Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I May Never Buy an eBook

Last week I told you about my new iPad and how I had no idea what to do with it. Now, thanks to the advice of several awesome commenters I have a much better idea of what this little thing can do. Thanks everyone!

After I read all of your comments I immediately downloaded apps for all of the bookstores (kindle, nook, ibooks, etc), and began to browse.

It was AMAZING. I couldn't believe that every book I wanted was just a tap away. Not only that, I had some bookstore gift cards from Christmas, so I didn't even have to spend my own money! The only question was what I should buy first.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I am not and impulsive buyer. Before I could tap that buy button I had to do some research. So I looked up what it would cost to buy a REAL paper and ink copy of the books on my list, and I was surprised to find that for most of the books I wanted, it cost the same or just a dollar more to buy a book instead of an eBook.

I thought about that real book sitting on my shelf. I thought about lending it to friends. I thought about all four of my kids pulling it off the shelf when they get old enough to enjoy it. I thought about reading it in the bathtub and not worrying about a few little water spots, because it's paper and it will dry. And the eBooks suddenly looked much less shiny.

Yeah, I've heard about Kindle's new lending program. But I've also heard about all the caveats, like the fact that only a few books can be lent, you can only lend a book ONE TIME, and only lend it for 14 days.

Yes it would be convenient to get a book the second I want it and store my whole library in one two pound device. But I don't think those conveniences outweigh my desire to share my books with friends and family and smell paper and ink while I read. Plus you know I'm not taking the iPad with me to the tub.

So instead of buying books online I'll be headed to the bookstore to browse the aisles the old fashioned way.

But don't worry! The iPad will see some reading action too. I downloaded an app that gives me access to my library's eBooks and eAudiobooks and it turns out my library has an AWESOME eBook collection. So I think I'll save myself a couple trips to the library every month by doing more of my library reading and listening on the iPad.

I will probably break down and buy an eBook one of these days, but not anytime soon. The sad truth is I like real books too much.

Do you buy a lot of eBooks? What do you like about them? If you're not an eBook fan, why can't you live without good old ink and paper books?

29 comments:

Diane said...

I downloaded the free Amazon kindle for PC app but have not used it yet. I can't get used to sitting and scrolling to read. I like books too. :O)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I thought I'd feel the same as you. Nothing can compare to a real book in hand. And that is true. However, I've been using my Kobo since Christmas, and I must say - I do love it! I live far from any bookstore, so if there is a new release I want, I sometimes have to wait weeks before I get to town. Also, all those hard covers take up lots of space on my shelves. They all fit neatly in the Kobo now. Another surprising advantage, I can read at the table while I eat very easily. You don't have to hold it open, worry about pages flipping, it's easy to hold and actually more comfortable to read in bed. That's not to say I won't be buying any more print books, but I do find it convenient.

Brenda said...

My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and I love it. I didn't think I wanted one, but then I got stuck commuting in the snow for hours, finished the book I was reading and even read The Sun...and all the while people were happily on their Kindles all around me. So, I mentioned in passing I thought it would be great for commuting and, husband being stuck for a Christmas present anyway, it landed beneath the tree.

It's not the same as an actual book in hand, but reading on the screen is fine. I don't feel any less engaged with the book and, as the above poster said, it's much easier to read in bed or at the dining room table. I DID read a book on the iPad and I have to say the Kindle as a reading device is better. It's not back-lit for one and the size is more manageable. That said, should I ever get published, I can't wait to feel the actual paper pages in my hand. I have a feeling that will feel more "real" than any e-book ever could.

Terri Tiffany said...

OH YAY!!!! SO happy to read this!!! I love real books and love all the reasons you mentioned. Course I owned a bookstore too and kept tons of books to share.

Tabitha Bird said...

And for all those reasons I too may never buy and ebook. :))

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

My sentiments entirely. Nothing will compare to a good old-fashioned book!

Joanne Fritz said...

Good post, Natalie. Well, I probably won't buy an ebook for a good long while. Don't own a device. Plus I work in a bookstore (although we now sell ebooks through our website).

My main reason for resisting? If you drop a book, it doesn't break.

Also, you don't have to buy a $300 device in order to read a paperback.

A paperback is lightweight and portable.

I love turning pages.

Love the smell of books.

And my final reason ... authors can sign books but they can't sign ebooks.

Rachel Searles said...

I guess I'm in the minority here! I love my Kindle and all the convenience it offers--slim, light, easy to take along, entire library in my purse, instant gratification when I want a book. I find myself reading more than ever. I never lose my place in a book anymore, and if I'm out and about without it, I can still read the synced book on my phone. Plus I travel and move often, and it's so nice not to have more bulky books to move around.

Different strokes for different folks! :)

Sherrinda said...

I love my Kindle and have over 100 books on it. All but 3 are free. And they are from great authors that I love! Amazon does promotional freebies and so you can downloads some great books that way. Also, I signed up for Netgalley.com. They will send you galley books (ebooks) free to read and review on your blog. And AWESOME way to get free books! I do love the smell of books, but I must say that my Kindle is my new best friend!

Ishta Mercurio said...

First - great blog! I'm a new follower.

I like paper books. I like the feel and the smell, I like lending them, I like that they're easy to browse through, I like that they don't break, I LOVE having my author-friends sign them, and I just like SEEING them. All at once.

And I like that nothing beyond me taking one of them down will ever make them disappear from my shelf. They're a permanent part of my world. An eBook will never give you that.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

As books pile up like tower walls around me, I'm sure someone would say I really should get an e-reader. But I love that very being-ness of paper books--the beautiful covers and pages to pour over. For now, I remain a paper-book lover.

jayna said...

