Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hoping Doesn't Make it Possible


The book I'm reading at the moment assumes some questionable scenarios, like the fact that a third world country has jumped ahead of the everyone in a particular type of technology, and nobody else knew about it. Now they are teaming up with a rogue general of the US in a military coup to take over the US government. Yeah, not likely.

It turns out that this technology isn't really key to the story, so I don't know why the author went through the trouble of concocting the thread in the first place. The other parts of the story are actually pretty good.

The thread seems to more than anything else, detract from the real story. Unless he was trying to make a political statement of some sort, I don't see the point.

The end result is a story that doesn't hold together. Hoping that a thing could be true, doesn't necessarily make it true and in this case doesn't help the story.

Have you read any books where the author made a leap that was just a little too far? Or maybe way too far?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wish I could have met him


Have you ever read a biography and mumbled to yourself "I sure wish I could have met him". (or her)

It just happened to me.

I am almost done with "Fighter Pilot, The memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds", and loving the book. What a great look inside the life of someone who I consider to be larger than life.

I had never heard of Robin Olds before the book, but I am into a kind of history kick right now and thought it might be interesting to check it out. I wasn't disappointed.

I haven't read a lot of autobiographies, and I did have a little trepidation about reading this one, mainly because my first impression is that they might be self-serving. This one is definitely not. I'm sure he left out some bad decisions, some bad behavior, but he didn't leave out all of it, and what came through seemed to be an honest portrayal of a guy I'd like to hang out with. The kind of guy that didn't give a rat's ass about political agendas, or covering up the truth to prevent putting some idiot in a bad light. He spoke his mind no matter what happened because he felt he had to.

I was captured by his ability to "do the right thing, no matter what", and using commonsense instead of relying on stupid rules and regulations that may have been well intentioned, but at the end of the day had nothing to do with commonsense.

There are a lot of flying stories, so if you are into that it's a great book. I had never heard of some of the crazy flying stuff that happened in Vietnam. It was incredible.

But even if you don't like flying the book shows the human side of World War II, Korea, and a bitter description of the Vietnam era.

For me this book is going to have a bittersweet ending. I actually don't want it to end, but I'm going to finish it very soon. And unfortunately there won't be more to the story because Robin Olds passed away in 2007. To me that's really sad. I would have loved the chance to meet the man behind the legend.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Slammed


I've been absent from the blog recently because I am raising money for a new startup. I came up with a fantastic idea, built a prototype, and filed a provisional patent. It was a lot of work, but so far it has been worth it because when I talk to potential investors, they love it. No one has written a check yet, but I feel that it is only a matter of time.

What is funny is that there are some interesting parallels to publishing. Just like in publishing a good intro goes a long way. Just like in publishing people have to fall in love with your work. In publishing they have to love it enough to push it through through the arduous process, in fund raising, they have to believe in it enough that they are willing to invest some of their precious resources in it. In both cases there is a limited amount of time and money.

Where it is different is that in publishing there is a chance, though small, that you can gain an agent's attention by the query process. In fund raising, that almost never happens. If you don't know someone, it's almost impossible unless your product targets a market with a specialized fund.

I've had some great meetings, but I'm far from done. My writing has effectively been put on the back burner until I get this done, but hopefully soon I'll be back with a vengeance.

Writing is a solitary process and this makes it hard to network. Make sure you take time to expand your contacts, you never know when one of them will turn into the key to getting your work published.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Coffee Shop Roundup, Part III, Now with Random Snorts

This economy blows.

The writing refuge has undergone the slow dance of change. The owners of the coffee shop let go over half the baristas. The evening baristas are out—instead, the owners, brother and sister, work the afternoon and early evening away.

They did not have this in mind when they bought the business I am sure. Some people invest in small businesses as a means to diversify their steady income streams. Don’t stick all the eggs in one basket, and all of that. Hire a good manager and let her sweat the details. Good plan, until everybody starts cutting their spending in half. Suddenly the manager is too expensive. Suddenly the shop needs you not as an investor, but to work.

The coffee tastes the same.

Nubile pretty, Allan is not.

I am sure he wants to go back to playing golf.

