Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ebooks vs. Print Books

I will never forget the year that I got my very first Kindle.

My husband and I were eating dinner with my faculty and staff from work and one of my coworkers said, "So Jennie, how do you feel about these new Kindle things?" That was the very first year of the Kindle ... hence "Kindle things." With my husband sitting right next to me I said, "I don't want one of those. I would definitely miss my books too much, so I don't think that I would ever get one."

I am sure that you see where this story is going. Guess what I got for Christmas? You guessed it... A brand new Kindle. Chris later told me that it had come the day of the dreaded conversation. Oh the irony, right?

I kid you not, it sat in its box for over a year. I couldn't bring myself to touch it. It felt like I was betraying my children. You should have seen the day I had to pack up books and put them in the attic to make room for toys. I cried. Chris laughed. Opening that box and pulling the dreaded Kindle out meant that I was cheating those books out of being flipped through, my nose going straight into them and smelling the fresh ink, and the joy of curling up on the couch with my blanket and book in front of the fire. I couldn't do it.

A little over a year after I got it I felt like it was taunting me so I opened the box. I moved slowly with it. Working my way up to using it more than once a week, I found that it was actually a little enjoyable to use. Again, the sense of cheating ripped through me so I quit reading on it for a few months. Finally, I had a great friend introduce me to the fact that I could get my romance novels (some were even FREE) and keep them on my Kindle. Well that was all it took. Everyone has something they read or do simply because they need a break... my thing is reading trashy romance novels.

Fast forward another year to today. You rarely see me with out my Kindle and a YA book. My purse is large and most people say, "oh it's because you are a mom of little kids," to which my husband says, "No; she has to carry around all of those books!" He just doesn't understand.

I believe that there are pros and cons to the ereadership that is becoming a phenomenon. I had quite a few students receive a Kindle for Christmas this year and they love them. I have helped them find sites for free books and showed them all kinds of tricks with them. No... I haven't shared my trashy romance novels with them. I do have a much wider range of reading material on my Kindle now that I have decided to embrace it! My uncle's school even has all of there textbooks on Kindle's. Each student has one! He told me a few months back that now the problem they are having is that the students have figured out how to get around the blocks and download books... GOD FORBID THEY READ!!! haha!!

Here are some of the pros and cons (in my opinion) of the ereaders and ebooks:

Pros
- Teenagers will read more because it is technology. If it is remotely techno they love it and this gets them involved in reading in a whole new way.

- The ability to instantly have a book you want and not have to wait to go to the bookstore because it is 1 am! (Not that I have ever done that before)

- Portability. You can take it anywhere! Get a cover and put it in your purse, book bag, briefcase or diaper bag. It can fit wherever you go. Some books are big and bulky and this eliminates that problem.

- Notes and highlights can be made. As you are reading you can make notes, highlight passages or bookmark something to come back to it. Yes, you can do that with print books but some print books (textbooks, books from the library, etc.) that you are reading don't have options like that.

Cons
- The loss of print. No more smelling books :(

- When you meet an author, you have nothing for them to sign. What are you going to say, "Hey, can you sign my Kindle?!" Yeah... NO!

- Not everything is available in ebook format right now. Granted, this "con" will eventually go away, but it is an issue right now.

- When is the last time you had to charge your book to read it? Get my point. Sometimes you forget to plug it in and you are right at a good part, laying in your bed, and then everything goes black. Oops!



Though there are pros and cons to this argument, I have to admit that I am leaning more towards the pro side. I will never stop purchasing print books no matter what though. One thing that does peak my interest is the concept of author royalties when it comes to ebooks.
HERE is an article about the pros and cons of ebooks and print books from the publishing standpoint. And THIS article says that authors earn more with ebooks. "Writers get between 40 and 70% for every eBook sold." I'll have to do more research!

I hope that I have brought some things to light for your when it comes to ebooks and ereaders. I am obviously a fan of the Kindle. Chris bought me a new one this year for Christmas and I love it even more!! I will continue to post free ebooks that I find on here when I find them. Just letting you in on my secret... here are the two sites who keep me posted on the freebies.

EReaderIQ

BooksOnTheKnob

Here is a great video that shows you all you need to know about the newest Kindle.


I would love to know what you think so let me know! Happy reading all!

2 comments:

brave chickens said...

I'm a teenager and yes, I use technology a lot but I don't like it at all. The world is becoming too dependant on technology.

My views of ebooks: I prefer printed books :) The experience of going to the library or bookstore and then flipping through the pages and admiring the cover cannot be replaced. Also, there's no battery life :D

Andy and Mandy Smith said...

being your cousin...i don't find it too surprising that i feel the same...the love of the smell of books and the feel of them. however, my husband is scared to death of finding a place to put all of my books, and doesn't understand that i will not just throw some of them out! i like the ereaders because if you don't like a book, you aren't stuck with finding a way to get rid of it. you delete it and move on! i also like the ease of getting hold of books...i live in the middle of nowhere with one major bookstore 30 minutes away, and they don't carry many books by the indie publishers - most of which i have been able to find in kindle format. it's also cost effective...when you have a car payment and a mortgage and all the other expenses of "adulthood", it's nice to have a nearly flat rate on books - no higher charge for hardbacks that haven't been printed in paperback, etc. i'll never quit buying paper books, but i'll know ahead of time if i like the book enough to want it in paper form.

so keep the free book links coming!

 
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