The Future of Reading

My first book was published in 1984 and had the oh-so-exciting title, Creating the Perfect Database. It was published by a major publisher (Scott-Foresman) and launched a writing career that has continued for nearly thirty years. Along the way, I moved from non-fiction to suspense/thrillers and historical adventure. I’ve seen many authors come and go and a very few remain entrenched in this industry.

And over the past five years, I have witnessed a revolution.

It was about five years ago when I made comments during many of my public appearances that although the rest of the world seemed to be moving full steam ahead with regard to technological advancements, the major publishers seemed determined to do things as they always had. But since then, with the wide acceptance of the Internet and eBooks, small to mid-size publishers haven’t waited for the Big Guys to take the lead. Instead, they have led the publishing industry into the next century—with the major publishers following.

I received an iPad for Christmas. My husband already had one and all my books have been available (through a smaller press) as eBooks. I thought for a while that I wanted the feel of a paperback, the smell of the paper, the ease of carrying it on a plane, in my handbag, on the beach. What caused me to change my mind is simple. I ran out of space.

Over the past three years, I have donated hundreds of books to nursing homes, libraries and schools simply because my bookshelves were overflowing. I would finish a great book and want to keep it to read again later, only to find that I had no place to put it. Books were crammed in, some lying sideways across the tops of others, and many more were stacked on nightstands, end tables and any available horizontal space. I tried placing a box on the back porch in which to put books I didn’t think I’d read again; when the box was full, off I went to a non-profit to donate it. And still those I did want to keep grew and grew and grew.

I’ve read several books since the first of the year on my new iPad and I am hooked. I love the backlighting and the ability to change the font size. But most of all, I love the fact that I can finish a book and still keep it in the palm of my hand. It takes up no more space than an invisible speck on a chip I will never see.

I am told if the average eBook is 200KB, I can store more than 50,000 books on my iPad. The knowledge at my fingertips is mind-boggling. What’s more is the way my grandchildren use it: they are adept at computers by the age of three, they know intuitively how to move through a book and can even show me how to create individual libraries and organize them. Their future is one of electronic books; not of bookshelves crammed full with paper that can crumble and fade over time. But one of the world at their fingertips; books provided by anyone who wants to write them, without regard for whether a few editors think them worthy enough to be published. The authors’ fate is in their hands.

And when my grandchildren move—as they will throughout their lives, from home to a college dorm to perhaps a new job in a new city… From an apartment to marriage and a house and perhaps a larger home as their own children arrive… They won’t have hundreds of heavy boxes filled to the brim with books carried from childhood. They will simply pick up their iPad, their Nook, their Kindle or another eReader—and carry it with the same ease in which they carry their car keys.

p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books. Vicki's Key, one of the first books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was one of five finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense) and 2012 USA Best Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense.) River Passage, an historical work based on her ancestor's migration to Fort Nashborough in 1779-1780, won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award. The Nashville (TN) Metropolitan Government Archives determined it to be so historically accurate that they entered the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.
Prior to becoming a full-time author in 2002, terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the United States Secret Service, CIA, Department of Defense and federal and local law enforcement. Her specialty is in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence. Her experience in these areas have greatly influenced her books' plots.

She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy and reduce crime.

For more information on Book 'Em North Carolina, visit and

p.m.terrell's website is and her blog is

p.m. will be awarding a Celtic Knot Necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour so I e
ncourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. 


  1. I suppose it is possible to have too many books, but too many of them are friends I'm not yet ready to part from.


  2. I also have many books and I have donated many. There are certain books I will never part with.


  3. Thank you for hosting me here today!
    Mary and Ingeborg, thanks for following the book tour. I, too, still have some books - especially those that have been autographed - that I won't be giving away. But I already feel lighter as I purchase the books on my iPad and then donate the printed copy. And those authors are actually getting the benefit of two sales from me, since I am purchasing their work all over again in electronic form. It will be very interesting to see how things evolve over the next ten or twenty years!

  4. That's great you've donated so many books

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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