Epic Fantasy Book Reading Dude still comes into the shop. Yesterday he was actually reading a smaller trade paperback, obviously borrowed. Indeed, he looked like he was reader twenty-five or something—such was the wear on the book. I wonder if Epic Fantasy Book Reading Dude bought it used. It didn’t have a used sticker on it. The writer in me holds on to the small thread that this is a book passed down from friend to friend.

Work is consuming and too much of it occurs here, not because the economy blows, but because it’s so damn fascinating. Would a less intellectually stimulating job leave room for the fiction that needs to bathe in creative juices?

I wonder.

There are more people here working on… something… in the coffee shop. Handsomely Dressed Expensive Laptop Business Man hasn’t made an appearance in over three months, replaced by three other peoples of various persuasions: Homeschool Mommy with Two Fine Teenage Sons, New College Girl, and Perpetual Frown Woman.

The morning crew is still the same. Replacing the morning baristas would be a colossal business mistake and the owners aren’t dumb. The customers in the morning are all the same too, either people going off to work or mommies meeting other mommies with their bundle of cuteness in tow. I rarely set up shop in the morning, but I wonder if I did, what changes I would see?

There seems to be more readers, in the coffee shop. I spotted a book on an iPad, in addition to the occasional Kindle.

I’ve drank the cool-aid and Kindle got my business. I love reading books on my phone, and my new Windows 7 phone had a Kindle app. It did not have a Barnes and Nobel app like my old phone. It’s not as if I have a particular devotion of Amazon, it’s just blazingly clear that Amazon loves me (or, specifically my money) but all these other sellers don’t.

I only buy books that I would not lend to other people, because Kindle book lending still sucks rocks, but I devour books, selfishly only for me, on my phone. I’ve bought a book in bed. I’ve bought a book at the coffee shop and started reading a minute later. I bought a book at the office during lunch over my PC and told Amazon to send it to my phone.

And it did.

This is a reader drug. I feel like a teenager just discovering that kissing girls is great and wonder what else I can get that girl to do.

Thinking about teens and girls brings up the wondering about the afternoon baristas, and not in an Uncle Pervy way. Those girls loved their jobs. Did they find other afterschool jobs? What are they doing now? The coffee taste the sane, but Allan is no flirt. Maybe I should switch my hours, work in afternoons, and do some writing in the mornings.

Bah. Mornings are too noisy.

This economy blows.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Are Your Characters Real?


To a writer, this seems like an obvious question... Duh, no, they are characters, they are not real.

Well that's not what I am talking about. What I am asking is could your character exists in real life?

The answer to this question may not be as obvious. Some writers do use characters from real life, but unless it is a biography, there is some peril in doing so. I think we've all heard the stories about writers who asked permission to use a friend as a character, yet when the character showed up on the page, and the description wasn't as glowing as the friend thought it would be, it was a source of extreme irritation.

I try not to do that.

Though I may have borrowed an interesting characteristic from a friend once in a while, (without them knowing), I don't use enough so that they would recognize themselves. I blend them together.

So if your characters are not borrowed from real people, that means they are made up. They are inventions, and that's OK.

My question is, could they be real people?

If the answer is yes, then I think you probably have a believable character, but there is a flip side to that. Do you have an interesting character?

If you model your character after a person that you might meet everyday, that could have a chilling effect on your novel. There has to be something unique about that character that makes them interesting. But unless you are writing science fiction or fantasy, it cannot be so unique that the person literally could not exist.

It's like trying to come up with a new flavor of ice cream. You can add strawberry, to mango, or chocolate to vanilla, but adding roast beef to strawberry is probably not going to work out so well. Don't try to make them so unique that it doesn't work.

For instance I think it's highly unlikely that you could have a Geisha character that was also a heavyweight body builder. The two don't mix.

Keep your characters interesting. Don't make them too bland, but don't stretch the boundaries so far that they become impossible either. It's not easy, but it is a key attribute of great writers.

How about you? How do you stretch your characters but keep them real? Do you have any examples of ones that didn't work for you?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Plot Threads


I could get really technical and describe the interaction of the characters in your plot to be like the threads of execution that occur in a computer operating system, but I'm afraid that unless you are a software engineer, that doesn't really help.

I consider the adventures of each character to be a single stream, or thread of the story. Most of the literary descriptions call them subplots. The character starts at one place, travels through the story, and ends at another location. I guess they could come back to the same place, but the character would have to go through some kind of change, or what's the point?

