Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh no! Not another print vs. Ebook blog!

Yes, it is. I know there have been plenty of them lately, but that's whats on my mind. The recent closing of Borders and various things have me thinking about it all lately. There's so much speculation on the future of books. The future of publishing. The future, the future....It gets so repetitive!

I love ebooks. But I also love print. There's pros and cons to both.

There's just something about holding that wonderfully printed new book. Or used for that matter. My spare bedroom in my house is being converted into a library. I can't wait until it's finished. I'm never going to want to leave it. (Wonder if I can convince hubby to put a bed in here? LOL) But.....

There's only so much space. And I buy-and read- a lot of books! And it's SO HARD to part with them. Sure, I can part with a book I wasn't too fond of. But for those few that I don't want to keep, there's about five times that many that I DO want to keep. I only have so much space. And that's where the ebook factor plays in my mind. Unlimited space. Okay, so even if you don't have enough room on your ereader, computer, Ipod...wherever, you can at least archive your books and if you want a re-read, then you can download it back again later.

But I know that reading on the computer, or an electronic device, if I'm reading too long it starts to hurt my eyes. Now, I'm not sure if an actual e-reader device such as a Kindle or Nook has that issue, being that I don't have one. I read ebooks either on my main PC, laptop, or from the Kindle, Nook, and Fictionwise apps I have on my Itouch.

But then again, with print, some of the font size is so small! (Berkley Sensation books sometime seem to have such small print, I struggle with it. Being that I have a visual impairment, it makes it hard for me at times) With the ebook devices, you can change the font size.

I could go on and on about the pros and cons, but I think you get the point.

As an author, I'd like to be able to see one of my books in print. It's always been a dream of mine to hold one of my own books.

With the closing of another major bookstore, what does that hold for the future of books? Is it fair for everyone to simply have to adapt to whatever comes? Can't there somehow be choices, a way for EVERYONE to be satisfied? I know there are some people who have not jumped into the ebook market at all! And that's fine, it's their prerogative, but what happens if or when that choice may be taken away from them?

I know, I know. Life isn't fair. Blah, blah, blah. I hear that all the time. I know it. Does that mean I can't comment about it? Well, I am. Commenting about it.

What do you think? How do you feel? I'd love comments from a readers point of view, and authors point of view.


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Brenda said...

Well, I like printed books, BUT I'm now entering the era of the e-book and I'm beginning to like it. I think e-books are the way of the future--not saying there won't be printed books, but I do feel that e-books will become the norm.
But this is strictly just my opinion....

Kaye Spencer said...

From a reader's point of view: I love the way a paper-printed book smells. I love the way it feels when I hold it. I love the sound of the pages rustling when I turn them one at a time or flip through several pages at once. I love looking at the cover, browsing a few pages, turning it over to read the back blurb. I love plucking a reference book off my shelf to look something up. I love writing in the margins.

However--and this is critical--(you knew there was a however coming) I love the printed word more than the medium in which it is presented.

For me, the debate over "e" vs. "paper" comes down to this: I read for two reasons: to be entertained and/or to learn something (or enhance existing knowledge). Therefore, I am indifferent about how I access entertainment or knowledge, although I choose the e-print with more frequency now. This book format debate is the same principal as older debates: 1) vinyl vs. 8-track (yes, I am THAT old) vs. cd, 2) movie theater vs. dvd, or even 3) Rod Stewart live vs. Rod Stewart recordings (the singer isn't my point here, just an example). Each has merit, each has its place. One is/was not "better" than the other. They're just...different.

I have embraced the "e" world. I have a Kindle and the convenience of having all my beloved stories at my fingertips all the time is wonderful. But, when I need an "old paper smell/feel/rustle of pages" fix, I drag out an old dog-earred favorite, hold it close to my face, and bask in the nostalgic bliss of a bygone age.

Electronic publishing is simply the newest step in the evolutionary development in the history of printing which began around 3000 BCE with duplication of images to the Guttenberg printing press in 1440 and so on.

We are living history in the making, and future generations will look back upon the current debate between "e" and "paper" and shake their heads in bewilderment because they will undoubtedly have their own evolutionary stage of "print" to debate themselves.

From a professional slant as an e-pubbed romance author, the thought that my e-Books have a virtual shelf-life theoretically longer than infinity is incredible. I fully admit that this really appeals to my writing ego, which puts me on the electronic bandwagon with banners waving.


hotcha12 said...


J.Rose Allister said...

I am also a huge flag-waver on the eBook bandwagon. This began for me years back, when I realized it was a "greener" technology than the mass-market machine. Then came all the other advantages I hadn't considered.

I for one find my eyes will hurt when I read print volumes, too, assuming I can read them at all because that print shrinks more the older I get. My fingers get soiled from ink, books tragically get torn, water damaged, and lost. The smell can be musty or downright moldy after a while. Paper gets fragile. Print books take up too much room in my tiny apartment, where space is at a premium. And every year I find it harder on my shoulders and back to lug the multiple books I like to carry with me.

Enter my saving grace--eBooks. I can tote hundreds on my tiny smartphone. If my eyes hurt, no problem--I change the background colors or expand the font size to my preference. If struck with a sudden urge for something new to read, I can get it instantly. No spending gas to get to the bookstore, or waiting days for books to be shipped.

Lots of people say there's "something about" holding a book or smelling the pages. To each his own, but I feel I AM holding books when I read eBooks, and I personally prefer the aroma of a nice candle. And as a writer, well, I earn so much more per sale and so many more sales per title with digital that I really can't complain.