Kindle Addiction

I’m Stephen Haunts, and I’m a Kindleaholic. I keep buying books on the Kindle, and I can’t help it. I wasn’t as bad with paper books—OK; I bought a lot. The problem, if you can call it a problem, is that whenever anyone recommends a book they have read, I look it up on Amazon, and read the blurb and reviews. Before I know it, I have clicked the buy button and ten seconds later the book is sitting on my kindle ready to read. 

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Before I get accused of being an Amazon shill, the same issue exists with other e-readers, such as the Kobo or the Nook. The instant gratification of buying a book without having to go out anywhere is addictive. I started using a Kindle back in 2007, so I have built up an extensive library, which locks me into the Amazon ecosystem. Vendor lock-in is a bad thing, but damn; I just can’t help myself.

I also love physical books. I love the feel of them in my hands, and I love the smell—yes, I am a book sniffer. The problem is, I don’t enjoy getting rid of books I have finished reading. I don’t sell them or donate them. I see each completed book as a badge of honour, and I like to keep them on a bookcase. This becomes a problem when you read as much as I do. Books take up a lot of space.

I don’t know if I have a point with this post, apart from admitting I find the Kindle (or any other e-reader) addictive. A vast library of books, in my bag constantly. I now pretty much only read novels and non-fiction books in a digital format now. The only physical books I buy are those large, glossy, coffee table books. I’m a big fan of books about the art of movies, or about how movies are made. This type of book will always be better in physical form.

As a writer, the proliferation of the e-reader leaves me conflicted. I like my own books to be released as physical books. I always get that twang of excitement as I open a box of freshly printed books for the first time, but I know that realistically, I would probably buy the ebook version myself as a consumer. Ebooks are a problem for book shops. Only a few companies control the digital marketplaces for ebooks, locking out bookstores and smaller independents. I feel bad for them, but I still can’t stop buying my books digitally. Does that make me a bad person? Especially as a writer? Probably, but I seem to have become addicted to the digital crack cocaine that is the Kindle digital marketplace.

The Great Reset

Is there anyone here? Hello? It’s a little dusty in here; a semi-abandoned blog. Like that creepy cabin that your mum told you to stay away from. After Covid first showed its ugly teeth to the world, it became apparent that it wouldn’t go away quickly. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years. The pressure of home schooling, social isolation, and general anxiety about the world meant a few of the plates I was trying to keep spinning, collapsed and were left abandoned. This blog was one of the fallen plates.

Creepy abandoned cabin.

Over the past few years, I have re-evaluated my creative priorities. To stay sane over the pandemic, I decided I wanted to leave lockdown better than when I went in. I wanted to learn something new, but if I’m honest, I was getting jaded with the pace of technology and software development; more on that in another post. A large part of my career still involves training, and I love doing it, but I wanted to learn something new.

I decided I would focus more on creative writing. I am already an experienced non-fiction writer with books that are both self-published and published through traditional publishers. I had dreamt of writing stories when I was younger. But I always felt intimidated by the process. I tackled that intimidation and start learning. I had lots of ideas. I just needed to learn about it. I won’t go into detail about that in this post; I’ll cover that soon, as I have been very productive.

This means the focus of this blog is changing. I contemplated whether to just blitz the content here and start again, but I decided against it. While the older articles, especially the technical articles, are not my main focus, I left some of them as they are still relevant. But this post is drawing a line under it, and I am starting again.

For anyone that comes to this blog who has read my non-fiction books, or watched my Pluralsight courses, hello and welcome. I am still writing those books. I am also still engaged in creating and maintaining content with Pluralsight. I love working with them. I’m very proud of that content, but this is going to be more personal. If that doesn’t interest you, then I won’t be offended if you leave and don’t come back. Thank you for following anything I do up to this point. 

If you decide to stick around, then I will write about the art and craft of creative writing for fiction and non-fiction. I will cover the technical aspects and talk about how I feel about the process. I will probably keep the posts fairly short, to ensure I actually write the blog posts. I’m considering turning this into a journal as well as an educational website. We’ll see. 

Anyway, welcome to the new I hope you like what I want to talk about and will follow along.