The funny thing is one doesn't replace the other, at least for me. I love and use my kindle. I still go to the library and pick up a stack of books a week. I remember you telling me that audiobooks is where it's at for you, so maybe that's why you aren't feeling the need for another reading format?
p.s. as your old school bff, I feel the need to let you know you have two "and" instead of "an" in your post- one in the title, one in a few paragraphs down, just FYI. I'd at least fix the one in the title for all your type-o fanatics out there! :)

Natalie said...

Nice. Thanks Jay.

Stephanie Thornton said...

My husband bought me a Nook for Christmas- we travel a lot so it's much better than lugging around a giant stack of books. But when I'm at home I'd rather read a paper book.

Glad you're finding good uses for the iPad! They're pretty darn nifty.

Tracy Loewer said...

I love my kindle, but mostly download library books and free ones. I think that ebooks are generally overpriced. If they were cheaper, I'd likely buy more. As it stands, though, if I'm going to spend money, I'd rather have something I can put on a shelf! (I did pay for an awesome scripture/church manuals compilation that has links embedded, but that's about it.) I prefer reading real books, but for portability, my kindle is wonderful. I really like that I can throw it in my purse and have hundreds of books at my disposal.

Reviews Of Unusual Size! said...

When we moved out here to Maine, I had to leave all of my books at home (All we brought out was what we could fit in the car) so I bought a nook to keep me from going insane. Its been hard not buying physical books... impossible sometimes, but it serves a purpose and I find that I do enjoy reading on it, just not as much as the real thing.


Check In To The ROUS Motel!

VR Barkowski said...

I love printed books, which is why we have a library instead of a living room. When we moved from Washington back to California the we moved 75 cases of books, the number increased when we moved cross country from California to Georgia. My e-reader (a Kindle) is fine for travel and commuting. But I keep it in an embossed leather case so it feels like a book. Even worse, when I read something on Kindle I admire, I immediately run to the nearest bookstore and buy a printed copy. Same with audio books.

Susan R. Mills said...

I don't have an ereader so I'm still all about real books.

Paul Greci said...

I don't have an e-reader and I don't have plans to get one, but, you never know...

Anita Saxena said...

I actually prefer reading on my Nook. I like the fact that I can make the font big, take my glasses off and read. I also like that I don't have to hold the pages open, especially when I'm eating. But, yes I do miss the fact that I can't lend them as easily to friends or beautify my bookshelves with them.

Lisa Aldin said...

I have to say...I Love E-BOOKS. I have a Nook Color, the e-reading device from Barnes & Nobles, and I LOVE IT. I've already read 3 books on it and I get more read that way. I have no idea why. I love regular books. I do. And I still read regular books, ones I have already bought and not gotten to yet. But I read more than one book at a time and the Nook is so great for this. Other things I like about it:

1) Word look-up. I am not that smart, I will admit. So when I run across a word I don't know as I am reading, all I have to go it touch the word and it looks it up for me. Or I can Google it. Or Wikipedia it. It takes 2 seconds. I use this feature A LOT.
2) Sharing. It's easy to share a quote or my reading status with the Nook via Facebook or Twitter. I like sharing quotes! All I have to do is highlight and click!

I could go on but I feel enough of a dork now! Ha!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I'm with ya. I have bought some books for my Kindle but most of the time I still end up going to Borders, getting a coffee, and thumbing through the real books til I find a couple that catch my interest. Hard to do that on a Kindle.

Emy Shin said...

I'd love to have an eReader, but I do think I'll still buy paper books. But I'm one of those readers who buy hardcover copies of books I loved, even though I already have the paperback copies.

Sarah Skilton said...

The convenience of ebooks makes them extremely tempting, but I hate pushing a button or having to scroll to turn the page. This may seem like a minor complaint, but after clicking a mouse and staring at a screen all day at work, I just want a different experience when I read a book. I like feeling as though there's a clear break between work life and home life. Reading is how I unwind and relax, and ebooks and ebook readers remind me a bit too much of work.

Regina said...

I thought the same thing when I got the Nook Color, but sometimes, I can get some of the new books like I think I bought The Water Wars for $2.99 for a promotional price when it first came out and now it is selling for $9.99. So the good thing is too that I can never loose my books. If my machine fries, or I get a new one, my Barnes and Noble account will upload my entire library back to my new machine and I will have them there always and forever.

I do still buy the hardcover books too, but it depends on pricing and covers. I am addicted to words and love to support other writers but I like a good deal too when money is tight.

Kimberly said...

I love real books, but I'm an ebook convert. I got the Sony Reader for Christmas and love it. I live in Chicago and take public transportation to work each day and the Sony Reader is lighter and easier to use during my commute. And it's easy to "turn" the page even with gloves on! I recently discovered lazydaybooks.com, which sells ebooks that work on my Sony. I think they work on the Nook and Kobo readers, too. The great thing about Lazy Day Books is that you can buy more than 1 book at a time and even send several ebooks as a gift to a friend.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Natalie, I feel fairly tech-oriented in my work but I have no desire to buy an e-book. And oddly enough, I don't feel as if I'm missing out. Life is still fine with real books. I love them. :)

MA said...

Natalie, I, who am woefully lo tech agree, I notice that people who have their scriptures on I Pad or phone take much longer to get to a verse than I do. It seems a little like the Emperor's new clothes, it is cool to have the latest thing, but is it smart? Mary Anne

David said...

So a book in the hand is worth ten in the kindle?