Why E-Books Aren't Scary

Stephen King has filled HIS share of printed pages: Since “Carrie” was accepted for publication in the spring of 1973, he has written more than 40 books and countless short stories. His latest work, coming Nov. 9, is a collection of four stories titled “Full Dark, No Stars.” In an author’s afterword, Mr. King notes that he wrote one of them, “A Good Marriage,” after reading a piece about Dennis Rader, the “BTK Killer” (for “bind, torture and kill”) who murdered 10 people in Kansas between 1974 and 1991. He wondered what would happen if a “wife suddenly found out about her husband’s awful hobby.”

Mr. King is realistic about where books are headed. In digital publishing, as a writer, he’s what might be called an “early adopter.” Back in March 2000, Simon & Schuster Inc. issued Mr. King’s story “Riding the Bullet” as an e-book that was downloaded from the Web onto hand-held devices or computers.

More recently, Mr. King’s novella “Ur” was written exclusively for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader when the second generation of that device went on sale in February 2009.

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