Should Books Have Happy Endings?

Let me start off by saying that this post will refer to the fantasy genre, as opposed to other genres. I’m not asking whether tragedies should have a happy ending because – hey – that’s a silly question really isn’t it?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. We all know the sort of stories where the knight in shining armour saves the beautiful princess from the dangerous dragon, takes her back to the glorious king who gives him her dainty hand in marriage. Happily ever after (and what a depressing use of adjectives, if I may say so!). Is that how a story whould always be? Should a fantasy author mould himself to the happy ending, giving absolution to whatever hurts the hero has gotten (I couldn’t find a synonym for ‘gotten’ beginning with a ‘h’ to get that alliteration flowing, my apologies [I seem to be waxing prose today!])? Continue reading

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Tablets and e-Readers: A Followup

Hi all, I thought some people might be interested in a followup regarding the poll I created on how people read. The post was ‘Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?’ and you can find the poll there; I’d still love for you to vote! I’ve had fourteen votes now, and not many more are coming in, so I thought it high time to reveal all and make a few comments. Obviously it’s an open poll and anybody can read the results, but I expect chances are if you voted you haven’t looked back at it since.

So, here are the results.

Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?
Yes! A dedicated e-Reader. (eg Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo etc) 6 votes, 42.86
Yes! A tablet on which I read. (eg iPad, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire 5 votes, 35.71%
Yes! I have both of these things. 2 votes, 14.29%
No! I read solid books and don’t own (or don’t read from) a tablet or e-Reader.
1 vote, 7.14%

So, what I can see from this is as follows; the vast majority of people who voted read on e-Platforms, be that tablet or dedicated device. Currently it seems that it is the dedicated e-Readers that’re taking the cake on this, but it’s very close and the votes seemed to see-saw on this (last time I looked, most people were using their tablets), so to me that’s fairly equal.
A couple lucky fellows have both of these devices, and so assumingly read on the dedicated e-Reader (though not definitely, perhaps I should have split this question into a ‘Yes, both, but I read on X/Y.’. And then there’s that one person whom reads only solid paper books. You know what I say to that? Good for you, dear Sir or Ma’am! If that’s how you like it, don’t feel pressured into making the swap.

On a final note, a shout out of thanks to the two people who tweeted the poll and probably helped garner a few more votes.

Okay, a second final note: The poll is not closed! You can still vote, and I’d really really love for you to do so! Please, tweet, facebook, post links to and share that poll. If there’s a surge of votes I’ll be able to write a more detailed analysis of it, which I’d love to do, but I can’t on only fourteen votes.

Let me just say that this poll is not necessarily wholly reliable. It is a very valid point that people who use the internet and frequent blogs like this may be more in tune with the e-Reading side of life and that those that read normal books may not be in a position to use the poll. Thus, I’ll say this – if you know somebody who only reads solid books, or know somebody that does any of the options, throw in a vote for their sake, will you?

If you’ve got any thoughts on the matter, please comment! I’d love to chat to you.

Do you own an e-Reader or Tablet?

Okay, quite recently I mentioned the fact that I’d invested in a tablet, for both productivity and entertainment reasons. Something that’s been huge in recent years is the rise of the e-Reader. Lots and lots of people now have Kindles or Tablets or similar products on which they read their books (dubbed e-Books and e-Readers, ‘e’ being ‘electronic’). However, there’s also that group of people that have set themselves against this change to reading, and stick with the tradition of going to the bookstore, buying a book made of paper and reading it that way.

For me, there’s a lot to be said about reading ‘real’ books. It’s not something you can replicate on a screen – the feel of the pages, the smell of the new book and so on. I think that I’ll always prefer reading a physical book. However, I’ve realised that for new and upcoming authors, it’s far easier to get published to an online ‘e-Marketplace’ like the Amazon Kindle store. So when I’ve been reviewing books for people, they’ve been sent to me in electronic formats. You see, I didn’t have an e-Reader, so this posed me a problem and I was reading all these books on my brother’s Kindle. I’d been interested in getting a Tablet for a while, and eventually I did a little research and bought myself a Google Nexus 7 for £200. I’ve enjoyed the ease of being able to put the book onto my tablet and read it wherever I go, essentially taking a library of books with me that I’d never fit into my bag or pockets! At home though, I much rather read in book that I can hold. Something that’s been peeving me since the sun started coming out was that I’ve discovered I don’t like sitting in the sun and reading from my tablet like I can read from a book. The screen’s too dark and it just all-round feels wrong.

So, I guess I’m mainly in the camp of people that prefer their books to be real. I’ve got no aversions to, and enjoy using my tablet e-Reader though (I use the Kindle app for Android as opposed to Google’s own ‘Play Books’ app, because you can’t import your own books into Play – boo Google!). However, we bought my Nan a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas, and she’s taken to it really well. She loves how light it is, as she tells me she finds it difficult to hold heavy books like hardbacks when she’s reading in bed. Another thing she enjoys is that on the Kindle marketplace, lots and lots of the classics she read as a child are free, so she’s working through lot’s of nostalgia there. So whilst you might stereotype the elder generation into standing staunchly by their books, I can see that this isn’t always the case.

So, what do you think? Please, comment and I’ll get back to you because I’d love to hear everybody’s thoughts on the whole thing. Also, and if you don’t have time to comment, please click the box on the poll below!

Heads Up

Hello all,

College work is ramping up at the moment, and I’ve not got as much time for reading and such. I haven’t been posting as much lately because of this, and views have been dropping (which is fairly demoralising). I haven’t read any more of Lord of the Flies yet, as I promised, but I hope to do so soon. I have exams in January for a few subjects, some coursework and a few assessments. I’m trying to get lots of revision and work done, and that has to cut into my leisure time, because that’s more important right now.

I just thought I owed you all an explanation.