As you read this Kim and I are boarding Amtrak for Washington, D.C.’s, Union Station. Today is the start of the RWA National conference and I love that I get to take the most romantic form of transportation to get there. There’s something about a train that just calms, relaxes, and excites me. Have you ever noticed that nearly all children, at some point or another, fall in love with trains? Amazing since so few actually get to ride or even see them regularly. Well, I for one have never outgrown that fascination.
Like trains, I think books hold their own form of romance and I think that for many, the hesitation toward ebooks, ereaders, and epublishing is the loss of romance. Will a book still hold the same fascination when 90% of what we’re reading comes electronically? Or will ebooks be the air travel of today? No more peanuts, no more toothbrush, and no more waving to friends and family from the jetway, just serving the purpose we need them to serve? There’s no way of knowing for sure what is going to happen to books. Only time will tell, right? The one thing I do know is that for those of us involved in publishing (and that means those of you who read the blog too), no matter what happens our romantic fascination with reading and the written word will never go away. In fact, I’m not even convinced that the bound paper book we know today will go away. Just like trains, those paper books will have their problems, but hopefully, at least for the romance of it all, they’ll stick around in some fashion or another, because, while I love my Kindle, nothing beats the smell, feel, and versatility of paper.
For the next two days (three if you’re lucky) I’ll be posting directly from the conference. For those of you who are not part of the romance community, or have no interest in it, I will try to make sure my posts cross genre lines as much as possible. For now, though, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the clickety-click of the train as we head through the cities and countryside of the Northeastern United States.