Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On E-Books

Just found this great article on the evolution of e-books, and wanted to share. Click through for a larger graphic and more info:

I can only speak for myself, but here's what I've noticed in my own reading practices:

  • I have bought the same number of print books since owning an e-reader as before
  • But I have also bought an increasing number of e-books
  • I will typically buy print books from authors I know I like, books I want to get signed, or books I know I will want to re-read and/or complete a set (for example, the final book of a trilogy)
  • But I take chances on e-books--I will typically purchase an ebook that is written by an author I've never tried before, is outside my typical reading comfort zone, etc.
  • If I like the ebook, I will sometimes also then purchase the print book to keep
  • Price is rarely a factor in my ebook purchases. I will sometimes take a chance on a book that's $3 or less that I wouldn't normally, but I buy just as many $10 ebooks as I don't buy $1 ebooks.  I care more about whether or not it's a title that I want to read than the price.
  • That said, I've only ever paid more than $10 once, and that was for an "enhanced edition" because I was curious about what made it "enhanced." I was disappointed; I will be more cautious with future "enhanced editions," particularly over $10.
But the important thing that I'm taking away from these thoughts is this: I buy more books, both print and electronic, than I did before, and I'm buying a wider variety of books. I can't help but see this as a good thing. 

You? How has the introduction of ebooks changed your reading habits...or has it not? 


Rena said...

I find that I suffer a little from guilt. I've found a local bookseller and I. Love. Them. That makes me think three times before I buy anything for an ebook. I want that little bookshop to be around when I'm signing books (fingers crossed). But I buy ebooks for the strangest reasons. For instance, one of my favorite writers writes REALLY LONG BOOKS and I love her, but I love my wrists too: ebook. Seriously, the age of 1000 page hardbacks is not working for me (though for her books I would totally buy the hardbound just to have her signature on it, but as you said, that's opportunity and love: not a matter of penny pinching).

My absolute favorite part of having an e reader has nothing to do with books, but that they read pdfs and .docs. This has made my e reader invaluable on long trips where I cannot be seperated from my--EXTENSIVE--reference list, and strangely an author who offered all of her backlist free on ebook for purchasing her new hardback. Love all those books on my kindle for the price of one hard back!

In fact, I'm breathlessly awaiting the e-reader/e-notetaker that has been promised. You know, the device that is supposed to cost the same as a kindle, record your touch screen doodles in a pdf. and read your e-books? That is the creature I'm holding back my money for (cannot wait!!!!!), but sadly, the prototype is not yet available to the press (which suggests that the prototype does not exist...).

In short, the e-reader has only changed one slight aspect of my reading, and any opportunity to meet said author (hint hint, plug for Albuquerque!!!) would convince me to buy both the e-book (instant delivery on huge effing book) and the hard bound (I would LOVE her SIGNATURE!!!!!) versions. I.E. The e-book has put me into the uncomfortable position of paying more for the books I already love. (That means more e-books, and more signings. I <3 signings!).

My 2 pennies, not associated with any author or publisher... (did I mention that it's so freaking hard to figure out which is the morally good side to be on in this fight????)

Author Lindsay Mead said...

Personally, I think it's far too early to assume that this 50/50 trend will continue. I seriously doubt that it will. When I started streaming movies and TV shows from my computer, did I continue to buy them on DVD? Nope. Why would I? Only now that I'm see more and more good movies selling for $5 have I started to buy the occasional DVD again. The same can be said for CDs. Why would books be different? I think we're simply in transition.

That being said, I do not own an ereader. I love buying books (especially signed books) and stacking my shelves with them. Sometimes I will borrow a Nook from work to play with and even though I can download any book for free, I tend to find myself downloading cheap self published (or books published by small companies) books. Not because there is something in my brain that keeps me from spending money on something that is basically nonexistent, but instead I think it's because ereaders allow me to read books that would otherwise be hard to get. Yes, sometimes self pubbed books are rough and unedited, but sometimes you can find some real gems. That I think is the best part of ereaders.

In conclusion though, I think people like to tell themselves that ereaders won't destroy the physical book because that makes them sad. But physical books won't be around forever. That's just the nature of the world. If it wasn't, we'd still be reading on scrolls and stone tablets.

Roseywinter said...

Oh, thanks for the infograph. :D I pinned it to Pinterest.

I do physical books & ebooks... buying, renting, loans from friends. But I honestly think I get more ebooks than physical books at the moment, because of lack of money. But that might change when my income changes.

- Esther

Natalie Aguirre said...

I still prefer paper books. I don't have an e-reader. Though I did download Kindle to my laptop and have enjoyed reading some e-books. I agree it's easier to try out books as e-books because of the price.

Anna Staniszewski said...

I've found pretty much the same thing since I got an e-reader: if you add everything up, I definitely buy more books than I did before. My bank account isn't too happy about it, but the book-hoarder in me is quite happy. :-)

Cherie Reich said...

Since I've gotten my Kindle, my reading has shifted to almost exclusively ebooks (I think I've only read one paperback book this year to date). I still buy paper books, but it's usually at discount. And I have paid over $10 for an ebook, but it was Stephen King (who really wants to lug around a 1000-page book?). Of course, if I really love the book, then I like to have a copy for my bookshelf too.

Tammie said...

I do not own an ereader. I just download ebooks or Kindle books to my ipod touch. I don't really like reading ebooks, but I will buy them when I'm not sure I'll like a book and its under 4 dollars. My main reasons for this are that I do not want to spend 4 plus dollars on something that I don't have a real copy of. Also I can take the real copy to my favorite used book store and trade it in for something else and I can't trade in an ebook. I also don't want to spend more than 4 dollars on something in ebook form and then when I like it enough, have to spend that amount all over again for a real copy for my bookcase. I have found that I will read things that I normally might have passed on when I can get it for free or really cheap, whether it be an ebook or a book from the used book store. I don't think I have spent more money on books since I've started buying ebooks though.

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