To e-read or not

iPad Mini

A totally funny thing happened to me yesterday.  I was reading an actual, physical book, reached the end of a page, and tapped the right margin to turn to the next.

Have you ever done this?  It wouldn’t happen, of course, if I read books in only one form.  But I’m constantly switching between hardcover, paperback, iPad, and Kindle.

For me, each has a purpose.  For instance, if I’m reading a serious something that I know I’ll want to add to my library, I prefer the hardcover.  There’s something about its weight, about the ease of going back to reread something that confuses me, about the heft of the thing if the subject is, well, hefty.

On the other hand, if the book I’m reading is for my book group and not one I’d choose on my own, but one in which I’ll want to highlight passages or lines for quick reference, I buy trade paperback.  They call it “quality paperback,” and, yeah, I like the feel.  I also like the idea of supporting independent bookstores, which often specialize in this format.

I e-read the rest of my things.  Going away for a weekend?  Take the iPad or Kindle, and if one book starts to bore me, I have another at the ready without the weight of multiple books in my luggage.  The Kindle is great when I’m reading outside and don’t want the reflection.  On the other hand, my iPad feels special.  And I do have a Kindle app on it, so I can access every last one of the books I’ve purchased on one device.

I actually just bought an iPad Mini.  Why?  Size, mostly.  My hand isn’t that all that big, and when I read in bed, smaller is easier to hold.  Also, smaller is more portable, easier to stick in my purse and take with me for waiting times wherever.  My iPad Mini charges in no time and holds its charge longer.  Yes, the screen is a little smaller, but the print size feels the same.  Bottom line?  I love my Mini.

If you’re wondering how the author in me feels about e-readers?  I feel like whatever gets people reading is good.  Kids nowadays grow up on electronic devices, so if they choose to e-read, I’d rather that than nothing.  Then again, since they’ll be spending so much of their time with electronics, they may welcome the novelty of holding an old-fashioned in-print book.

One other thought.  E-books are so easy to purchase that I buy more than I’ll actually read.  I don’t do that as much with print books.  So I don’t feel like quite as much of a traitor, since I’m certainly supporting more authors this way.

How about you?  What are your thoughts, e-book vs. print?


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  1. Janet Griscavage on March 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

    As I am trying to downsize so that in the next couple of years we can move to a smaller house, I have been going through my collection and donating most of my hardbound and paperbacks. I will trade my paperbacks at shops who take trades. I use the library a lot as well. But I find I really love my Kindle. As you said not so many to carry around and if I don’t find I am as interested in one, I’ll go to another. I have the Kindle and Overdrive apps on my smart phone and use them just as much. It is easy enough to make the text larger and I can pull from any books I have on my Kindle to my smartphone. I use the Overdrive app for library ebooks. I almost always have my phone with me and it is so easy when waiting to pull it out and read. No extra anything to carry around. I use my phone as my camera, my alarm clock, my address book, and my calendar. Why not use it as an e-reader as well.

  2. Laura moore on March 23, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I love my kindle and e read whenever I can. However, I only get books from the public library. Unfortunately, although our library has an extensive list to choose from, not all publishing houses will sell their books to the library in e book form so then I actually check a hardback out of the library.

  3. Paula Scott on March 23, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I love a real book…the smell; the feel (especially the larger paperbacks), the fact that you can go back to a page quickly and easily, etc. But, with age and poorer eyesight, I find I only read Kindle books now. I love that I can enlarge the print and read without my glasses. I love that I can pull it out in the grocery line and read my current book while waiting. I do find I read more books because I have them with me all the time. The last real book I read was never finished…. I don’t know if I didn’t like the book ( got to the same place three times and just quit..about page 100). I wonder if I’d finish if it were on Kindle? I went to a book signing by one of my favorite authors and bought two paperbacks and haven’t touched them. (I have trouble with small paperbacks because of my eyesight.) So, I guess I’m an e-book reader now. My daughter and husband, on the other hand, read in both formats–kindle and real book.

  4. Elaine on March 23, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I love my Kindle for its easy to read screen, its portability and the access I now have to books my library does not carry. I find I am more willing to try new me authors or genres I would not have read in the past such as Young Adult books. if it is not to my liking I don’t feel as bad abandoning an ebook. No tree was killed to make it! 🙂 I still borrow and buy the occasional hard cover or paperback for favourite authors. My husband, recognizing my book addiction recently bought me the iPad mini. Hello full colour recipe books.

  5. Pamela on March 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I buy all three too! Hardbacks are donated to my local library, since they really have limited funds for new books. Paperback go to a local nursing home for ladies, since again very limited funds and the only way they ever get the new books are by donation. But I do love my iPad too for reading in bed at night, while waiting in line, or waiting at the park for the grand kids. The important thing is I always have something to read and escape when needed.

  6. Kelly on March 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I find that I have read more books in the last 2 years since receiving an ereader as a gift. I feel I have more opportunities to read since I carry my Nook with me most of the time and also have access on my phone. I take advantage of purchasing free books and have read authors I would have never thought of and have enjoyed them. I also have a tablet but it is a little too big to hold for long periods of time so I find my Nook more the size of a paperback and more comfortable to hold. I have always bought several magazines every month that I now receive on my Nook and tablet. Certainly saves on clutter and recycling. They are also always with me and not toting around 20 lbs of paper.

