Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Turning of a Page...

There's something so visceral about holding a book in your hands. 

It's the breeze of the pages as you riffle through them. The feel of the embossed, raised type of the title under the pads of your fingers. The muscle definition on the abs of the half-naked man winking saucily up at you from a glossy cover. The crisp, slightly woody smell of a freshly-printed novel. The weight of it as it balances in your hands. The texture of the pages with just a hint of graininess. The distinctive sound of the flip of a page as you dive deep into a new--or familiar--world.

Nope. Nothing like a physical book.

And yet...

I'm really enjoying my e-reader lately. It's just so...easy. The piles of books, while I do love them and gaze upon them with adoration and a huge sigh, wishing I had more time to read, can get overwhelming as they creep and multiply much like bunnies, turning up in corners and crevices. I'm just about out of room, which means parting with many of my booky friends and adopting them out to other reader-friendly households. 

With an ereader, I can load up on the urban fantasies I love so well without the struggle of trying to shelve them or find them a new home when I'm done. No one in my "real" life reads UF (why, I don't know. Remind me why I'm friends with these people?). At least with the YA novels, I can put those on my classroom bookshelf, donate them to our library or pass them along to a fellow teacher. They'll always have a home.

Plus, there's the travel-friendly aspect of ereaders. Even on weekend trips, I generally blaze through more than one book and, with tight packing restrictions, don't usually have room for multiple books in my suitcase. And I certainly would never consider traveling without several books to stave off the boredom that comes with waiting for the plane to do its thing. *dies without books*

But I can't imagine going fully electronic. 

An admitted cover whore, I buy first with my eyes a lot of times. Books with gorgeous covers just don't have the same presence on ereaders, not even full-color tablets. And then there's the flipping back and forth through the pages to re-read that one passage or remind myself of that one character or scene. Again, not the same with an ereader. Sure, you can bookmark and make notes and all that jazz but...no.

A book in hand is worth five on the ereader.

What say you, fellow readers? 

13 comments:

  1. All you say it true... turning pages, physically feeling a book and the cover.. Ohhh the cover!

    Yet, I am an eReader Girl through and through. Ever since I got my first Kindle 3 years ago I didn't look back.
    I LOVE my eReader insanely and I actually prefer eCopies. It's even worse, I hold back from reading physical review copies until I can get the eVersion.

    It's so easy- just a tip to turn the pages, no bending the spin..

    I know I'm atypical but I love my iPad and Kindle! So so much!

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  2. I love books, their smell, their feel... the fact the can make decent pillows if you twist them in the right angle...
    But I also got an ereader and I do like it. The weird thing is that I don't use it as much as I thought I would. I got it because I spend so much time on the computer, and I read the egalleys on the laptop, and I thought having an e-reader would help me that. But the truth is I like reading on the laptop because I can do other things at the same time.

    I mostly use the e-reader when I'm away from home so I don't have to stop reading, but half the time I still have a paper book in my purse. I just find comfort in knowing it's there and I can whip it out any time or anywhere.

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  3. Honestly, I used to think there is no way I would go digital. It just wasn't going to happen! However, I am really trying to go all digital now with only my "signed" or "collectable" books being in paper form. For me, the turning point is when I spilled a RT 44 unsweet ice tea all over my books and it ruined a good 50 of them. I was devastated.

    That being said--I do love book stores, the smell of books, and libraries. I don't ever want any of those things to go away. In my house (with my clutziness and my dogs tail of mass destruction) digital just works better!

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  4. I went digital. I love it. Many Urban Fantasy I read suffered from series killed of too soon. And I love complete sets signed.

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  5. I agree with that last sentence especially. For me, there is also a mental block about paying for non-tangible goods. Music is easier for me to wrap my brain around because you can put the music onto a disk and then it is tangible (and if you are like me and drive a slightly older car you need to if you want to play the music in the car). EBooks are more like apps to me, they will often only work on one type of software (this more frustrates me because of iTunes – I stopped buying music from them because you can only play their songs on their software). I will acknowledge that Amazon at least provides a Kindle app or software for pretty much any device, so that is slightly better – but if they ever decide to switch their eBook format and their software no longer accepts the old one (which is entirely possible) then I am screwed – whereas if I had bought the physical book I would not have any problems.

