Friday, January 14, 2011

the zyrtec clouded mind

I finished Ulysses chapter five yesterday and made it through about half of chapter six today.  Will finish six and summarize both tomorrow (I hope).  Six seems to be considerably longer than the others have been, or maybe it is just that I'm starting to get bogged down.  You can't ever pick up any speed while reading Ulysses because you have to pay attention to the actual words as you read.  Or at least I do.  So it goes pretty slowly-- it takes me about two hours to get through a twenty page chapter, which would take twenty minutes in a more "normal" novel.  It hasn't helped any that I'm a zyrtec zombie today.  I've still had lingering headaches this week (not nearly as bad as last week), which I don't think are  from caffeine withdrawal, so I thought it might be allergies and took a zyrtec this morning.  It helped with the headache, but I've been so sleepy all day I'm not sure I'll take another one.  I just want to go to bed and sleep for ten hours.  Since dh is working and MadMax is at a sleepover, maybe I will. 

A few more thoughts on eReaders (which I found out is the generic term for all of the digital reading devices.  The Sony I have is just a Sony Reader).  Or maybe this is just about digital books in general.  I'm wondering as the shift to e-publishing becomes more widespread, how will I know what to read?  I sure as heck haven't liked every published book I've ever read, so the fact that a book has been traditionally published is no guarantee.  But a book that has gone through the usual process has a) been edited and b) presumably been selected in preference to many others that are similar, giving it some stamp of quality.  Whereas the books that I've read that were self-published, or e-published without going through a traditional publisher, were (with some major exceptions) lower in quality.  They had grammatical errors, typesetting errors, or were just poorly written.

But you know, that's where we're going, so there's no point in whining about it.  I know too many writers, good writers, who are having a near impossible time getting their work published, and they're all thinking about e-publishing (my mom, for example).  Why shouldn't they?  Sure, the holy grail is to get an agent and a 3-book contract, but it's not happening for many of them.

So what does this mean for me as a reader?  It means it's going to be a lot harder to find the books I want to read.  Even if traditional publishing was a guarantee of quality, you can't immediately tell if a book has gone through the traditional publishing channels anymore.  Already--even several years ago-- I've ordered books from Amazon and had no idea until I sat down and started reading that they were self-published--some of them are so poorly edited and badly written that it is quite evident practically from the first page. But as non-traditionally published books become more common, better writers, writers who write very high quality stuff, are going to start publishing that way.  Which will mean that the number of books to choose from is going to skyrocket.

Thankfully since I'm not a writer, I don't have to worry about the opposite end of the problem, which is how are they going to compete with the big publishing houses to get the word out about their books.  I just have to worry about how I'm going to find good books, however they have been published.  In the long run, I suppose my methods won't be all that different than what I do now.  I read reviews on Amazon, I've found the blogs of readers with similar tastes.  I don't think there's ever going to be anyone who has exactly the same taste as me, but I've found people who match up enough that I get good recommendations. 

if this makes no sense, blame it on the zyrtec.  writing it bored me to death, but let's blame that on the zyrtec, too. Did you even notice that I changed the typeface?  I was editing the other day, and even with my cheaters on I couldn't make out the i's and the l's in "responsibilities" when it was in Arial.  I decided I need serifs.  Let me know if you have any trouble viewing it.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you made plenty of sense, and yes I noticed immediately that the type face was different. I had no trouble reading the other, so if this helps you, well... it IS your place, go with what works.
    Interesting thoughts on the E-Reader thing. I don't have one, and do not plan on ever having one. I just need this kind of in-put to keep me from being a Luddite.