Another, rather important reason I won’t be switching to ebooks any time soon is because most of what I want to read isn’t available. I’ve been checking every now and again since the Kindle was first released and the pool still seems to be frighteningly shallow. It’s easy enough to paddle around in the NY Times bestsellers, but I’m not all that interested in golfing memoirs, self-help or James Patterson Inc. The ability to get instant downloads is no selling point at all when the selection isn’t there to support the functionality.
A random test, running down the top 10 titles on my current TBR list:
- Conceit – Mary Novik – available! Ooh, starting off strong. (And hat tip to Raych for bringing this to my attention. Novel about John Donne’s daughter? Of course!)
- Collected Memoirs – Julian MacLaren Ross – nope. Well, plenty left. (At a guess, this came from Slightly Foxed. Must bite the bullet and renew my subscription, but blimey, that international postage hurts. On the other hand, such joy when the little fox arrives in the postbox.)
- Patrick Hamilton: A Life – Sean French – no. Nor is the more recent 2008 biography by Nigel Jones available. O-kay. (Obviously I want this because I’ve been working my way through Hamilton’s work. I’ve just added Gaslight and Rope to my Netflix queue.)
- The Very Thought of You – Rosie Alison – no. Sigh. Hang on a minute, this was on the Orange shortlist. WTF?
- A Profane Wit: The Life of John Rochester, Earl of Wilmot – James William Johnson – any guesses? That’s right, unavailable. (Mr B threw this one my way and I have a known soft spot for a rake. Although, less so for one whose nose fell off because of syphilis.)
- The Poison Tree – Erin Kelly. Unavailable. Really? (I’ve got a feeling this was from a crime list put together over at A Work in Progress.)
- Skippy Dies – Paul Murray – bugger me, there’s a Kindle edition! (The Asylum bears the blame for adding this to my list.)
- Hyddenworld – William Horwood – and again! Making up some ground. (This is from, erm, oh yes, Eve’s Alexandria)
- Black Juice – Margo Lanagan – yes, available. Is there hope? (Bookslut.)
- Another Self – James Lee-Milne – er, no. (Slightly Foxed again.)
So, a resounding 4 out of 10 for Kindle availability. Which is not comparing well with 10 out of 10 for print availability, is it?