Every scene in which the character appears is another length of the thread for that character, and for the story to flow, the different pieces of thread had better connect. If they don't, the story can break down.

It's a tricky business to make sure not only does the thread connect along the way, but doesn't seem to come from a different direction other than the one already traveled. There had better be a logical flow or the story won't work.

If the story is only about one character, that process may not be that hard, though I'm not sure I would find the story all that interesting. Most of the truly interesting stories are those with heavy interactions between different characters.

OK, so if the story has multiple threads converging and diverging, how do you manage those interactions so that at the end of the day every thread maintains a logical flow?

It's not easy.

What works for me is to write each thread of the story separately. Keeping in mind what I think is going to happen in other threads of the story I write the current thread.

Of course along the way, I discover that a character doesn't want to behave as I expected, and things have to change. Usually I make a note of the change that needs to happen in the other thread and keep going, though sometimes it is a big enough change that I feel I have to go revisit the other thread right away to keep things consistent.

FYI, this is also the reason that I have found tools like Scrivener to be so useful for managing individual plot threads.

When I have all the threads done, I integrate them together. Unfortunately I don't think you can write each plot thread separately, then simply squish them together and call it good. That's what rewriting is for.

What I do is write the different threads, then start the process of weaving them together. I connect in the dangling pieces, reign in the threads from the wrong direction, until, at the end of the day, I have something that resembles a rope.

Even then I usually have a few revisions to go through, but at least for me, it's easier than writing separate pieces of multiple threads.

How about you? Do you write complete threads? or do you write each piece at a time?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Balancing Your Writing Time


How do you balance your writing time, with your other time? Whether it be personal time, family time, work time, game time, grandkid time, heck any time... How do you do it?

The only way that I can do it, is to pick a particular time to day to write, budget myself a specified amount of writing time, and hide from everyone else. That's the only way I can make it work.

My writing time, is lunchtime. There are days when my lunches get taken up with meetings with other co-workers, friends, or my spouse, but otherwise, it's pen to notebook or fingers on the keyboard.

I know there are some people that wake up at 0-dark-hundred, fall out of bed, and immediately start typing. I can't do that. I at least have to have my coffee first. I would also need a shower to get the brain cells warmed up before I can start flogging them.

There are other people that wait until the kids and spouse are asleep and write in the middle of the night. I can't do that either. Once it gets past 9 pm or so, my brain has already packed his bag and is headed for the door.

So that leaves me no choice. I have to carve out time during the day, and by carve I mean with the same finesse as I have when I use a chainsaw.

How about you? When are you the most efficient writer? When are you the least efficient? How do you balance your writing time?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Am I a Dinosaur?


I still write on paper, not longhand, but I print. I know to some of you that sounds like a laborious process, but it actually works well for me.

I cannot do longhand, my longhand looks like a cockroach ran through a pool of spilled ink, then dragged his belly across the page. It's pretty much unreadable.

But for some reason, when I print, it's readable, and I can do it very fast. Much faster than I can type. When I try to type, it's almost as if I have invisible constraints on my brain. It's as though I'm worried about draining the laptop battery rather than getting the words typed in. I'm just not as creative. The words don't flow.

I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that I am a programmer. When I write software, I have to be very precise about every character. Even one character out of place can make the program fail to compile, or worse yet, fail to work.

I wonder if that is the issue that holds me back from typing my manuscript directly into the computer.

I am getting better. I used to write this blog the same way, on paper first, then type it in. But that's changing. I typed this one in directly.

There are definitely disadvantages to writing on paper. It's a lot harder to do a search for something. It's a lot harder to completely erase something that isn't working and start fresh. Then again, maybe that's a good thing. Sometimes that can bring back old ideas in a fresh way.

But from what I can tell, the only really good thing about writing on paper is that it works for me. I hope I can make the transition. I'm afraid if I don't, I might just become extinct.

How about you? What works for you?

Monday, February 28, 2011

E-book Reader


Do you have one yet? Are you going to get one soon?

In my case the answers to these are yes, and no.

As I have mentioned before I have both an iPad and a Kindle. For just the pure reading experience, you're going to have to pry the Kindle out of my hands with a crowbar. The iPad works well, as long as you are indoors.

