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Authors take different approaches to new technology

It's funny, the disparate views of authors toward the new technology. Some have adapted quickly to the changes while others resist - or at least remain clueless.

Orlean For example: Susan Orlean, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of The Orchid Thief, Tweets and blogs and confesses to reading books on her iPhone before she got her hands on an iPad. She waxes rhapsodic about her iPad over at MacWorld: "I was really happy with it. And I was so happy not carrying a heavy laptop. It’s not that iPads are so light. But I can keep it in my handbag. I think for women, they’re great. Because I always have a handbag."

Click here to read the entire interview with Orlean.

And then we have novelist Pat Conroy. In a recent Associated Press story, he admits his ignorance with technology.

From the story by Hillel Italie:

"Pat Conroy says he knows so little about e-books that he didn't realize his work could be downloaded until a fan showed him during a recent promotional tour.

Conroy 'I was at a signing in Georgia, and a guy came up to me with a Kindle and he pressed a button and there it was, my book (South of Broad'),' Conroy said uring a recent telephone interview. "I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to everything about the Internet. I kept noticing people in planes and shops were reading these things. I couldn't understand these instruments. I didn't know what they were.''

Conroy's not resistant to change, though - a lot of his work is already available in digital form, and starting this week several older books - including The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides - will be available for download. In the meantime, Conroy isn't too worried about the future,

 "I imagine there will be paper books, at least until people like me die out,'' he told AP. "But I don't think there's any reason to worry about it. I remember talking to my grandparents when I was a little kid and they both told me about the first time they had seen an airplane and the first time they had seen an automobile and they both would say, 'This'll never work.' But that's how progress works. That's how the future happens.''


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They'll co-exist, much the same way vinyl records and mp3s do. For fiction, e-books will dominate, but for poetry, art books, and graphic novels, where visual presentation is inseparable from the content, e-books will continue to lag behind for the foreseeable future.

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