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April 20, 2009

I Want My Book Fix Now

My special guest today is friend and fellow New Zealander, Tessa Radley. Tessa and I were aspiring authors together. In fact, Tessa and I had a competition where the person with the least rejections by the end of the year had to buy the other lunch. It was a contest to make sure we both sent lots of submissions to editors and agents. I won. I forget how many rejections I received, but it was a lot! The lunch was very tasty. :grin:

Over to Tessa…

Tessa RadleyShelley, thanks for inviting me to guest blog today!

I’m Tessa—and I write for Silhouette Desire. I’m going to confess that I’m a bit of a dinosaur. I don’t have an e-reader…but I’m thinking of getting one. But there are so many choices…it’s enough to do my head in. So if any of you have any advice, feel free to tell me which e-reader you prefer.

Part of the reason I’ve procrastinated about getting an ereader is the fact that I ADORE going to a real bookstore and browsing around. Last Saturday night we went to the city center and I persuaded my long-suffering family to indulge me…much eyerolling…and I visited Borders. Heaven! My family—very sweetly—scanned the shelves for my April release, The Untamed Sheik (if any of you have read my Saxon Brides series, this is Megan’s story). The Untamed Sheik

Yet I have to admit that my fetish for bookstores is probably more costly than buying on line—so often I go to buy a book that I want NOW. I want instant gratification. But when I get there it turns out that the one copy they had in stock actually can’t be found. And my eye alights on another title…oh, must have that! By this time a copy of the original book that I’m after has been sourced—at another bookstore. Sigh. But because I really, really want that book…now, today…I’m off. By the end of my spree it’s cost me the book I originally came to buy, the impulse buy, plus two books out the specials bin and half-a-tank of gas!

So why do I do it when online ordering is so much less stressful, less time consuming…and usually much cheaper? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it’s the outing. It’s certainly an event. And there’s still something about going to a brick-and-mortar store. Seeing the piles of books…and paging through them. I love it. And if there’s a coffee shop, then that’s even better!

So what’s your favorite way of getting your hands onto books…or your eyes onto print? Bookstores? Online stores? Ebooks? And if you read ebooks…let me know which ereader you prefer—and why.

Mistaken MistressI’m giving away 10 copies of Mistaken Mistress, Joshua Saxon’s story. So if there are 10 comments are less everyone gets a copy. Otherwise I’ll draw ten random names from the commenters.



  1. Theresa N

    My favorite way is in the book store. I love being around all those books. Being able to see and touch them.

  2. Tessa Radley

    Theresa…yip…I’m with you. I love the rows of shelves, reading the book spines, looking at the covers that are turned out and the piles of books on the tables. Mmmm…

  3. Tessa Radley

    Shell, the one thing about that bet…it made me stop worrying about rejection :mrgreen:

  4. N.J. Walters

    I’ll take my books any way I can get them. LOL I love bookstores. There is nothing like browsing through the shelves and finding something wonderful.

    I also love shopping for ebooks. I can get books whenever I want. Doesn’t matter if the stores are closed. Books are only a few mouse clicks away. :-)

  5. Sandra Cox

    Great blog, ladies.

  6. Lucinda

    I love printed books. I’m beginning to like ebooks, because a lot of my friends are eauthors, and I’ve bought some of theirs. But I worked for a newspaper for 21 years, and I think I have ink in my blood. The first thing I do when I get a new book is open it up and smell the fresh ink. Yeah, weird, I know.

  7. Debra Kayn

    Great interview Shelley and Tess. Love the competition, lol.

    I’ve just recently bought an eReader. A present to myself after contracting on my first book. Like you, I had no idea what to get. I finally settled on the ETI-2 http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/shop/product.da/ereader-eti2 I admit, for me, it was the price that drew me in. I figured I had to start somewhere, and hated to spend the money if I didn’t like it.

    I do love it though. I’ve downloaded 16 books, and although I am still learning how to figure out what type of file to download to make it show up the best on the ereader, it is wonderful to read with. I thought it would be like reading on my lap top which gets old, but it isn’t. It is easy on the eyes, the battery life is long. Reading in bed no longer requires a book light, lol.

    I’m very happy with it.

  8. Julie Robinson

    Sounds to me like we have the same fetish, Tessa! I adore bookstores, especially those with coffee shops. I can spend days there browsing and never get tired of it. Sometimes, I’ll go to one to write just to feel the ambience of it all. The smell of books and coffee is inspirational for me.