I actually "prefer" reading books on a Kindle, versus one of those things made out of dead trees, and it's for a very simple reason. Because I read a lot in bed on my side, I hate fighting to keep the dead tree thing open to the right page, and having to shift my hands about while trying to go to the next page. On my Kindle I simply push the button and I'm on the next page. It seems trivial, but for me it lets me read longer without getting tired.

The Kindle is also light enough that I don't necessarily have to hold it on my lap, when reading sitting up. That's not true of the iPad. It weighs enough that it has to be lap mounted or very quickly your arms feel like there is a elephant hanging off the end.

Books on the Kindle are more expensive than in paperback, but a lot less than hardback. I justified the price of my original Kindle based on the savings due to hardback book costs, and it has already paid for itself.

For an author that might seem sacrilegious, I mean we should be supporting our industry, right? But here's the deal. No matter how much we may or may not want to see the industry moving toward the e-book, it's going to happen. It just a matter of time.

For me, the Kindle has also been quite a boon to my sales. I self published a book a couple years back and it did "OK" in the dead tree version, but the sales of my Kindle version are easily 10X and continuing to climb.

Yes, I am a techno-geek and always one of the first with new gadgets, but the Kindle is one of the ones that I truly use every day.

How about you? Have you made the plunge? When are you going to? because I can tell you, it's not if.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Can Dialog Be Too Fast?


I'm reading a book right now and the first two chapters are basically a Prologue for what is going to happen later. Books from 50 years ago might have had a huge information dump to give all the back story details. Remember, some of those authors were paid by the word.

That doesn't fly with today's readers. In the age of the Internet, you start as close to the end of the story and work your way back, at least that's what we're told.

Seems like good advice. Get the story rocking, get the reader involved and then give them the information dump.

Up until now, I've agreed with this approach, but this latest book has me scratching my head a little. It almost seems too fast.

It could be the author's style, short sentences tend to make the action seem faster. Long ones tend to slow things down. But it seems more than that. The exchanges are so lightning fast between characters that I almost feel like I'm sitting at the center of a tennis match watching the ball go back and forth between players.

Is there such a thing as dialog that's too fast?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tension


If you read writing blogs, you hear over and over about how you need to have tension in your writing. If you attend one of Donald Maas's fabulous seminars, he says the same thing. In fact Donald even goes further and talks about having tension on every page.

I agree a hundred percent.

Tension is what keeps you reading. Tension can help bring out emotion, or in most cases make a situation emotionally stronger.

So how do you do that exactly?

Well you could put a bomb in your protagonists back pocket with a timer set to the end of the book, but that's not really very realistic, is it?

The thing is, the tension doesn't have to be life or death, although that's of course one of the strongest ways to do it. It could be simply that two siblings don't get along and it creates tension because you the reader, care about the fact that they are not getting along.

It could be that your character wants something that they cannot have, a lover, monetary status, social status, it doesn't matter as long as it's something that they don't have, but they want.

I'm reading a book right now, where the author has done it a little differently, and it's working very well. It's a variation of the bomb in the back pocket.

One of the main characters is someone you don't want to see hurt, a true patriot, always willing to put it all on the line, someone that we would all like to be, but probably never will. That's not to say that he's perfect, no one is, but he's one of those characters that a lot of us can relate to.

OK, so he's attacked by a group of mercenaries, but they don't kill him, instead, they place what looks like a normal credit card in his wallet. Only this credit card has the ability to transmit his position to the bad guys that attacked him. They are trying to use him to find another person, because our main character thinks like the other person, and will likely anticipate his moves.

It seems pretty easy, and contrived, but I have to say that the author has done a great job of making the reader believe that it could be done, and that the main character has no idea. At least not yet.

The result is that every time I pick up the book, and this character appears, I can picture that card in his wallet, and I can feel the tension for him to find and remove it. It has helped the story immensely.

Of course this technique won't work with most stories, but the idea is not to stick a bomb in every character's pocket, it's to add tension in a way that fits with your story.

Have you read any books lately that used this effectively? How do you add tension?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sucking Face Killed the Stilted Puppies

Been working on a Secret Squirrel Contemporary YA novel for some time now, and today, I am puppy killer.

The main character in the novel is recovering from [redacted]. I researched recovery and the support one receives when Something Bad Happens.

