinking that almost everyone knew how to write in cursive...I guess I was wrong. Whoops.

  5. "Jane Eyre's Husband" is fantastic because it's written by someone who truly loves "Jane Eyre" and wanted to do the novel, and Rochester, justice. Purists can rejoice. There is a detailed review in BronteBlog (June 1) by Traxy, whose blog I also discovered recently, in case you want to read more about the book before purchasing it.

  6. Hi All-
    I wrote "Jane Eyre's Husband" precisely because I wanted so badly to tell the story of my favorite literary character. Edward Rochester is such a compelling character, and I was so fascinated by him, that I began to try to imagine his backstory, and eventually, "Jane Eyre's Husband" was the result.

    I do understand what people feel about the "ebooks". I am a lifelong lover of books, and even though I love love love my Kindle, it doesn't take the place of books. I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book, and nothing equals the satisfaction of picking up my favorite classic-Jane Eyre-and having the pages fall open to my favorite spots. On the other hand, I've gone through several copies of "Jane Eyre" and several copies of other books, and the good thing about e-books is that the pages don't fall out!

    "Jane Eyre's Husband" became an e-book because I looked for a publisher and found two answers--"it's WAY too long" and "No one's interested in Edward Rochester." (this despite the fact that there are 500 books about Mr. Darcy out there). So I looked for a way to make my book accessible and since it would print out to about 900 pages, Kindle seemed a good way to go. But I am looking into a way to get the book into actual print!

  7. Oh.My.Goodness!! I cannot believe that the author of "Jane Eyre's Husband" has left a comment on my humble blog! Thank you so much!!! I must say, that publisher was wrong because there are soooo many Jane Eyre diehards that are longing for a book that tells Rochester's story. Thank you for writing that story because for a moment I thought I'd have to suck it up and write one for myself lol. The book is GREAT. I just downloaded it a few days ago and I'm still in the process of reading it, but what I'm getting so far is amazing. There's so much detail that helps me get great insight into Edward's life. Keep up the good work! Oh, and I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. I was rather frustrated, I must admit, but I would rather have the book on kindle (or in my case, kindle software) than not have it at all.

  8. You didn't sound ungrateful, just frustrated and I totally understand. And I'm thankful RhubarbsMom told you about how you can download the software and read the Kindle books anyway. I was going to tell you about the software that is available, but she already did, so you won't miss out. I'm glad you got the book and are enjoying it. I loved writing it and am glad that there are other people out there who found Rochester as compelling as I do! I'm glad I found your blog!

  9. I completely agree with your comment concerning e-books. You remind me of myself at your age, reading old classic books and not getting involved with some of the stuff teenagers get involved with. I'll never give up having actual books. They are easier to deal with and I don't have to load up anything in order to read like I would have to do with some of these electronic devices.

    I also downloaded the kindle for PC so that I could read Jane Eyre's husband. I hope that it can get into actual print. I don't mind a 900 page book and I'm sure that there are many others who wouldn't mind either

  10. @Rapunzel77: Thank you for your comment. I'm glad that you've found my blog. I see how ebooks have their positives, but I guess I just love the sentimental value of a book with tangible pages. I can't really explain it, but I love everything about a regular book, down to the sound it makes when you turn the pages. :)

  11. I think this sentiment goes for stationary as well. Also I just got the digital book, and already getting absorbed. I'm currently reading Jane Eyre once more, as well. So happy to hear of another book nerd.