The Rise of Mobile Reading

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens

For years I would see people toting along their Kindles or Nooks on the subways in New York City and would think to myself that I’d never get one. The feel and smell of physical book, especially an old one, was always an attraction and part of the fun of the reading experience. It got you in the mood and launched you into the adventure of a new story. Furthermore, I’d argue against e-Readers on the grounds that if I spent over ten hours behind a computer every day, why would I continue to want to look at a screen after that? When I’m done for the evening, I’m done. My eyes are tired of looking at a screen.

Another reason why I avoided them for years was that I’m an antiquarian book collector. There’s something sensual and wonderful about an old book that gets lost in an electronic form. If given the chance, I will still buy an old used copy of something even if is available for free online at a site like or available as a reprint in a cheap paperback, which often has a lousy layout and is not typeset all that well.

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens
It’s unfortunate that antique and used brick-and-mortar bookstores along with many indie bookstores are dying out because of high rents and overhead. Often, I’m seeking research material and not a specific title. That’s when it’s not only tough to make purchases online, but many times it’s an intuitive feel in the shopping experience that leads me to the perfect choice. Over all, the whole fun of book buying is the browsing down the aisles, the sensory overload and the “happy accidents”. As far as I’m concerned, that cannot happen online.

So? How did you think I became a convert? Well, I’m not a total convert by a long shot. Every time I go to a new city the first thing I have to do is find out where the rare and secondhand bookstores are located, and hopefully I’ll track down an item I’d never find anywhere else. However, physical books, as much as I’ve been a die-hard fan for years have some drawbacks.

If you are commuting with a book, especially on crowded public transportation books can get damaged. Secondly, they can be heavy and difficult to hold with one hand while holding on to a pole to keep your balance. I can’t tell you how many people have literally had their newspapers shoved into my face while on buses or subways. They also can get unwieldy to tote around and can get beaten up stuffing them in purses, totes or backpacks. In addition, it’s easy to get all excited about a title and find out that the type is too small and the layout isn’t conducive to easy reading. After struggling with these examples, for Christmas 2016, I treated myself to my first Kindle Paper White e-Reader.

Leery at first, I loved it! Now mind you, I still haven’t sprung for an iPad yet, but its portability couldn’t be questioned. If I was going to be stuck going to a doctor’s office and back with the long lag time while I’m there, you just can’t beat it. However, the best thing I discovered was that I can read three times as fast with it. This totally supersedes the issue when the type is printed too small, because on a Kindle you can adjust the size to your comfort level. Shopping for new titles takes seconds with no concerns about how long it’s going to take to ship or whether or not you have gas in the car or bus fare, and guess what? It’s cheaper. Now I can justify spending more on a collectible item, because I’m saved a ton electronically. My recommendation? They’re here to stay. Take advantage of all options, and definitely be a convert like I am.

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens
Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, an alternate history/ 19th century “X Files” alternate history novel published by MX Publishing in London. Recently she won First Prize in Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction, is on the short list of finalists for Chanticleer’s 2016 Cygnus Awards for Speculative Fiction, Paranormal and the Ozma Award for Fantasy Fiction and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers. She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication,

Recently, she participated on panels at The World Fantasy Convention, MidAmericon II/Worldcon, Lunacon, Heliosphere, the Writer's Digest Conference, Queens Book Festival, Philcon and was also interviewed for the radio show, Hour of the Wolf. A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian is awaiting a publication date. Current work-in-progress is Killer Between My Sheets, a psychological/domestic suspense novel/series.

A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian scions, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.

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