Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MY BEST BOOK OF 2011 IN 2085


A couple of weeks ago, I visited with my husband's niece by her pool in Florida. As we sat and chatted about this and that, she said, "Oh! I have something for you. A book. I know how much you read…and write…and I found a 1935 book for one dollar I thought you might like to have."

The book is a novel by Valcour Verne, titled The Pendulum: A Novel of Today, printed in 1935. This book is about seventy-five years old, a hard-back, the title embossed in gold. It's in excellent shape—I wonder how many people read all 450 pages of the novel.

The publishers—The Mayfair Press—uses this quote to personify their company: "The Books Upon Your Shelf Speak Volumes of Yourself." Clever, huh?

The book and the quote made me think of our books today. Some are eBooks, some are prints, and others are both. The prints may last seventy-five years if they are hardback and have good binding, but what about the eBooks, the electronic versions of our precious stories we love so much?

Me? I still prefer prints, especially if the author is special or a favorite. Since a few of my novels and short stories are offered in eBook only, you'd think I'd be a complete, loyal convert, but I am not. Even so, I do own a Kindle and it's loaded with books. My bookshelf is also loaded, and my desktop holds a stack of books that won't fit onto my shelves.

So, here we are, some of us conflicted, torn between the two sides. But why should we try to determine which is best, which will last, or which will soon become obsolete? Today, we're lucky that we can enjoy each on its own merit.

I do wonder, though, about the books I write, offered electronically and/or print. This year I will say my best book might be one that has a May 4 release date. It's not a pure romance; it is historical; and even though it does contain a sweet romance, it's really a "coming-of-age" story about a young woman in 1901.

The novel is titled Wish for the Moon, offered first electronically, and a few months later, offered in print. I wonder about this book. Where will it be seventy-five years from now? Will the print version survive somehow and a reader in 2085 will find it on sale for one dollar in a used book sale? Will this reader hold it to her breast, enjoying the fact she found a treasure? Or will only the electronic version survive, and if so…where will it be? In the depths of an enormous cloud of electronic writings maintained by Amazon? In a small used electronic-only book store?

I wonder, but I'll never know.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. It's a very interesting question. I wonder if the computer gurus at Amazon have even given it a thought. If used book houses like Alibris and other similar used book outlets can make money on used books, my imagination tells me that there just might be a repository for used e-books in the near future. If there is a buck to be made then some enterprising person will find a way to make it happen. Of course, the current intellectual property rights laws may have to be adjusted.

  2. Good question - have you seen the movie 2012? In that movie, the hero's book survives the flood so it will become a classic. Who knows what will happen down the road. I like both e-books and print. Print for reading a quick chapter and e-books for vacation. Nothing like loading up my e-book and heading out.

  3. Hi Celia:

    I think by 2085 there will be no paper books and no eBooks. I think we will each have ‘chips’ in our head and every book ever written will be available to be ‘read’ in the ‘theater of our mind’ on simple demand. Every human will become a universal library for all mankind. The ‘collective unconscious mind’ will be a reality. And paranormal romances will just be called contemporaries.


  4. KATHLEEN-I'm certain Amazon has thought of everything there is to think of. I suppose this will be an evolving thing, where books go and in what form.
    I abhor someone telling me "the young generation" now will not read print books. That's simply not true...maybe in two more genrations they might not...but they still read plenty of books off a shelf.
    Thank you for you thoughtful response...Celia

  5. P.L.--that shows you how few movies I see or even hear about. No, I haven't seen 2012, nor did I know what the plot was. I'll Google it and find out. Sounds good!
    I took my Kindle on a recent road trip, like you. It was nice not to find room for three or four paperbacks. Even though I still read them. Celia

  6. Yikes, Vince! What kind of child were you? I bet you drove your parents crazy trying to keep up with your thoughts.
    Your idea sounds as plausible as anything else, but, geesh, I do not want to think of that.
    Did you see the guy who had a camera surgically implanted in the back of his head so he could have "eyes in the back of his head." He must have had a reason, but probably he was just testing a theory. Too bad his body rejected the camera and he had to have it removed. Celia

  7. I too love old books and have a few, but you've posed some good questions, Celia. Maybe some things we're not to know-yet. We just know 75 years from now is beyond our radar!

    Jude Urbanski

  8. JUDE--right, you are. And for me? I don't want to know or even speculate. What purpose would be served? I do love old books, and see them as treasures--even the way they're put together is interesting....thanks for your thoughts. I think we are of one mind. Could it be an age thing? Naaaah. Celia

  9. Interesting thoughts! But then I barely know what I'll be doing 75 minutes from now...Vince seems to be on to something though...

  10. LIAN--I do understand I don't even know why I'm thinking 75 years ahead! Yes, I can always count on Vince for a clever, highly interesting comment. Celia

  11. Strange that you bringing this about in your blog. Last night my daughter told me that she still has six copies of my first book tO LOVE A HERO. 'I'm keeping them for when your grandchildren are old enough to read them, and I hope they will keep them for their children.' I won't be around but it was sweet to know she wants to keep copies of my books as heirloom. When my Mom moved from her house, I made sure I sent packages of my father's books to each of his grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

    My first two books are out of print but I'm glad I have three copies of each to keep for myself. They are now very precious to me.

    My ebooks are here but can they become heirloom?

  12. MONA--I like the word heirloom. That makes my point a little better. No eBook will ever be an heirloom...I just cannot believe that,
    I have a copy of all my prints, and my husband buys his own copies and has me to autograph them. That's very sweet...but he cares nothing about my eBooks. He would, though, if they were in print. He says--I'll read everything you write if it's in print. I take that back. He did read one ebook, and said, "while I like it as the others, there was something missing not holding the book."

  13. Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe words will float through the air somehow. (g)

    All I can hope is for people to enjoy my books in the here and now.

  14. MORGAN--well said. The here and now...that's all we can do or should even think about! Celia