The cover of Isabelle Carmody's The Sending

(Credit: Isabelle Carmody and Penguin)

I walked into a Dymocks recently and saw that Isabelle Carmody has released another book in a series I have been reading since I was ten.

It is the Obernewtyn Chronicles, of course, which I inadvertently started because I liked the cover of The Farseekers. (Yes I read the books out of order). I even won a tennis racquet at school for making a model out of cardboard of the ancient underground city that Elspeth floats through on a raft.

So when I saw Carmody’s latest opus in Dymocks, I was filled with longing and nostalgia. I deeply wanted to read the Sending, but I don’t buy real books anymore. (Basically, I don’t have any space in my flat now for real books, so I have an e-reader.) I frantically went to check if it was available online, but, alas, it seems not to be the case. So I thought to myself that I’d already waited almost 20 years for the series to finish, so could wait a little longer to read the second last installment.

I thought it was sad, however, that I should miss out on a book that means so much to me simply because I’ve decided to ditch dead trees. I also find it sad for Isabelle, since I would have bought all the books to read them again in digital format: I need to remember what happened and fall in love with the characters and the world again.

I wish the publishing industry would work itself out and find a model that suits authors, publishers and booksellers alike. Certainly the Book Industry Strategy Group painted a concerning picture of the future if we do not manage to do this.

Luckily, my sadness did not last for long, as I was able to work out a solution. I’ve asked for the for Christmas from my parents, who always give me books and couldn’t navigate an ebook store to save themselves. Dead tree here I come.

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