Ray Bradbury (renowned author of the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, the Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes) has finally released Fahrenheit 451 in the e-book format. Bradbury is known to have a disdain for the internet, so the news comes as quite a surprise.
In 2009 Bradbury told the New York Times:
“The Internet is a big distraction…Yahoo called me eight weeks ago…They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? ‘To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.’
“It’s distracting…It’s meaningless; it’s not real. It’s in the air somewhere.”
So what made him change his tune? According to the Guardian, his Agent stated:
“we explained the situation to him (Bradbury) that a new contract wouldn’t be possible without ebook rights. He understood and gave us the right to go ahead.”
Now I could be a pessimist and say that money was the big motivator. With e-books accounting for more and more profit for publishing companies and Kindles, Nooks, and Tablets with Apps for that all around, it seems foolish not to release your book on e-book. Bradbury is a little more altruistic, I would like to believe, and is more inclined to agree to the new contract so that his books, short stories, and screenplays can be shared and read by more individuals. He’s known to tout the greatness of libraries, and of reading, to children around the world, so what better way to connect with young people about reading than through technology like the internet, iPads, and Kindles?
Checking on over at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble the book can indeed be purchased in e-book format. Sadly, the e-books are $9.99 and paperbacks are 6.99. One would think that the e-book version, with no physical materials or shipping, would be cheaper. Such is the cost of convenience I suppose. Even though I’m already own a paperback copy, I think I’m going to get the e-book, too. Now the question is: Nook or Kindle?