The Naked Bookseller Bares All: Maryelizabeth Hart on Embracing her eBook
by Maryelizabeth Hart
Two decades have wrought a lot of changes in technology, not the least of which are the advent of the electronic commute, and the emergence of ebooks. While the former has more of a daily impact on my life (That whole “naked bookseller” could be more than an intriguing metaphor – who’d know?), as I work from my off-site office communicating with publicists, authors, and other publishing colleagues, I’ve discovered I’m enjoying the latter more than I initially anticipated.
Part of what took me a while to warm to ebooks was my own technological limitations. I am not always on the best terms with the inanimate or the electronic, so I was hesitant to get an ereader. And because I spend my workdays on my computer, I wasn’t interested in reading ebooks that way. And for the record, I don’t own a smart phone or tablet (I live in the boonies with limited interwebs access by choice, not in a major metropolitan area). So I wanted a dedicated ereader, one that wasn’t a Big Evil Internet Bully proprietary device, and probably one that wasn’t a chain, bricks-and-mortar store one. None of the alternatives really worked for me until last winter, when the IndieBound stores had the opportunity to partner with Kobo to provide ebooks and ebook readers to our customers. And now I enjoy my Kobo mini.
As someone who’s actually managed to run out of books while traveling, I love taking lots of books with me, while only having one or two physical books in my carry-on bag. (Hey, you can’t read ebooks during takeoff or landing, and the in-flight magazine’s only good for, like, one of those per month.) I love being in my office in the middle of nowhere and having a book recommended to me and “picking it up” immediately, if I am so inclined. I love that I just downloaded the severely under-appreciated Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces, the prequel to his dark rural fantasy trilogy, that was one of my favorite hand-sells of the past few years. I love a number of electronic only books and collections, whether new works or out-of-print physical books that would otherwise be unavailable for me to recommend via Mysterious Galaxy, where we only sell new books.
I don’t love that the aforementioned Big Evil Internet Bully and its device have achieved the status of Xerox, Kleenex, or Jello in too many people’s minds, but that’s a rant for another day.
Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy’s Events Coordinator, Publicity Manager, and co-owner, works from an office located approximately 500 miles as the raven flies from the storefronts.
LARB’s Naked Bookseller welcomes the longtime booksellers at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and Redondo Beach to the blog! Be sure to catch the rest of their posts this weekend.
Find out more about the Naked Bookseller Program here.
Well what do you know? My book (now only $2.99) turned up on the LARB tumblr.