Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

One of my new year’s resolutions for this year (whoa—when did it become April?!?!) is to try to be more green—look into ways to conserve energy, even on a small level. I grew up in a house that was very big into recycling, and it’s something I continue to do each day. And while I have to drive to the SB office every day, I’m attempting to slow down (attempting is the key word) in my fuel efficient vehicle. However, publishing is still very much a “paper-based” business. More and more, many of our processes are turning to virtual and online modes, but sometimes, when I look at the amount of paper I work with everyday, it’s unsettling!

One thing that Sourcebooks is doing, though, is publishing books on how to be green. We’ve had two come out in the past year: Green Chic and The Green Bride Guide, very cool, fun and PRACTICAL books on going green. They cover all budgets, all lifestyles, are super cute and even better—they’re printed on 100% recycled paper!

Something that seems to be popping up everywhere are electronic books and readers. Now, I’m one for holding an actual book in my hands, smelling those new book smells and turning actual pages, but I’m intrigued by the Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone Apps, even e-books that are downloadable to your computer. I wonder—how many of you use these, and what are your thoughts on their impact on the industry? Sourcebooks is definitely now planning on many books being Kindle-ready, and most are available as e-books (Our very own Sharon had the #1 selling e-book from Sourcebooks for a time, before we printed her book :-) )… I think, in recent years, especially with the recent departure of book sections and reviewers to the web, that these electronic versions lend themselves well to a select amount of your intended audience. What if, one day, the paper book as we know it goes away completely? I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, but I do think, as I mentioned in my last blog, that as the publishing industry evolves, so should we… Interesting…

Happy Earth Day! What are you doing to go green today?



  1. I was intrigued by your mention of e-readers. I would love one and hope Kindles come down in price, soon. I think the convenience of them must be amazing -- how many books you can lug around at one time on one of those! I'm curious to hear from others who own e-readers.

  2. I've long been a proponent of ebooks. I remember the loads of heavy texts I had to lug home in highschool and university; what a boon it would have been to have them all on a Kindle or some other kind of ereader. Can you imagine? One device instead of fifty text books!

    However... I do love a paper book for reading for pleasure. I spend so long at my computer already, I certainly don't want to sit there to read my favorite books. I haven't tried a dedicated ereading device yet, but it is intriguing, and better than a heavy laptop.

  3. Hey Danielle,
    The Force household is very green thanks to my tree-hugging hubby who has three different recycling stations in our very small kitchen. He and the kids pick up trash on our street (which leads to the high school) frequently. I love that the kids are very environmentally savvy. Emily started the recycling program at her middle school when she was in 6th grade and realized the school didn't recycle--horrors!

    I'm not a big fan of e-books. I still prefer the old-fashioned paperback. Although, after taking a dozen books on vacation with me last week, I can definitely see the benefits to the e-reader, but I wonder if it can be used pool side. Can you see the text when you're outside? My laptop is useless outside.

  4. I've been recycling religiously ever since they started the idea. I wash and reuse plastic bags, too, and my husband is constantly buying those "green" light bulbs and putting them in all the fixtures. I don't really like the way they have to warm up, but I get over it.
    With respect to ebooks, I know several people who have Kindles, and they absolutely love them! They call themselves Kindle Junkies and say they're buying more books now than they ever did. They have signed copies of my books--something an author can't really do with a Kindle edition--plus, they've bought them for their Kindle, which is pretty cool.
    Another nice thing about buying online is that you don't have to face a cashier when you're buying something like "Love Slaves of the Alien Frog Women!" ;-)

  5. Although I try to do my bit in terms of thinking green,I confess I don't have as many of the new lightbulbs as I should because I deeply dislike the light they give off. I find it harsh, unpleasant and cold. I'm hoping capitalism will soon take care of that.

    Yes, Marie, Kindle can be used in bright sunlight. I don't have one yet--I'm waiting for the price to come down. And I know I'll feel disloyal to paper books when I finally do, but the truth is, except for the smell, the experience is remarkably the same.

    In addition to storage, one excellant plus is that you can turn pages one-handed and reading one-handed won't cramp your fingers as paperback books do.

  6. I think ebooks are great, although I prefer reading paper books, but it's like others have said, I stare at a computer all day while I'm working on manuscripts, and I need a break from a screen. I've been using the light bulbs since they came out, reuse plastic bags in my freezer or other places, share a newspaper with a neighbor, and dump unused water from drinking glasses, or cooking water on my plants. We don't have recycling out here, so I do the best I can, give books and magazines to the library, clothes and other items to Goodwill and plant trees and shrubs to add oxygen to the air and help shade the house to cut down on cooling costs, and to block winter winds. :)Also, using settings on dishwashers and dryers/washers that help to conserve electricity helps. :)

  7. I like to say that I was green when green wasn't cool! My mom had 7 children so nothing was ever wasted at our house and anything that could be used more than once was. We grew a lot of our food and canned our veggies and made our own jelly. And I didn't grow up on a farm, we did all this living in town. And believe it or not, when we children were small all 9 of us would fit into one car! (but yes, it was a big car) My parents were never a two car family. So, me--I've been green all my life.


  8. Happy Earth Day everyone! I'm so glad to hear your ways of going green.

    I feel you about bringing paperback books on vacation--maybe a Kindle would make more sense... I'm not sure. I've only seen one and played around with it a little bit, and it's just not the same. And I spend enough money as is with Amazon one-click shopping, so I imagine it would be worse with the Kindle in my hands!

  9. I certainly would not say we are overly green in the Lathan household, but we do recycle.

    I think the whole evolution of eBooks is very cool, although I personally still want to have my favorite books in my hand. But as far as text books and manuals and so on, I really think it should become the norm. I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for college books that my daughter never cracked. Talk about annoying.

  10. Hi Sharon,

    I'm sure my mom could commiserate with you about those college book fees :) I stopped buying mine through the school bookstore sophomore year, and would order them through Amazon... but that's not always an option for everyone, depending on their major etc.

    The idea of using a Kindle or Sony Reader for text books--you might be on to something!


  11. A Kindle is on my wish list. A friend told me when her boyfriend got one for her the first book she purchased was 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover!!

    We do a lot of recycling. Have for a long time.