Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Debate with Myself: Print Book versus eBook

So I know in the past year that eBook reader prices have gone down and made switching to eBooks a lot more tempting. I know that up until December 2010 I bought about 5 books a week on average to devour, mostly from my local used bookstore (Edward McKay in Raleigh, NC - go visit any of their locations if you get a chance, the Greensboro store is also fantastic). And then the wonderful happened - I got a Kindle for Christmas from my adoring parents.

Note my eyes kind of sparkling and going googly here as I reminisce.

eBooks are definitely more expensive than used books, especially since I'm used to reading stuff that is 6 months to a year old and priced roughly $2 or $3 a book. The Kindle spoiled me, though, because I got easy access to just about anything and everything I could want minus Joan Slonczewski's amazing books which came out about the same time I was born back in 1987. My book buying has decreased, although I do buy books and get plenty off of Paperback Swap (I share an account with my mother of all people). These are mostly political books, trade paperbacks or hardcovers, and old favorites I want to replace with a new copy, like my ruined copy of Expendable by James Alan Gardner that has been read about 50 times since I got it as a freshman in high school circa 2001.

Pros for eBooks - easily accessible, often cheaper than new books (not always, mind you), convenient to carry around (took fifteen books with me on a trip to the UK in January with no back ache, and a Kindle is much easier to carry around on my formerly daily train commutes into NYC than a hardcover).

Cons for eBooks - you don't get that paper feel, the new book smell, the satisfaction of breaking into a book - you don't get to treat it like it's a book. I look at my Kindle as something like a portable computer that has the same shape as a book, but just isn't a book.

I love my Kindle. I love my physical books in my at-home library (roughly 500 books in boxes, shelves, drawers, and the floor of my closet). But as someone who has lived the life of a professional, a student, and an average at-home reader, I honestly think the Kindle wins.

I want to know what you think! Just comment on this blog and tell me because I'm dying to know if I'm alone in the eBook love affair.


  1. I just recently got a nook and love it! I do still LOVE to go to the library so I usually flip back and forth between the ebook and a real book so I can get my library fix. I like the portability of the ereader though.

  2. I love my Kindle as well, and like you I spent a lot of money at my used bookstore. (i sometimes still do) I love being able to get the 0.99 books and then books from indie authors that ask. I've found a few really good books because of it. I usually have a print book at my house to read and use my kindle when I go places (like work, or just a passenger in the car)

  3. Great post..I think people are always very sceptical of ereaders until they get an ereader! I was all "kindles...pftt" until I tried a friend's and was like wow :O:O and then I HAD to get one! and now I love it. I do still buy paper books, but I love my kindle the most.