Friday, August 22, 2008

So, Paper or E?

*giggles at title*

Recently, I read my first ever e-book. It was titled Breaking Dawn. It was disappointing, both the book and the reading format. And the thing is, I'm sure that even if the book were semi-enjoyable, the e-book thing would've still bothered me. I'm a sentimental reader - I must have a book in my hands at all times, be able to feel it, make marks on it (if it's an ARC), and occasionally hug it. E-book reading is so impersonal to me.

And yet I do see its advantages. The storage aspect is awesome - my bookshelves are overflowing and with no used books bookstore/libraries around here I can do away with books I didn't particularly enjoy. Let's not even talk about ARCs - what the hell am I supposed to do with those? (And if anyone's got any tips, I'm all ears.)

But still. I can't ever see me being an e-book reader. In fact, I think I even have an e-book I received in my first few weeks in the blogosphore that will only get a review when my paper books - which I'm in no shortage of, and which also take precedence - run out. It's a tricky world.

So anyhow - paper books or e-books?


anilee said...

Paper books. I love the feel of them, the smell of them...

However, since I really don't like libraries (I like to own books) but college dorm rooms are so tiny...I'm asking for an e-book reader for graduation. I can buy the occasional book and it won't take up space. Also, just the possibility of having a hundred books in the size of's got to be nice for vacation or if you're struggling to find something to read.

E-books are more practical, but paper books are way better.

I'd say that you could hold contests to get rid of ARCs you don't want, but postage would get expensive, and then since it would be even more assuming in most cases you'd be shipping internationally.

Anonymous said...

I actually really like ebooks (and it's not just because that's the market I write for, either). I download short stories pretty frequently onto my handheld (iPAQ 110 running Mobipocket eReader software), which is cool because when I'm sitting in the dentist waiting room, or on my lunch hour, or, for example, on a plane where you can't take a whole lot of paper books with you, I can kick back and read whenever I have a minute.

I still love paper books though -- they're great keepsakes. My husband and I have a whole room filled with antique, leather-bound books and books I plan to pass down to my kids when I get around to having some (as well as current fantasy/sci-fi stuff!).

But digital has some really great things going for it. For one, you can read an ebook over and over and over, and it's not going to get the crumpled, bent cover, or the worn pages. And the e-reading program I use, Mobipocket, even allows you to add annotations to the text.

I could go on, but I'll save you the sales pitch! :-P

Just curious, what did you read "BD" on? I know different devices influence the e-reading experience in different ways.... For instance, I love reading on my handheld, but I don't particularly like reading on my desktop.

All the best,
Heather S. Ingemar

Anonymous said...

I prefer paper books, but I wouldn't mind reading an ebook if I had to. But I enjoy the smell of the book and just holding it in my hands. Plus, looking at the cover art and everything in person just makes me giddy, lol.

So totally paper.

Meredith said...

Paper books for me. I just love the feel of them and that feeling you get when you are just a few pages away from finishing the book.

Now, granted, I have never really read an e-book. I have looked at some online from my desktop, but they were so hard to read that I just had to stop. Maybe if I had a Kindle or something like that it would be different, but for now, I am a hold-it-in-my-hands, turn-the-page paper book girl.

Amee said...

Argh, I had a whole long message typed out but then my internet died. So here is the short version:

I tried an e-book once, made it half through, and then forgot about it because I had paper books to read.

Like others have said I really enjoy the feel and smell of the books. I also enjoy just looking at my bookshelves and remembering the great stories while anticipating the ones yet to be read.

I also think Meredith got it right with the feeling you get when you're a few pages from the end. I totally agree. I don't know if that feeling would be the same with an e-book.

Anyway, I'm not against e-books, they just aren't right for me.

Lenore Appelhans said...

I've never finished an e-book. Not that I couldn't but I prefer paper.

I have a box of ARCs that I'm done with and I let my friends take their pick.

Simply_Megan said...

I love the idea of e-books because it saves paper and I'm an environmentalist. But I don't think I could ever read one because staring at the computer screen too long makes my eyes hurt. And I do love the feel of holding a book, looking at the cover, etc.

For any books I don't want I just give them to Goodwill. I've never given an ARC away though. If the book is published, are you allowed to?

Caroline said...

Paper books, always and forever and until I have no room for anything else.
(behind the all the cynicism and sarcasticness, I am very sentimental). :)

Ruth King said...

Paper all the way! There's nothing like having the feel of a real book in your hands. Plus, as you noted, they're huggable!

As for ARC's, I pass on the ones I don't keep to other reviewers in giveaways on my blog or I put them up on BookMooch.

Anonymous said...

Paper books all the way!

E-books might be more practical but they suck.

Rachael Stein said...

i prefer paper. for me they're more practical cuz i dont have a portable e-book reader and have limited computer access. i only review ebooks if i have to.

for ARC's, i will either trade with other reviewers of do nothing (i'm still trying to figure out too). i also sometimes put them on BookMooch (though i dont go on there anymore). i think it's acceptable to give away an ARC in a contest if its not published yet but for some reason, i just wont do it after it is. i dont know why, though i have seen it done on other sites.

alison ashlee said...

I absolutely adore paper books, first and foremost. It's just so nice to look up at the bookshelves and see all the books lined up, which you can't do with e-books.

On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of e-books because: I don't have a lot of spare money to spend on books. A paper book might cost $16.00 (Aust) - $20.00 (Aust) (More, depending what and where you buy), but an e-book version might cost less than $7.00, even when I convert it from US dollars, so that's a huge saving for me. Also, some books might not be released here (or if they are, at an expensive price or at a later date), so having access to them via e-versions is also handy.

I always spend a lot of time on the computer, so reading on the computer is no bother for me.

Having said that, it's a little harder trying to read in bed with a laptop, so paper books definitely help with making it comfier, and not so heavy!

Booked Books said...

I borrowed BD from a friend, finished the first two parts, and gave up afterward. It was so hard to get through. I don't think I'll ever go back to it. I never was much of a Twilight fan anyway. *shrugs*

I don't prefer e-books b/c they hurt my eyes. That's all I have to say about that.

As for getting rid of ARCs, people already mentioned this but BookMooch (though I've never used this) and contests work.

Other options:
I read somewhere about an author who got an ARC of Breaking Dawn to review for a magazine article or something. Anyway, she's actually an Anti-Twilighter, so naturally she hated it. She tore it to shreds after reading it. If it were me, I would've recycled it, which is another option.

I'm *not* entirely sure of this option, but you might be able to donate them to hospitals, nursing homes, prisons too...

You can also give it away to your friends and family. I find that to be the easiest method.

Leigh Purtill said...

Much as I love email and texting and IM's (and blogs!), I just don't place books in the same category for reading. Somehow electronic reading seems like it should be reserved for material that comes in short bursts, not something where your attention span needs to be sustained for a long period of time. I can sit in a comfy chair staring at a paper book for hours but no way could I do that with an ebook.

Heather said...

I just hang on to ARCs because they're rare-ish. May be worth some money later in life [I'm a huge packrat and so that's my excuse for hanging on to everything. Well that and, "But it's so pretty" =)

Alea said...

I'm going to put in another vote for bookmooch. I've mooched several ARC's myself. Since you are just giving it to another person instead of say selling it I think it works out well. If you set your account to send within your own country it keeps the costs down.

I've never tried an e-book. I sit at my computer enough already, don't need any more of that. I also like to hold a book in my hands, so much so that I actually prefer paperbacks to hardcovers and trade paperback to mass market paperbacks. Trade paperbacks are the BEST!

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