One thing that helps people not feel so helpless is taking care of a pet. So, my main character got a puppy. Two, actually. Boston Terrier puppies. Who can resist the cute face of a Boston? I sure can’t. I get all gooey when my adult Boston looks at me, imagine TWO puppies and a teen girl.

This morning while I was working out trying to tame my writer’s butt (if you don’t know what writer’s butt is, start working out now!), I realized the puppies were not doing it for me because they weren’t doing it for the main character. Her puppy interaction, as she is coming to grips with her new life, was, God forbid, stilted.

How can I have stilted puppies? They are PUPPIES.

What was my main character trying to tell me? What did I miss?

She is pretty. She is vain. She isn’t exactly smart… anymore. She’s punchy, literally. She’s somewhat obsessed with boys. Her boyfriend in particular.

That’s when it hit me. Her boyfriend. He’s part of the experience of how she got to where she is. He’s more than just your run-of-the-mill boyfriend--he’s the personification of strength. Granted, he’s strength with a large side order of hormone, but still. A young man. She loves him.

She loves him… and he’s a fox. Somewhat of a studmuffin, actually.

Um, so what would a girl do with puppies when she has Mr. Charming Fox at her disposal?

Not a damn thing.

This morning, I selected all of the puppy text and deleted it.

I killed the puppies.

I am a puppy killer.

But I did add a great make-out session, so there is that.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lone Survivor


There have been few books lately that have really had an impact on me, but this one by Marcus Luttrell hit me hard. Over the years I have had uncles in the military, a brother-in-law in Iraq, and most recently one of my son's best friends went to Iraq as well.

The brother-in-law that went to Iraq was tough, because it was during the height of the conflict (second time around) and he was in bomb disposal. So yes, the movie the Hurt Locker was something that also touched me pretty hard. Dave is no longer my brother-in-law, but he did make it back from the war in one piece, though not his entire unit.

When my son's best friend went over, it wasn't quite as close, but I still wondered if he was going to make it back. Luckily by the time he got there, most of the fighting was already behind us.

This book, brings back a lot of those thoughts, but at a much higher level, because Marcus tells it from his own experience. Rather than simply getting the broad brush description from those I know, Marcus described what is was really like to become a Navy SEAL (a major accomplishment in itself), and then what it was like to be sent on missions in the Hindu Kush, where the locals traveled the terrain like mountain goats, hundreds of them ready to open up their AK-47s at you without notice.

There was a surprising turn of events in the story, that really humanized the Afghan people, but I'll let you read the book to find out about that.

You may not have the same connections to the military that I do, but even so, if you are an American that values your freedom, I think you will enjoy this book.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love Affair

I love writing.

I love it when my main character kisses someone for the first time. The soft lips, the visceral feel of intimacy, the scent of closeness. Does this mean that I'm a hopeless mush? Too much flirting with the baristas?

I love it when my characters make choices. Not choices born of necessity, but choices from the heart. From beyond the gut. A choice so deep that the result, good or bad, is everything. Sometimes it's a choice between very bad and really, really bad with a side of badness. But she made it, and it was real and THINGS HAPPENED because of it.

I love it when I can make the setting come alive. How many words are too many? Too few? If the setting seems like another character in the novel, I love that. That's how many words, that and no more.

I love plotting, I really do. I'm not a pantser, but I keep the outline only in my head. If it can't live there clearly and with distinction, the story isn't speaking to me.

I love creating individual voices for minor characters that are familiar yet not cliched. And this is so very hard. Hard enough that when it happens, I feel like doing a dance.

I love editing. I love taking three pages and making it a single paragraph that actually has more meaning and backstory.

I love how writing makes the day fade. My word processor doesn't care if I got stuck in traffic. The story demands my very best and my very best is what I give it. The novel is like a mistress or a lover that is never really satisfied. More, more, more give me more says the story until it's finally finished. Then it sits over in a corner pouting because I've moved on to someone new. Better looking. Younger, certainly.

I love writing. It's addictive. It's heady and delicious. It's a fulfillment of a craving that only grows the more you feed it.

