I’m still frustrated with how book buying works.
Totally randomly, we ended up watching the Tom Wolfe documentary on TV Friday night. It was really great — incredible to get a behind-the-scenes look at how he operates. He is clearly a master of the interview and a master researcher. He has an incredible way of making people feel comfortable and getting people to like him and talk to him. Nearly every one of the folks from Miami he worked with in preparing his new book spoke glowingly of him. And it was great to get a peek into how he learns a place — from the small details of a house or neighborhood, to the larger political & social currents.
Anyway, it was cool. You can catch the trailer here:
I’ve actually never read any of his books, if you can believe that (though I obv know many of the stories). And after seeing this, I realized I wanted to read all of them. A great project to embark on. So, now what? What do I buy? Kindle/ebook or hardcover?
I feel so stuck, because I love a physical library — even just seeing the spines of books I’ve read or want to read is meaningful. But I also like being able to read digitally (especially because I travel a lot).
Then, this morning, I realized that there is one place in my life where the analog/digital divide is handled perfectly: with the NY Times. We have a Sunday paper subscription, which also includes digital access. So I read the times almost every day on my phone, and then get to spread out with the actual paper on Sunday, which is so nice. I pay about $30/mo for this, which seems like a great deal to me. It strikes just the right balance — I get my daily digital fix, but I also get to engage analog-ly, which is really nice given how much of my life is spent looking at a screen. It’s so different reading a physical paper vs. reading on the phone, especially when it’s Sunday morning and you’re hanging around the house with other people.
I really want something like this for books. I feel like I should get an e-book for free (or for a small additional fee) when I buy a paper book. If this were the case, I’d almost certainly buy more books, and would enjoy them more.