Can’t Sign a Kindle

Josie Leavitt - September 25, 2013

Two nights ago we provided books for the launch party of Eileen Rockefeller’s lovely and thought-provoking memoir, Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself.  The event was held at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms, possibly one of the most gorgeous places in Vermont. There was a festive air to the evening because Eileen lives in town and people were celebrating her book. We were thrilled to be providing her books for the party.
We had stacks of books set up and people were buying, often more than one copy. Folks who weren’t buying felt compelled to explain why. More often than not, they’d already purchased their copy from us earlier. A few sheepishly explained that they’d read the book as a galley. But we heard from at least 10 people that they’d already downloaded the book on their Kindle. Interestingly, no one mentioned any other kind of e-reader, just the Kindle. In the beginning of the evening, before Eileen’s lively, informative, and heartfelt presentation, the Kindle owners just avoided the sales table.
Then an incredible thing happened. People were so moved by Eileen’s presentation, they wanted a book, a real book that could be signed and personalized. They came back up to the sales table and bought heaps of books. All of them saying, “Well, it’s not like she can sign my Kindle.”
It was gratifying to finally be on the winning end of an e-reader argument. Yes, they’re convenient, yes, they hold a lot, but in the end, they’re missing the whimsy of a real book and the value of a book in terms of creating a memory. And I left thinking, the physical book wins again. That was a very happy thought.

9 thoughts on “Can’t Sign a Kindle

  1. Ellie Miller

    Happy indeed! Which is the way I feel everytime I see books on my shelves that authors whom I respect, enjoy, (in some cases) dearly love(!) have signed to me personally. They make my own special memory moments TANGIBLE!

  2. JoAnn Ross

    I love books in all formats (admittedly more e-books lately due to downsizing & the ability to change font size, which my husband likes), but I’ve also signed lots on kindle. There is at least one program out there that can do it.

  3. Bruce

    Which is another reason to love your Kindle! I don’t read the signed copies I have they are to valuable to me. So I purchase the same book on my Kindle it’s cheaper and I have it in seconds.

  4. Linda Marshall

    I own a kindle and I buy ebooks and paper books. I often buy books from the authors themselves, when they give a presentation or have a table set up at a book conference. I usually joke around with the author, give them pens to sign with (it’s amazing how many authors don’t have a pen when they need one), sometimes I even get a kiss on the cheek from a writer. Downloading an ebook has never gotten a peck on the cheek for me.

  5. Deborah Reardon

    This has been on my mind for some time. At the recent Bouchercon I was asked to autograph the back of a tablet/e-reader. Must have had a special maker of some sort? But… most were books or signing the program. I do like getting fellow authors to autographs and the lines backing behind the name brands don’t seem to be getting any shorter.

  6. linda

    I love books in all formats, too. Just for fun: George Saunders signed the back of my iPad (and drew a picture, too) with a black Sharpie.

  7. Elaine

    I do own a Kindle, and I do not regret that purchase. Yet the feeling of holding a book in your hand and turning the page is unparalleled. Ereaders get the job done, but nothing will be able to rival an actual book.


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