What do you love about writing?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get Delirious


Yes today is the day that you can get your very own copy of Daniel Palmer's new thriller Delirious. I had a chance to finish it on the plane back from the Philippines, and I have to say that it definitely kept me not only awake, but turning the pages at a furious pace. There is one particular scene involving water that was actually so creepy that I had to take a break for a few seconds.

Go and get your copy today. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NY Times Best Selling Author?


I've said in the past that it doesn't bother me when celebrities get million dollar book deals, because as long as the book earns out the advance, and the publisher makes money, it's good for everyone. But a couple of books lately have made me question my thinking.

The first is from the Jersey Shore, umm, "star", uhh, Snooki. Now I have never watched even 30 seconds of the show, or seen any interviews of Snooki, so I'm kind of going by my basic impressions, but a NY Times Best Selling author??? Really?? That just seems to cheapen the list for me somehow. It feels like a sellout by the publisher.

Now, I'd be happy if the publishers make money on the book, because again, money that flows into publishing is good for all writers, but this one feels like the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard.

The second was written by someone I met at Thrillerfest this year. The author is not a well known celebrity, but it was clear that their status is what allowed them to get a book deal.

So again, as long as the publisher makes money, everybody's happy, right? Not so fast. In this case because the book was less than perfect, in fact it pretty much sucked, I don't think that anybody is going to make money. Well, other than the author, which again, isn't such a bad thing for us authors, but here's the problem. Because the publisher is going to lose money on this book, there is one less slot open for us budding authors to get our book published. Because the publisher took on this book, they won't take on another book, even if they wanted to because they don't have the money. And that's a shame. It just makes it that much harder for one of us to get our work published.

What do you think about celebrity books? Or books that are published purely because the author is well known?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Random wi-fi

Hey all,

I have been in the Philippines for the last two weeks and not able to get WiFi access. I have been unable to post any updates, but now that I am back, I will try to provide some interesting accounts of my travels. I hope you find them interesting.

The Philippines is a diverse country, and the places that I went were fun and exciting to see. Hopefully I can turn it into an interesting setting for my next novel.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

eBook Thoughts and a Random Bit of Linking

So, um where did 2010 go?

But I digress.

Choices

Nathan Brandsford did a holiday repeat of a post he made in 2007, which was a year before I started following blogs about writing. And boy-howdy (boy-howdy being a technical term), did I love it. Let me link it to you, my friends:

Holiday Repeat: Writing Advice From Some Old Guys At My Gym

Oh, my gosh. If ever there was a point about fiction writing, that is it. Choices. It's all about the choices.

Speculative Goodness

My latest book review is up on my blog, DarkShip Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt. For the classic science fiction fan in you, check it out. It was fantastical and quite lovely, and any writer dabbling in speculative fiction would find this book worthy of study.

eBooks

Blah blah blah, ebooks blah blah blah, 2011 ebooks blah blah blah.

Just wanted to get the obligatory stuffs out there. All the other kids are doing it!

Anyway, little family get together showed ebooks inroads in a major way. Here's how the reading went down over the family visit:
  • Nana: Reads from new Kindle
  • Papa: Reads from old Kindle
  • Sister in Law: Reads from new Kindle
  • Me: Reads from paperback and Windows Phone
  • Wife Unit: Reads from trade paperback
  • Son: Reads from trade paperback
  • Brother in Law: Hasn't read or seen a Harry Potter movie or book. Totally discounted as a family heretic
  • Niece: Chewed on her electronic book that goes "moo" when you press a button.
Both my son, wife and I are really interested in the Kindle, but none of us are very happy with the current book lending restrictions. For example, a book publisher has to grant you permission to lend the book.

Then, that publisher sets the terns like "lend this book once for 14 days."

Well, Mr. Publisher, that doesn't cut it over here at Chez Pacheco. There are three of us, soon to be four, that could read the same book in our house. We are not going to buy four copies of the same book. EVER. Not even if the hardcover is $18 and the electronic version is $4, for a savings of $2 between the four of us.

What I read on my phone is very limited. Basically, if there is a chance someone else in the house, or one of my friends, will want to read the book... I don't buy an electronic copy of it even though I love reading from my phone.

I can see the future of electronic books from my house. And that future for us is four DRM-free book readers loaded with DRM-free books. There is no other way for my book reading family. And that goes back to choices. Remove my choices, we remove our spending dollars.

God, I love capitalism.