Friday, June 3, 2011

Are We Finished With Print Books?

Recently, I read an article about the skyrocketing of ebook readers and ebook sales compared to print books, and it left me wondering why. I remember not long ago at writer's organizations and conferences there was repeated talk about whether they would even acknowledge an author who only published an ebook as even being published. And this wasn't even that long ago -maybe 6 or 7 years ago. And now Amazon is telling us that ebook sales have surpassed regular book sales. Wow.

It can't be the price of the books, because they pretty much still ask for the same cover price on most books. In fact, my daughter who owns a Nook, was looking for books to fill her ebook reader's shelf and a series she was interested in was actually MORE expensive for the ebook than for the actual book, especially if I added a Border's 40% off coupon to the equation.

And it can't be the reading experience. Again, I read a preview of a book on my Kindle, and didn't like the book. Then a friend let me borrow the same book, and I found that I loved it! For some reason, the experience was different. Much more pleasant. It's much nicer to hold a book and turn real pages

So is it just the ease of storing a large number of books onto a reader, and maybe the ease of purchase?

I wonder what the real reason is, because if the trend continues - and it appears it will - I can't see publishers continuing to print large volumes of books that will only be returned. Especially since it costs them so little to put an ebook out.

I belong to a book club and always choose the real book over buying the ebook version. It's so much easier to jump to a certain page in a real book. For my college classes, I also buy the actual books, so I can jump back and forth in an instant when I want to find details for a research paper or assignment. Though I do have to admit that when I travel to New York this month, I plan to take my rarely used Kindle on the trip, because it's much easier to carry in my purse.

What about you? Are you a converted ebook reader or still gravitate toward print books?



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Print books, definitely! I don't even have an E-reader. I don't know, for me, reading something off of a screen feels more like work than anything leisurely. I love propping my feet up, laying back, and holding an ACTUAL book in my hands. I don't think I'll convert, and, if I do, it will be a VERY LONG time. Of course, by that time, something new will come out--probably a holographic E-reader?

  3. Or something where the words get automatically transmitted into our brains so we can experience the story as if real. Okay, crazy, I know. And I'll I've taken this morning is tea and a pop tart : )

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  5. My nook is the best thing that happened to me! I thought the experience would matter, but now I just find paperbacks clunky. I have compared to the Kindle, and I didn't like it as well as my nook (fwiw). I can read much much faster on my nook, I never lose my place , and I've hardly paid for any e-books at all because B&N run deals all the time and most of the authors I read are public domain now anyway, on Project Gutenberg...

    Another plus, a couple of months ago I relocated temporarily and instead of boxing up my hundreds of books, I just loaded up my nook! Seriously, if you read user reviews so many people are happy with the ereader experience that I too think it's here to stay.

  6. Hi Joey! Great to meet you!
    And MJ, as far as convenience and it taking up less space, I'm with you. I have a feeling, we're quickly moving toward a new era of publishing. If it follows the example of music - I haven't bought a CD in years, but buy new songs all the time on iTunes.