PRINT OR E-BOOK?


As an old bibliophile I have clung to my paper pages, full bookcases and stacks of books scattered throughout the house.   I have no trouble reading magazine articles, news, blogs that I follow, newspapers and anything else I might come upon while surfing the Internet. But I want to read books in old-fashioned print.   Husband bought a Kindle and bragged about the books he could download anytime without having to order and wait until it is delivered or drive to find it at Barnes and Noble or Half-Price Books.

My beautiful picture

 

“Not me,” insisted, “I want to hold my books and turn the pages.”

“You can turn the pages on a Kindle.  The pages are numbered and you don’t even need a bookmark.  It remembers where you shut down and comes right back,” he insisted.

I collect bookmarks and have a basket full of them.  No, I would never want a Kindle or other reading device.

Husband continued to enjoy his Kindle so much that he upgraded to a new one.  He told me it was a really good deal.  I could have his old one if I wanted it.

“No, thanks,” I declined.

“Well, if you change your mind, let me know and I will set it up for you and even an Amazon account so you can buy books,” he remarked eagerly as he set it down on a stack of books by my nightstand.  I do most of my reading at night.

Some of the blogs I follow feature writers who have published their own books and are available in print and e-books.  Some are e-books only.  Was I missing out?  Perhaps.  So I decided to try just one or two e-books.  What could it hurt?  I wouldn’t be giving up print books.

The first e-book I bought was John W. Howell’s action thriller, “His Revenge.”  John lives along the same Texas coast as I do.  I like an action books occasionally and this book delivered action, a little sex and a hero, John Cannon, that we can all cheer for as he tries to say do his best for the United States.  John’s books can be found on Amazon in paper or e-book and you can follow him on his blog, Fiction Favorites, for daily fiction and fun.  He is working on the third book in this trilogy featuring John Cannon.his revenge

The second e-book I bought was a novelette by an author from the  western coast of Canada, Diana Stephen.  Her novella, “The Blue Nightgown,” caught my attention with its fifties-style pattern for a cover.  Set it is set in a Winnepeg, Canada boarding house in the 1950s, it reflects the mood of the time when men and women tried to remain within the boundaries of their roles and where sex was often hidden away in a bureau drawer. It is available in e-book only on Amazon.  Her latest novel, “A Cry from the Deep,”  is available on Amazon in e-book or paperback.   You can find out more about her on her blog, Diana Stevan.

blue nightdown

To my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading both of these books even though they were read on my Kindle.   Perhaps I had been a bit of a literary snob.   Reading was reading no matter what form  it has evolved into over time.  Now we have choices.  And isn’t the reading the important thing?  However, print books are still my first choice!

For now I will go back to a print book I have started, “Hitch-22, A  Memoir”,  by Christopher Hitchens, and perhaps fall asleep in bed and lose my place.

84 thoughts on “PRINT OR E-BOOK?

  1. I have to confess 🙂 I guess I am still old fashioned and have not yet got modern and upgraded to a kindle .. But like you enjoy reading articles etc on line.. I love the feel of paper ( even if we may have lost a few trees in the process )
    Thank you for the Book reviews 🙂 Sounds like you could be converted 🙂 so there is hope somewhere down the line for me 🙂 ❤
    Enjoy your week xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love my Kindle. I have been donating books for years to get rid of my large collection. At least with Kindle I don’t have to store them in my house. There are still some advantages with a real book so if I can get a really good (REALLY CHEAP) deal, I will buy a paperbook now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If we ever downsize I will have to get rid of so many books…perhaps that is one reason we stay where we are. Husband loves his Kindle too and there are advantages. Plus the price of print books, even paperbacks, have gone up. Oh, well, as long as people are reading. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  3. I choice the ‘book’. Printed or electronic, the matter is the word by itself, however I love the paper, its texture, its aroma (when I open a book is like openning a jar of prefume). It’s the same about photography. When people ask me to choice film or digital photography, colour or black an white, I choice the ‘image’. (I aplogyse becouse sometimes my English is owful. 😦 English is not my mother tongue)

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    • Print books get my vote too! The texture of the pages and style of the printing are important to me. Old books have a fragrance of their own. Your photos are always outstanding. No need to apologize! Thank you so much for taking time to share your opinion. Your visits are always a welcome pleasure. All the best to you!

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  4. Have you or your husband ever checked out ebooks from your local public library? I work in a library and let me tell you, ebook circulation has exploded in the past couple of years! Patrons get the instant gratification and convenience of downloading books whenever and where ever you have wi-fi, but no money changes hands. You’ve already paid with your library tax dollars. Use your library card instead of your credit card! : )

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  5. Oh how I would love to weigh in with distinguishing words of wisdom. I would adore standing on a soap box debating the pros of cons of Ebooks versus print. Alas and alack this woman barely uses her flip-phone and then only for emergency (car breaks down on highway). I am guilty of digging my red-painted toes into the sands and refusing to participate in E-books, smart phones and anything that appears it should belong in a Star Trek movie. I am besotted with books. I caress beautiful bindings. Adore the smell of the pages, and haunt used book stores for old, strange and wonderful books about anything. So if it means people who normally wouldn’t think of picking up a “real book” to read, but willingly dive into the latest and greatest on Ebooks I say HURRAH. Good on you mate! You are reading and in my word that is absolutely the best thing in this entire world.