  9. Julie Robinson


    Although I recently won a Sony eReader from the Wild Rose Press (new contest going on for this), I still love print books. I’m very tactile, and the sensory experience of holding a print book, feeling the pages, inhaling the scent of ink, paper, and binding materials (and sometimes leather) while losing myself in another world is intoxicating. My DH, however, being a high tech guy, prefers ebooks for me because they take up less room!

    Thanks, Shelley, for having Tessa.
    It looks like you two were good for each other with your contests. What a great way to motivate each other.

  10. booklover1335

    I am order most of the books I like to read online. I hate going to my bookstore looking for a particular book, only to find out the shipment has been delayed, or that they are out of stock, or I can order it and get it in a few days. What a disappointment. When I go into the store to buy, I want it right now. When I order online I know I will get exactly what I want, usually w/ free shipping and will get it in a few days.
    I am new to ebooks, and have only bought a few. I just bought a sony ereader and I love it. I researched both the sony and the kindle. But decided to go with the sony b/c I am then not committed to Amazon. It seems that everyone sells ebooks in PDF, so I can buy from any ebook seller, and shop around for the best deal.

  11. Judy Cox

    I also love to go to bookstores. I have always been a print book person, but I am buying some ebooks now. I love feeling the book in my hand also while I read. Over the years there are certain authors that are my favorites, I still buy their print books. But, there are so many of very good authors with so many genres that I love to read, that is where the ebooks are coming in handy. They are cheaper to buy and don’t have to find another place for a bookshelf :)

  12. Julie Robinson

    Hey booklover! That’s a good point about the Sony vs. the Kindle. Julie

  13. RachieG

    It’s hard NOt to go to a bookstore isn’t it? I totally agree..when I want a book, I try to do a bookstore b/c I WANT IT NOW! If I can pre-order and have it here on the day it comes out, I’ll do online…otherwise, I’m definetly supporting my local economy!! :D

  14. Alice Audrey

    I prefer brick and morter shopping mostly because I DON’T have a particular book in mind when I wander in. I want to be able to pick up and discard a dozen books before I settle in. At to the ereader – I’m still reading on my computer. Maybe someday I’ll read on a blackberry or something, or maybe someday they will lure me with my perfect model (screen size of a trade softbound with a little meter at the bottom that tells you how far into the book you are all the time.

  15. Mel K.

    Hi Tessa,
    OH, I can totally relate to your bookstore fetish. I call bookstores my ‘church’ as it’s a place I go to seek peace. I also go to walk amongst all the books and puchase some of them. If I can’t find a book I really want I’ll search several bookstores. My husband is a very patient man. He will take me from one place to another with no argument.
    My favorite way of getting my hands onto books is through bookstores or online if it’s an older title.
    I’d love to win a copy of “Mistaken Mistress”!!

  16. Voronda

    I love printed books and I have learned to love ebooks also. I am a bookstore junkie and no matter where I travel I have to visit the local bookstore.

  17. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I covet the Sony e-Reader, but I’d like to check out the readers that have come out in the past year, and whatever it is that B&N might be up to… So no e-reader for me, either, although I’ve got a pile of e-books.

    We stopped by our local indie store over the weekend and I was reminded again why I love it so much: the staff. They know so darn much, it brings a new facet to the books. Gotta love that.

  18. Amy W.

    Goodness Tessa, you made me giggle! I too covet a bookreader but just can’t afford one at present. I love going to a book store because for one thing there’s a kid section for my daughter to explore but secondly there is always an impulse buy of some author you hadn’t heard of that is marvelous or you see one of your favorite author’s has a new book out that you didn’t know about. With buying online if it’s not on their homepage, you don’t know about it. I’d miss out on a lot of books that way. Plus since I have no reader they are portable. But I also love e-books! The fast reads, lower prices and instant gratification at 1 am when I purchase are fabulous as well. Each has it’s appeal and so I don’t know if I’d could ever just choose one.

    Sorry to have been MIA. Emma had spring break, my dad was here. Now hubby’s dad is here and we temporarily don’t have our desktop as we’re ripping out the carpet and refinishing the hardwood underneath. Oh and did I mention school? Busy, busy, busy!

  19. JOYE

    Enjoyed reading the comments and excerpts. I have added the books to my TBR list-they sound so good.
    I guess I am an old-fashioned reader since I like to buy my own books, hold them in my hands, and if I plan to read them again, I put them on my keeper shelves. If you read a good book on an e-reader, where is your keeper shelf?

  20. Roberta Harwell

    Hello Tessa,

    My favorite bookstore and only bookstore in our community is Wal-mart. We live in a rural area with no locally owned bookstores. I pick majority of my books online. However, I can’t seem to get out of Wal-mart without at least one new book added to my TBR pile. Have a great day.

