The most important things to understand about the digital transition aren’t going to come from writers, publishers, or pundits. They’re going to come from readers. How are ebooks and digital reading devices affecting their habits, their purchasing decisions, their intake?
I’ve asked hundreds of people over the years. I bug strangers in airports and restaurants to find out what they’re reading, how they do most of their reading, and why. I was curious as an avid reader, then as a bookseller, and now as an author.
So I thought it might be useful to come clean about my reading habits. I’ve made the transition to all-digital reading. That might be hard to admit, but I’ve never been happier as a reader. I read a lot more, and it costs me quite a bit less.
What follows is an incredibly boring video. It’s me talking about my reading habits. But I wish, as an author and book lover, that I had access to hundreds of videos like this. It would help me understand the data on digital adoption, and it would help me plan for the future of publishing.
This is my confession as a digital immigrant.
One of the things I left out that I should have mentioned: Kindle Unlimited gets a lot of press on the writing side, but how does it affect my reading? When I finish a book and get several recommendations from Amazon, if one of those books is in KU (and one often is), I end up reading that book next. All else being equal, the free book wins out. (Not really free, because I pay a monthly subscription, but you know what I mean.) I read a lot of non-fiction, and I’m always surprised at how many quality books from major publishers are in KU. One of my current reads, The Joy of X, was picked up for this reason. It definitely influences my “purchasing” decisions.