I would like to talk about my transition from print books to e-books, and everything in-between. Originally, I had been that person who didn’t want to read anything electronic. I like physical things: the way a book looks, smells, and feels. I’m selfish. If I’m going to get any object, I want it to be tangible. If I’m not able to appreciate the physicality of something, then it’s not worth it.
Yes, e-books were the sensible way to go. Not only did they cost less, you could also carry as many of them as you wanted to at once. They made sense. But at the same time, they didn’t have any of the things that I adored about a book.
A year ago, I read e-books. I only had my little iPod Touch to read on (and that kinda sucked). Why did I do it? Netgalley. Netgalley was the reason I started to branch into the world of e-books. I needed stories to review and Netgalley offered them; except to read them, I had to try something new.
Today, I am all for e-books. In the past few months, I noticed that half of the books I read are electronic. At the same time, that happens to be due to the fact that the publisher that sends me books to review is now only sending titles out electronically. I was devastated when I found out; one, because I didn’t have an e-reader and two, because how could an e-book replace any physical book?! Thankfully, my friend gave me her old Nook.
Let me tell you, the Nook fascinated me. Some of my friends already started to read electronically, but I hadn’t played around with any e-reader until that day. I was afraid that reading on a device would bother my eyes if I stared at it too long; thankfully, that wasn’t the case. The older version of the Nook places the text on a screen that resembles paper – it doesn’t even have a backlight! With my device, I’m not able to read in the dark. Although that should bother me, I find it kinda cool that I’m not able to read in the dark. A physical book doesn’t have a backlight, and the no backlight feature reminds me of a physical book.
Now, if you’re the person that is absolutely against e-books (which I’m thinking a little under half of you are; my poll told me that only 55% of you read e-books), I’m letting you know that I’ve been there. I didn’t want to transition because I wanted all of the physical things a book could give me that an e-book could not. Although I am no longer anti-ebook, I still prefer physical books. I will always prefer an actual book. Still, if you ever get the chance to try out an e-book I suggest that you do so.
Here are the good and bad things of e-books compared to physical books:
- They are significantly cheaper.
- You are able to carry as many books with you that your device will allow.
- There are plenty of free e-books. If you browse websites, there are plenty of free books for you to peruse. If you don’t recognize the author or title, don’t skip it! There are plenty of free e-books out there that are decent reads.
- A lot of popular authors come out with e-books as an addition to one of their other books or series. I’ve noticed a lot of YA authors have little prologues or extra stories that add on to popular characters and plots.
- You are able to get ebooks whenever you want them (as long as you have internet). There is no need to go out to your local bookstore or library.
- You are able to lend e-books to other people.
- Your device allows you to take notes and bookmark pages.
- You can’t physically hold said book in your hand.
- You cannot sniff said book and smell that wonderful ink and paper smell.
- There are no details to be seen on the cover, jacket design, pages or spine.
- An author cannot sign the book. I mean, he/she can, but an electronic signature is definitely not the same as an actual one.
- You are not able to turn to a certain page as quickly as you would be able to in a physical book.
There are a significant amount of positives and negatives, just like anything else. I went to the dark side, and I’m thinking that a lot of other people will end up transitioning too.
I was talking to my dad the other day about my future (since I’m going to college and all). I told him that my current goal is to work in book publishing when I get out of college. Instead of supporting me like a good parent, he stated his thoughts on how he thinks that publishing is dying. His reason for this: everything is going electronic. Of course I argued against him; there will always be people who will want those print books. Print books have been here as long as humans have been. Civilization started with written language, and with written language brings stories, fiction or non-fiction…
I want to hear what you think. Do you read ebooks or are you only print books? What do you think about publishing? Which way do you think society will lean towards? Leave your thoughts below!