With Read an eBook Week coming to a close, I thought it would be nice to talk about our firsts – in particular the first eBooks we have read. Many of you probably didn’t get into digital reading until the Kindle and Nook launched, but I consider myself an old pro when it comes to download and reading electronic books. If memory serves, I have been reading them as early as 2000, though I didn’t read them as avidly as I do now. A number of familiar names got their start publishing exclusively in e-formats before larger houses picked them up – Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kate Douglas for two – and these days you might find established authors using the technology to make out of print books available again.
Somewhere out there, somebody has record of when the first fiction eBooks were published. On Project Gutenberg, it’s states that founder Michael Hart invented eBooks in 1971! ARe, of course, launched many decades later, and I can safely say I discovered the format somewhere in between.
My first handheld “reader” was the Handspring Visor, which I still have somewhere. I used a special software to convert text into .pdb format, then side-loaded the books into the PDA. One of the first books I read on that device was James Ellroy’s Blood on the Moon, a gritty thriller about an LA detective hunting a deranged serial killer (I know, as opposed to a nice one?). From there, I scoured sites like Project Gutenberg to find public domain works, and I devoured the likes of Jane Austen, Theodore Dreiser, and early Agatha Christie.
As for the first romance eBooks, I can’t quite pinpoint when I read the following. I do remember reading Penelope Marzec‘s Sea of Hope and Jaid Black’s The Empress’ New Clothes – two very different titles, but I will read pretty much anything, and at this time I was exploring new possibilities in publishing.
These days, I try to read at least one eBook a week. When you work with books, you have to keep up with new releases! Today somebody could be reading an eBook for the first time, and we at ARe Cafe want to help you find the authors you love.
What was the first eBook you ever read? We’d love to know!
Filed Under: Cafe News