    Plus, right now there is a lot of confusion and potential litigation involved in the issue of eBook pricing. To consumers, there is no reason why an eBook should cost as much, or in some cases more, than the physical book – everyone knows there are fewer production costs involved in creating the eBook version (also, the lower expected price fits into what someone sees as the worth of the book). Consumers see this every day when we go out and see the prices of books published by indie authors. Yet, the prices set up by the bigger publishes houses are still very high for eBooks.

    I think one of the things that also just plain pisses me off about ebooks and the bigger publishing houses is the trouble that they are giving public libraries over the issue. I can’t remember which one is doing what right now, but some will not even allow libraries to loan out their ebooks, others will charge four times the price for an eBook that they will for a physical copy (although I can kind of understand charging a bit more because the book does not lose value with every rental as it does with a physical copy, but $80 for a $20 book is too much), and then Harper Collins will only allow an eBook to be checked out 26 times before it ‘expires’ and the library has to purchase a new copy. I can guarantee you that a physical copy can be rented out more than 26 times without too much wear and tear. Plus that scheme also does not take into account that a book may be taken out but maybe the patron isn’t able to finish the book on time or just didn’t have enough time to read it – not a problem with a physical copy other than keeping it out of circulation for a couple of weeks, but in the case of eBooks (especially when they don’t realize that libraries are paying more) then those situations can cause the libraries, whose funding is already under attack, to incur a lot of costs with no real benefits.

    Okay – rant over. Sorry, I am currently researching a related topic for a paper on eBooks' and their copyrights in relation to the First Sale Doctrine (the one that says that you can resell a copyrighted good after you purchase it) and I’ve been finding a lot of information that just makes me unhappy with the current regime.

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  6. I couldn't go to exclusive e-books. I agree that there's something about holding a book. It's also a lot easier to flip through and turn back to pages you really like. I'd much rather buy a book I love in paper so I can treasure it on my shelf.

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  7. I LOVE MY E-READER MARY! While I will always love books with actual paper pages more, like you said, the ease with which I can get books on my Kindle is highly addicting. It's nice to finish a book at 10pm and go "you know what? I want the next book in the series immediately" and then be able to just pop online and get it instead of having to wait for the bookstore to open the next day.

    If given the choice though, I will always choose actual books over ebooks, but I do love the convenience of my Kindle:)

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  8. I'm just going to nod my head and agree with you Mary. Everything you said is SO TRUE.

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  9. I basically agree with everything you said. I love both types of reading. My eReader is so practical for traveling with me, and is a lot better than holding a 600 pages book in your hands. I also seem to read a lot more quickly on it. But still I love the traditional hard copy book, for how the covers look in person, and for being able to loan them out easily, and getting them signed. I think there's definitely a good and bad side to both ways.

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  10. You're right. There's nothing like holding a book in your hand, gazing at it, petting it. Not that I tell people in my "real life" I pet my books. Most aren't readers and wouldn't understand :) But I love reading on my iphone. It's just so convenient. I can read anywhere at anytime and don't ever have to worry about shelf space. Plus I find I read a lot at night and it makes it easier to read in bed. But still, a physical book... It's hard to decide which I enjoy better. That's why I usually buy my favorite books in hardcover even though I already own them in ebooks!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

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  11. You've summed it up pretty nicely. I love the convenience of my Kindle but there are times when a physical copy is so much better. I use my library when the budget is a little tight or when I want to read a book but I'm not sure if it's worth the asking price. ;)

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  12. I like my ereader and use it, but I never feel like I own the books I purchase for it. I mostly use it to read egalleys because I HATE reading on the computer, but occasionally I do purchase ebooks. It's just that, before I buy each one, I have to ask myself if it's something I'd rather own. I have to weigh my desire to have it NOW with my desire to actually, physically possess the book. And generally, my preference falls on the side of paper.

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  13. I definitely prefer physical books and I read them much sooner than ebooks. But I do like having the ereader so I can read more Indie books. But I refuse to spend more then a couple books on an ebook. Its just too hard to spend money on something that's not tangible.
    I don't have friends that really read UF either. I guess I have a couple that read some, but they are particular. So I tend to not care as much about keeping them. Well, except for my most favorite series anyway.

    If a book has a gorgeous cover that makes me want the physical book even more.

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