Jan 24, 2013

E-Books vs. Print Books: My Promise

I've been looking at my "library," doing a kind of inventory of what books I still have yet to read and what books I've finished. I have this obsessive habit of buying books even when I have ten (or more) just sitting there waiting to be read, and I figure it's time I stop out-collecting my ability and time (or lack there of) to read.

What I noticed was that I have a lot more ebooks (mostly on my Kindle app) than I do printed books.

I'm little ashamed of myself, actually. If you asked me which format I prefer, there is no doubt that I would lean toward the side of having a real book in my hands. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, and I love the fact that each one is like it's own little work of art and you can display them as such. But let's face it, the world of the printed word has changed and is continuing to do so, and it's affecting everyone.
Amazon now sells more ebooks than paperback and hardcovers combined, and while I'm guilty of simply clicking away and downloading books, that outrageous fact has got me a little anxious. Are print books going to wiped out to extinction by convenience?

It is really simple. Ebooks can cost lest than $10 (even less than $5) and it can be at your fingertips with ever-present WIFI and the simple push of a button. That's my weakness ~ seeing this great book for $0.99... How in the heck can any book lover with limited funds possibly resist that?

It's also simple and more cost effective for publishers and authors. Being in the book blogging world, I've noticed that most ARCs I receive come in a digital format. It's just easier and less expensive. You attach an entire, beautiful book to an email, click send and it reaches its destination in mere seconds. No paying for print or packaging. No waiting and hoping that the mailman delivers in a timely fashion. It's win, win... right?

With the world becoming more and more technological and social networking allowing us all to connect via our computers, phones, and tablets... I mean, the book world didn't stand a frosted chance in hell. It's either change or be left behind in this fast paced world.

Take a look at the Kindle app. You can share quotes on Facebook or Twitter by simply highlighting the words that strike your fancy. You can "x-ray" the book to see where characters are mentioned. You can place multiple bookmarks and add notes. And it's all right there, neatly organized, saved, and laid out for you.

Kobo is another one that has taken reading to a social level. You can see who else is reading that very book displayed on your screen and what they might have to say about it. If your friends on Facebook are signed up, there's a little tab especially for interacting with them via Kobo. You have "reading stats," telling you how many pages you've read and how long it takes you to finish a book. You even receive "awards" for your reading such as The Twain Award, bestowed on those who have read daily for two weeks or the Page Turner award, honoring readers who haven't put their book down for two hours straight. It's akin to a game and takes reading to a whole new level.

But you know, even with all the wonderful things that ebooks and e-readers have brought to the table, there's nothing like a real book in your hands. There aren't any stats or a long list of fancy attributes like I've listed with the e-readers, but still... Nothing compares. Book lovers understand. No amount of conveniences or features can take away what it feels like to turn that first page, to smell the ink and paper, to physically hold someone's heart and soul in your hands.

My hope is that printed books don't turn into collectible relics that cost a fortune due to their rarity. Already, some books are only available in a digital format, and I'm sure that number will increase. After taking stock of my book shelves, virtual and wooden, I've realized that I've fallen into that hole. Drunk the koolaid. Followed the masses. There's nothing wrong with ebooks, but could you imagine a world where paperbacks and hardcovers were no longer created? Makes me short of breath... It's like a friggin' nightmare...

Realization has struck, so as a method of atonement for my "sins" against the printed word, any books that I buy from here on out will be solid, real, physical things that take up actual space on my shelves.

Real books all the way.

Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~


  1. For authors that I love, I must have a print version. For authors that I'm trying out, I prefer the ebook.

    For me, I'm very skeptical of ebooks. I'm so scared that if my Kindle becomes outdated that I won't be able to access my book collection again.

    Some books I buy both ebook and print.

  2. @Lizzy That's a fear of mine too ~ losing all the ebooks I've collected...

    also, it's difficult to lend ebooks to others...

    I get your point about the authors though ~ such a bummer to buy a print book and you end up not liking it as much as you thought you would... when you know you love an author, it's totally worth the buy..


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