Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cabin fever and the book-sized screen

It might be noticed that the children in the story have cabin fever.  Children and many adults can have cabin fever at any time of the year.  Here is summer, when the cure for cabin fever is canoeing and hiking in the woods.  The loons in the book don't have cabin fever however they are well aware that the humans living in cabins are unpredictable outdoors, and have to be watched for their feverish activity.

After the book rights came back to me from Silver Knight Publishing (who had returned book rights to most of their authors), I decided to add b/w illustration.  The illustrations are at the chapter beginnings, not large illustrations but pictures of scenery or wildlife in the next pages.  Since many readers might not be familiar with the Northern Minnesota woods, the illustrations are meant to be like a nature trek.  They are photos that have been treated for the fictional content.

Making books free as Kindle books, to me, is an extension of the reading experience.  Especially with children’s books, readers are used to borrowing from libraries and having an opportunity to try obscure books.  The tendency with most readers is to purchase widely popular books of fiction.  With novels, a person needs to spend some time reading to the end to even know if they like an author’s development of a story. 

The first thing I used to do in the library was to look at the new arrivals.  Like many people, I followed certain authors, and then wondered what was next.  I would check out authors who were unfamiliar but whose book had attracted me.  I must say, I didn’t later buy books like that unless they were sitting on the remainder table in a bookstore.  A book that pleases some people some of the time is still a possibility for enjoyment because of its focus on a particular subject or people. 

I was Kindle-resistant while seeing the enthusiasm of readers I knew online.  Once I had Kindle in the book size, I experienced how quickly the conversion from paper to the electronic screen happened.  Free Kindle books and the ease of trying books on a small screen has resulted in a wider experience.  Book exploring has probably never been better.  I have several bookcases around me filled with used books, but now it doesn’t matter whether I’m reading from paper or from a screen.  The book is all.  And it can ameliorate cabin fever.


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