On Choosing E-books

Sihk Mouhchihnggai: to be fired (lit. eat feelingless chicken)

During the 1950s and 1960s, several hundred thousand refugees fled to Hong Kong from mainland China. Those who found jobs would rely on their employers to provide food and lodging to them. Every year on the second day of the Chinese New Year (this year, it starts on February 10, 2013), shopkeepers would invite employees to have a Hoi Nihn (“beginning of the year”) meal. If an employee was given a chicken’s head by his boss, it meant that he was to be fired. 

Multiple Barnes & Noble stores are expected to close down within the next decade. Bookstores, though, often play a huge role in helping consumers figure out what to buy–the concept is known as discoverability. Thank you to +John Ward for first bringing my attention to this and posing questions about it.

E-books are a hot commodity. Recently, I was excited that my local library system finally got access to them. In fact, I own several Los Angeles area library cards just in order to borrow more e-books. Like bookstores, libraries are an excellent testing ground for new books and debut authors. Indeed, along with recommendations from my friends, they’re my usual route in figuring out if I want to buy an author’s work. 

How do you choose which e-books to purchase?   

Application Denied
Lunar New Year Feasting


  1. Imagine if an editor or an agent were to give us a chicken’s head as a form of rejection. Too funny! Ayway, I will be sad to see BnN go. But then again, I do use the library for “discoverability.”

    • I’m a bit sad about B&N, too. I wonder what would happen to all my Nook stuff… We’ll see how it goes. We also have independent bookstores in the area, so there are still brick and mortar choices for me.

  2. Thank you for stopping by one of my 2 blogs!

    I am only recently discovering e-books. Offered me by others, promoting their work, they are a mixed bag, and being a “I wanna hold you in my hands” book lover reading a book online will take some getting used to.

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