Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Rambling: E-Books and Paper Books

I've been thinking a bit lately about my buying patterns when it comes to books. First off: I do have two e-readers (Kobo Vox and the older Kobo Wi-Fi), so I'm not adverse to e-books in any way, shape or form. And yet, I still buy far more actual paper books than e-books. What's more, sometimes it seems like I'll read those paper books first too.

Yes, I'll buy the paper books even though the e-books are often less expensive. Case in point: the book A Great And Terrible King: Edward I and The Forging Of Britain by Marc Morris. I will admit that I contemplated buying the e-book which was distinctly less expensive ($9.99 on Kindle, or 11.19 for the Kobo, compared with almost $24 for the hardcopy book on the website). Pre-Vox, I wouldn't even have considered the e-book, because I would have a harder time taking notes from it. Now, though, with the ability to highlight and take notes, that's less of an issue now.

But, for this book specifically, I went with paper, because I know of someone else who would probably like to read it. And, I don't really want to loan out my e-reader (I'm usually reading a couple of things on there).

The other times I go for paper over e-books without even thinking about doing otherwise are when I already have the rest of the series in paper form (often even in hardcover format), such as with the novels by Mercedes Lackey, J.R. Ward, Patricia Briggs or Kylie Chan. Although, I will admit to duplicating the first of Kylie Chan's books (White Tiger) for the Kobo, as well as having it in paper. The price was too good.

Those are all the reasons I've gone for paper over e-books, so now to go the other way:
The book's just plain not available anywhere around in paper format (Stray by Rachel Vincent. It wasn't even in the local libraries).

Or, there's the e-book only cases: Ravens of Falkenau comes to mind there, Jo Graham's book of short stories. A lot of authors seem to have short stories available as e-books, which is another plus.

And, you can't forget all of the free e-books available. Be they limited time promotions or permanently free. I've found quite a few good ones now and again.

The biggest reason is, of course Travel. That's where the e-book readers really shine. Especially if you're a faster reader. It's ridiculous to take a stack of four or five books with you with the costs and restrictions on luggage. With the e-reader, that's all you need, along with maybe one book for the plane (for the times they ask you to power down the e-reader). Much less of a space requirement.

So, for me, I'm not ready to commit to one format over the other (and my ability to read e-books continues to expand, as I an now able to read kindle books on my e-reader, as well as Kobo.

What are your preferences for books? paper or e-books?


Anonymous said...

Good post. Like you I don't think that eBooks compete with paper books. They are just another delivery method to get the product to the consumer.

Of course, they could be a bit cheaper.

Unknown said...

Which is why for the real keepers I'm going to stick with paper. Besides, that way if there's something like a power outage, I can still read for a long time.


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