Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Author Kate Carlisle on Her Passionate Love for Book

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mystery series, which launched in 2009 with HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER. The latest Bibliophile Mystery is PAGES OF SIN, an ebook exclusive novella, which will be followed on February 7 by ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE in paperback and ebook. The Bibliophile Mystery series follows book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright as she attempts to restore classic texts to their former glory, and to solve the contemporary murders that are linked to each book.

I love books. I don’t just mean that I love reading, although I do, of course. I mean something more than that. I love the books themselves, especially antique books with embossed leather covers and a gilt edge on each page.

I view an antique book as a survivor in the war against time. Somehow, against all odds, this book made it.

I view the book as an art form, in the visual arts sense in addition to the literary arts sense. If you’ve ever seen a painstakingly detailed illustration from a fine, antique text, you’ll know what I mean. Back in the day, a skilled craftsman poured days of his life into producing a thing of beauty that would be treasured through the ages.

So it’s pretty sad to find one of these treasures in poor shape, sitting outside in the rain at a local flea market. Sad but exciting, too, because I know that it can be brought back to full health by a master bookbinder. Since long before I started writing the Bibliophile Mystery series, I have taken classes in the book arts. Even so, I’m a hobbyist, nowhere near as professional as my protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright. She’s one of the world’s foremost experts on bookbinding. She’s the person you call with the worst cases, and she gets all tingly with excitement when presented with a book that desperately needs to be saved. (She’s less tingly with her unfortunate proclivity to discover victims of murders that are somehow linked to the latest book on her worktable.)

So you might ask… as a passionate bibliophile, how do I feel about the ebook revolution? The truth is, I’m okay with it. Ebooks are bringing a resurgence of readers back to the written word. People who hadn’t read a book since high school are suddenly reading ten books a month because of the convenience of being able to order it on the fly.

Mass market paperbacks and even most of today’s hardcovers are not the same thing as those fine, leather-bound antique books whose aesthetic virtues I just extolled. The binding is more disposable, never intended to last 100 years or more. With these contemporary books, the story is the thing, and the story is the same, whether read from a physical book or a digital one.

The latest Bibliophile Mystery novella, PAGES OF SIN, is an ebook exclusive. (ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, out on February 7, will be available in both paperback and ebook formats.) I have great news for those of you who don’t have an ereader: You don’t have to miss out on an ebook exclusive ever again. You can get free software that lets you read books on your computer!

Kindle for PC -

NOOK for PC -

Sony Reader for PC -

I'm so excited about my first e-book adventure, I hope you will consider buying (or at least downloading the free sample of) PAGES OF SIN. And while you're at it, you can pre-order ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE in the format of your choice!

Have you embraced the ebook revolution? If so, when did you buy your first ereader? If not, what do you love about physical books that you feel you’ll miss with digital books? What other technology have you been reluctant to accept, but that you came to love?