  21. Julie Robinson

    Exactly Joye!

  22. Eva S

    I love print books, and I’d love to get them in bookstores! I can spend hours there!! Unfortunately it’s very hard to find my kind of books over here, so I have to order them online… I’m not so very fond of ebooks yet, I love my bookshelves.

  23. J.K. Coi

    Hi Tessa! I love books, any kind. I’ll go to the brick and mortar store at least once a month, which is less than usual because I’m finding I buy a lot more ebooks online now. I can’t get enough :)
    Congrats on your latest release.

  24. Donna S

    When I need it immediately I go to the bookstore. And yes I usually end up with more than I went there to get. If I know I have other books to read and am not going to have to read it right away I will do the online ordering. But then I also usually end up with more than I was online for, especially when you get free shipping deals.

  25. Amy Ruttan

    I love it all. Print and e-book. I don’t have an e-reader yet, but as I publish with Ellora’s Cave, Cerridwen Press and Linden Bay I better get my rear in gear and get a better reader than my computer.

    Great interview ladies.

  26. Carol Thompson


    I agree with you 100%.

    I can’t see myself ever really getting into e-books.

    I am sure they are great for those who are madly into mobile phones and SMS messaging but I am too much of an old fogey to ever forget my paperback or hardcover novel !

    The new Luddites RULE ! ! !

  27. Gayle Oreluk

    That’s O.K. Tessa. I don’t have an e reader either. I’m chained to my computer for a couple of hours a day just reading. I love it but my husband misses me sitting by him as I read.

    The Kindle is by far the best out there according to my son but he and my husband now want me to wait until Christmas to buy one as the Kindle 3 is coming out with several new features that will improve on the 2. I tell them I don’t want to wait but I’m still saving for one so it will probably be Christmas before I have enough to get one. I can’t wait.

    They are definitely worth the cost for what they are able to do. Good luck on deciding what to purchase.

  28. Jane

    Hi Tessa,
    I love browsing in bookstores, but since I don’t usually have that much time to spare I make most of my purchases through online bookstores. It’s convenient and the books are shipped directly to your door. I do read ebooks, but since I don’t have a reader I read them on my computer. I would love to have a Kindle.

  29. Sunnymay

    Bookstores draw me in, because they have books and I check monthly to see what’s new. Reading the personal recommendations on the shelves at an indie bookstore gives me more ideas. I don’t have an e-reader since I’ve got my own huge collection of books. You know the bumper sticker, I stop for garage sales?
    Well, I stop for books.

  30. Sheia Gallagher

    My favorite way to buy books is the local bookstore which is huge. If they don’t have what I want, they’ll order it. I do have an e-book reader. I have the Sony PRS-700. I like it. It has 5 sizes of fonts and a 2 brightness light built-in. It’s easy to use. The light does use the battery fast but you don’t need to have a well-lit area to read it.

  31. Pat Cochran

    Hi, Tessa, I’m a books-in-the-bookstore
    person. I like the browsing, you never know what treasures you might find! I also love the “comfort” of holding an actual book in my hands. I am comforted by the continuation of a life-long activity. I’ve been reading since I was five so that gives me some sixty-eight years of being totally surrounded by books.

    Pat Cochran

  32. Lisa N.

    I’m a bookstore girl. I will go online to find out what books are coming out and make a list of what I want to look for, but I usually don’t buy anything unless I’m looking at it. Unless it’s an author that I know I will like, I like to read the back and maybe flip through a few pages to see if I like it enough to buy.

  33. Shelley Munro

    Tessa – sure did! And the good thing is that we’re now both published. Those rejections obviously helped us both. :mrgreen:

    Booklover – So the Sony takes a PDF format? I must admit I’ve been eying a Sony reader. I can’t get them in NZ though so would have to wait for a visit to the US. I mostly buy books in pdf format anyway so that would work out well.

    Tessa – I adore bookshops and spend many happy hours browsing, much to hubby’s frustration. I do tend to order online though because I can get exactly what I want. During the last year I’ve switched to mainly ebooks because I can get them straight away when the mood hits me. I don’t have to wait. LOL waiting for all those rejections hasn’t done a thing for my patience!!

  34. Julie Robinson

    I’m like Alice. I go in a bookstore to browse, not for anything more specific than just being there.

  35. Shelley Munro

    Amy W – I figured you were busy. I hope all the homework is going well!! :grin:

    Susan – I agree about the Indie bookstores. The personal touch is sometimes lacking in the larger chains. It seems to depend very much on the store.

  36. Shelley Munro

    Hi Julie – I have to agree about the browsing. Often I’m checking out non-fiction books when I’m in a store. I’m not sure exactly what I want.