  7. Peggie Ashbury on March 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I agree with you on so many points. In fact, I’ve tapped margins, too. I have several Kindles and my earlier ones (which I still use) don’t tap but have buttons. I’m forever getting confused. I have trouble getting to sleep and the only thing that seems to help is to read. I choose to do this in bed, and bought the Kindle Fire because it is smaller than the iPad, but still is lit. Now, after reading your blog, I’m going to check the iPad Mini and compare weights. I find the Fire a little heavy to hold while in bed. If the iPad Mini is lighter, I might have to add yet another device to my collection. One additional comment about the ease of buying e-books. I have bought so many more than I ever would have done if I only bought hard copies. I don’t know if I’ll ever read all of them…but I’m sure trying. BTW, I’ve already ordered your new book for instant delivery!

  8. Vicki P on March 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I’m with you…but I usually buy paperbacks of keeper books…everything else I read on my iPad mini…fits in my purse and great for traveling!

  9. Margi on March 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I think I would enjoy e-books if I owned a device, but on the other hand, I like to share my paperbacks and/or hardcover books with my friends to read. Guessing though, if I put aside what I spent for my books each time, instead of buying the actual book, I’d be able to buy a reader, i-pad, etc. in no time – but then I’d have to wait a long time before I could enjoy the book. It’s a catch 22.

  10. Amanda on March 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Hi, I mostly read ebooks now, because they’re just so portable and small and you can fit loads of them on whatever you use to read them on. I normally read them on either my iPod touch or iPhone, and a lot of the time I get them from the iBooks store. I like it because say if for some reason something happens to them and you forget to back up your device, because you’ve already bought them you can just re get them back without having to buy them again. And it’s like having a whole library on a really small device which is brilliant for if you’re going on holiday or something. sometimes I read audio books too on the same I devices which I get from audible. I got one of yours, suddenly, off audible.

  11. Beatrice Flannagan on April 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I much prefer hardback or paperback books. However, since I downsized residence dramatically, I now use and support the local libraries. My books were taking over my home as I simply could not part with them. Since downsizing I donated most of the hardbacks, kept those I love enough to re-read on occasion, and took paperback books to local Veterans’ hospitals.

    Now I am learning all I can – time limited – on how to write my own little books. I have several ideas and gobs of information on places I’ve lived (was a Navy spouse for 25 years and resided litterally in four corners of continental U.S. Hawaii, and Spain) and solo travels I’ve taken on my “drive abouts”.

    Wish me luck – I have ADD so hard to stay focused; particularly since I also am a real estate broker (30+ years) so clients take a great deal of my time.

  12. Linda on April 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Personally, I much prefer the physical book to e-books because there is something very comforting about the holding the actual book in ones hands, curling up on the couch in front of a warm fire or while on a trip that seems to be taking forever to end. As a result, I hope never to see the day when all books become only available in e-book format. That would truly be a great loss to people like myself. I just can’t get near the same measure of enjoyment without the book itself.

  13. Old Padre on April 16, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Image always had a great reverence for books. In the 1st Grade, ca. 1933, (yup, I’m 86)’ when we were given brand new text books we had to open them carefully, front cover, back cover, 2 pages from front pressed down carefully, then 2 pages from back – all the way through the book until we reached the middle. We learned this was to keep from breaking the spine. At one time I had boxes of paperbacks Eric one in mint condition because I opened each one reverently as I had been taught in 1at Grade.
    Then, I got a Kindle for Christmass; presently my electronic-genius son, Mike, introduced me to IPad! bout the time my Kindle I went belly-up I was on to IPad Mini. After a series of donations I’m down to a mere half shelf of paperbacks and lots of treasured hardcovers – and I still handle books w/reverence, but Mini is my constant companion. Even downloaded Lake News and Coast Road before donating the paperbacks to the library book sale.
    Moreover, I like the idea that volunteer groups are digitizing the classics, thereby preserving books thet are going/have gone out of print. Hey, I downloaded Last of the Mohicans – free!
    Reverence books, but get a Mini. Happy reading, fellow readers.

  14. Jan on May 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I first considered buying a Kindle 2nd generation because there was no room for a library in my home, boxes of books were taking over, and packing multiple books when traveling was an issue at times. I commented to a friend who is a dedicated lover of reading and owned a Kindle that holding a book and touching the pages is like soul food, my friend’s response was, “…it’s the same, but different.” I have the 2nd and 3rd generation Kindles, the Kindle Fire HD, and the Kindle app on my smartphone…Am I convinced? However, I do still have two boxes of hard cover and paperbacks waiting to be read in the moment of nostalgia when only the feel of the paper will do. I gave the 2nd generation Kindle to my husband when his eyesight started limiting his reading as it fit his larger hands better than the smaller re-designed 3rd generation… he now has an IPad with the Kindle app. I upgraded to the Fire HD so that when we are traveling I can check e-mail and surf the web and not have to wait until he relinquishes the laptop computer or now the IPad.

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