  37. Tessa Radley

    N.J. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. There’s definitely always that hope of finding something wonderful…I think that’s probably the very essence of what draws me back to bookshops. Kind of like the story about the kid that finds a magic book in an attic, I suppose :grin:

    Thanks, Sandra!

    Lucinda, that’s my dilemma too. Those friends’ books I MUST have. LOL. Love the ink in your blood—and smell of fresh ink. That’s so cool.

    Debra thanks for the advice—I’m cutting and pasting that. I’m a bit of a technodunce so the idea of spending a fortune on something that I might never be able to use with ease broods in the back of my mind too—so price becomes a factor, because I might discover I bought the wrong model for me. Great to hear that it’s wonderful to read with. I fancy carrying it around with me and reading in those windows of time when I’m waiting around for kids.

  38. julia

    Hi Tessa! It’s fun to meet a good friend and writing buddy of Shelley’s. I’m old school all the way when it comes to books. I love book stores, libraries and print books and I’m sure I always will. I’ve quite gotten into ebooks, though – but I don’t have an e-reader. I just read them on my computer at my desk.

  39. Tessa Radley

    Julie, I’m with you. There’s something so special about the smell of books and coffee. Definitely not possible to ever get tired of. Thanks for sharing about the Sony eReader—I’ve heard heaps of good stuff about it. I think that’s definitely a guy thing—mine would love to get rid of all the books and bookshelves in the house. But he’s not convinced that an ereader will end my book habit :grin:

    Booklover, that’s me to a T. If I want that book, I want it now! :smile: That’s one of the few frustrations about ordering online—having to wait. It takes time (sometimes 6-10 days) to get books here. But the free shipping is a perk—no gas and time wasted. Your thoughts about the Kindle are valid—and that’s another good report for the Sony eReader. Thanks! And I see Rachie’s another member of the I WANT IT NOW club LOL. And I agree about supporting local economy. I pre-ordered Sharon Page’s The Club and set it aside to read as a treat when I’d met a deadline. But we have a new puppy…and oh, dear…the puppy chewed off that beautiful cover and the first 16 pages! Groan. Now I need another copy…

    Judy, that’s a great idea—to buy fav authors in books and the rest of one’s must-read list in eBook. Have to admit one of the reasons I’m eyeing an eReader is because I’ve run out of shelf space!

  40. Tessa Radley

    Oooh, yes, Alice, that pick up and browse and discard is definitely part of the fun! LOL about the meter that tells you how far in you are. When I’m reading a thriller I’m always conscious of how many pages are left for the world to be saved..will there be enough page space to do it?

    Hi Mel, ah, wandering from bookstore to bookstore is my idea of heaven!! You lucky woman, hang onto that man! He’s a true hero :smile:

    Voronda, you’re definitely a soulmate, if I’m on holiday I like to go scope the local bookstores too.

    And Susan, you must be hearing the same buzz about the Sony eReader that I’m hearing. But I agree that one needs to look at all the options. I love indies too. And the staff are always memorable characters—and so knowledgeable. And it’s always great to be in the company of someone who is The Ultimate Book Lover.

    Amy, yes! My kids love bookstores too. But when I take them it means that the bookstore budget balloons! My older boy is into sport star bios—hardcovers with glossy photos and hundreds of pages. Ouch! And I love that moment of finding a book by a fav author that you didn’t even know existed. And there goes the rest of the day….

    Hi Roberta—how wonderful to live in a rural area. And thank goodness for Wal-mart. Online ordering must be an absolute necessity for you.

    Joye, thanks for taking the time to read. :grin: I’m also a keepshelf addict! And every now and then I lend a keeper out and don’t get it back—then I HAVE to replace it. I love going back to keeper and dipping back in. I hadn’t really thought about what to do with keepers on an eReader…can one file books separately? What if the eReader gets wet? Will one lose all those keepers? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. Horrid thought. Or does one do what Judy suggested and go buy a hard copy for your keeper shelf? That means buying the book twice….ouch, my book budget! :eek:

  41. Nancy Gilliland

    I just love books, period. But I love to find bookstores where I can find treasure, you know those older books that no one realizes are there till you find them. As for ebooks, I have a Palm TX and I absolutely love it. I read on the bus every day to and from my job, and any time I have to go anywhere that takes more than 10 minutes. I don’t worry about losing the books saved, because anything that is on my TX is also on my pc and can be reloaded if I get a different reader. And I have backup copies on an SD card as well. I still love print books too, and I will read just about anything, be it print or electronic.

  42. Janet H

    Hi Tessa,

    I don’t have an ereader, either. I love to go to the bookstore and loiter LOL. It takes about 1/2 a tank of gas for me to travel, but I love to go in a look and touch and drool!

  43. Tessa Radley

    Eva…they’re well spent hours of pure enjoyment, aren’t they? J.K. Thanks for the congrats! And you’ve mentioned a bit of a worry…I think ebooks might just mean I order more books. It looks so easy to do. Good idea though to keep going to a bookstore once a month…

    Donna, good to know that I’m not the only one who ends up with more than I intended. LOL about having the same problem online—is it those sneaky recommendations that they have?

    Amy, congrats on being multipublished. That’s awesome! My computer is so slooow already I daren’t clog it up any more with too many books…

    Carol, it takes me ages to text…I’m definitely a dinosaur. LOL. And there’s definitely something special about holding a real, live (well, you know what I mean :smile: ) book. Gayle, with winter coming, I love sitting in front of the fire and reading after supper while the men in the house watch TV, so I don’t think reading on a ‘puter works for me. I’ve heard some raves about the Kindle—but I haven’t done any research on one. I need to have a really good look at it methinks. I hope you get that Kindle 3 for Christmas—what a lovely gift that would be!

    Jane, I think it’s definitely the convenience aspect that makes online ordering so attractive. But glad to see that so many of you still enjoy a good ol’ browse in the bookstore!

  44. Tessa Radley

    Ooh, yes, Sunnymay, I also look for those reading recommendations at my local store. LOL about stopping for books…that’s too cool. Sheila, thanks for the comments about your eReader—I’m filing that! You lucky woman having a huge bookstore…definitely my idea of heaven.

    Hi Pat…nice to see you. I love hearing that reading has given you so much pleasure for so many years. And yes, bookstores are like treasure troves, aren’t they? Lisa, sounds like you’re definitely a tactile buyer. You’re way more organized than me! But having a list of what you know you want is the perfect way to shop! Shell, I still detest rejections :grin: Do you find ordering on line keeps your book budget better under control?

    Julia, Shelley is an absolute darling! Nice to meet another old school reader…although I definitely think the time has come for me to be pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st century…:smile: Janet, I’m grinning at the image of you loitering in the bookstore—what a fabulous word! Don’t envy you the ½ tank of gas though. Happy reading.

    I’ll be back a bit later to talk some more…

  45. Julie Robinson

    One last note on the Sony eReader:
    My DH, whose job is working with computers says that the PDF format is the most versatile. In other words, technology is always changing; therefore, PDF format will probably be the most compatible with future eReaders, as it is the most compatible right now with a different forms of eReading.

    Hope that makes sense.

  46. Julie Robinson

    P.S. It’s also why I like print books better. Just as the VCR is being replaced by DVD’s, I’m afraid I won’t have some books as keepers. And I would rather them be on my shelves to pull out when I want than to have old technology that doesn’t work well in 10 years or so. But that’s me. The DH and I are total opposites because I’m ‘quaint’ as he calls it!

  47. Cafey

    Hi Tessa! Great to meet you! And hearing about your books!

    I read both ebooks and prints. I use a EBookWise reader so with the Harlequin books and all the NY pubs, I can’t use their formats on my reader, so I read the smaller pubs on there. Those NY books, I use prints to read. So it goes both ways for me. It doesn’t matter unless its a book I do want to keep which is often, that I get the print for too!

  48. Patricia Barraclough

    I like print books. Have tried reading on line which is ok for short stories, but for a book it doesn’t work. Haven’t tried the Ereaders yet. Am not sure about them. There is just something about paper.

  49. Tessa Radley

    Julie, that makes perfect sense! And I hear you on the VCR. I worry about that too. My son is reading my copy of Lord of the Rings, which was a birthday present on my 9th birthday. Now if that had been an ebook where would that copy be?? :eek:

    My hubby laughed at me the other day because I had some notes I wanted to access that I’d saved onto an old disk. Needless to say, those discs no long fit into any drive in the house!! Very frustrating…now if I’d hand-written them into a spiral notebook and shelved it, I would have had those notes in minutes. Cafey, an eBookWise reader? That’s another one to go look up for me…thanks for sharing. So you have a keeper shelf too.:grin:

    Patricia, I like paper too! As several people today said, it must be the feel and smell of books that make them so special!

    I’ll be back later…


  50. Cynthya

    I love browsing in bookstores, but I have a Sony Reader and am loving ebooks more all the time. I have about 350 now. I like not having to find storage room for them since I already have 16 bookshelves in my house, and I love the instant gratification of buying an ebook online and reading it right away. I also think the ereader is easier to hold and read than print books.

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