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    • Thank you for those distinguished words of wisdom! I resisted too but I just wanted to try it. My books are like friends and I like having them around. Used book stores call me as well as used book sales. One never knows when a treasure might be found. Virginia, Husband and I both have flip phones and are resisting upgrading to something fancy that we probably would not use. I confess that I cannot leave home without my cell phone simply because I don’t want to be out of touch with family in case of an emergency. As you said, in the end the reading is the important thing! But I will continue with my print books. Thanks for sharing your valued opinion! I can but imagine the beautiful books adorning your home, Cheers for books!

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  6. A friend gave me a Kindle….and I read a couple of books on it….just not for me. The strange thing is I love computers. I bought my first one from Radio Shack and paid $3000 of diligently “stashed away” money. I knew computers would be the thing of the future and I wanted my kids to be ahead of the game. I love my IPad, my IPhone, my IPod, and my IMac…..but I just can’t give up my paper books. I love the smell, the feel, the touch of the paper. When I was 10 years old my aunt who was a voracious reader gave me multiple sets of “The Complete Works of”…….I had James Joyce, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Nabakov, Hemingway, Twain, and half a dozen other classic writers. I still have them and treasure them and every once in a while will pull one out and reread. An older friend of mine told me that she would never go the Kindle route….she said, “They might be able to wipe all the hard disks clean……but they can never burn all the books.” She has a point you know.

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    • You rather surprise me that you have not embraced a Kindle, Sue, since I know you got into computers very early. Growing up out in the country the way we did, books were sometimes the only friends we had. I can’t give me up either though I do buy donate some to the local library sale every year but then I buy almost as many as I give away. Your friend has a point! But I recently reread Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and it was scary. And I am against banning any book – if it has been banned, I want to read it! Thanks for the visit, Sue!

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  7. I first navigated to Ebooks about 7 years ago. I lived out in the woods – the twigs my daughter said – and was 45 minutes away from the closest library. I found out I could download library books and what a bonus that was. Then, traveling in France for a year, how wonderful to be able to download an Ebook and not have to worry about hauling around a book I had finished reading or looking for a place to leave or donate it. Also as my eyes have gown older, I enjoy that I can increase the font size and dim the background. I am a huge fan and read, pretty much, all my fiction via Ebooks. Non fiction I still mostly buy so I feel I have the best of both worlds, truly.

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    • That makes sense when you live out in the twigs or are traveling. If we travel, I usually take a thick one so that I don’t run out of something to read. Husband likes to take his Kindle. You are right about being able to increase the font size for these old eyes. It is good that we can choose what is best for us. I certainly do not want to go back! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  8. Oh…..and have you ever checked out half.com? Used books so cheap and then I sell the ones I have read. I’ve been reading pretty much for free for the past four or five years……and reselling them forces me to not hoard…..a tendency that, when it comes to books, is a part of my soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, but I will certainly check it out. I donate some books to the local library sale and then always buy more while I am there. Yep, I tend to hoard books too! Thanks for the tip! Looking forward to the class reunion! Hugs to you!

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  9. I love bookcases stocked with many many books. We downsized from a house with tons of walls with books. Our local library happily took many, but some are still in boxes which makes me sad.
    But daughter bought me an ipad mini. Have to admit I love it for traveling…but if something happens to the battery, all those books will vanish ( not cloud saved). Print books remain at the ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One can never have too many walls with books! I fear if we ever downsize I will have to give up so many of our books. Husband loves his Kindle for travel too and I can see where that is an advantage. But what if the battery goes down? And there is no electricity? The Kindle experience was good but I won’t use it very much. Books are practical and reliable! Thanks for sharing your experience. It is always good to hear from you.

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  10. We have a Kindle in the house, but I refuse to use it. My Mother in Law even have me my own for a birthday gift and I returned it. I just love the pogrom experience of holding a book, smelling it, and turning the pages. Maybe eventually I will move on to digital, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.

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    • Husband offered to buy one for me when he got his but I did not want one. I would have probably have returned one if it were given to me as a gift too. My books are like old friends that I like to have around me. There is nothing like opening a book and smoothing down that page. Old books have even more character with perhaps an inscription and date written by the owner or giver. I am not changing either! Thank you so much for taking time to visit and comment! I shall visit your blog soon.

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  11. Wonderful post! Glad you got to enjoy some e-books on a Kindle for the first time! Marvelous.

    I have never tried a Kindle. I’ve heard grand things about them. I should try one someday, too. I just prefer the company of my tangible books. They have become dear companions. Makes me feel extremely popular when I’m surrounded by great, teetering stacks of them, especially 😉

    Best wishes,

    Smiling Toad

    Liked by 1 person

    • If Husband had not given me his hand-me-down I would never have tried one either. I prefer my piles and stacks of friends also as they make me feel good. I know they are all “stuff” that I will leave behind some day but I want them to all find good homes! Thanks ever so much for sharing your love for books! Come back soon!

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  12. I love books. If one looks at the history of print and bookbinding it’s easy to see how valuable they became as gifts and treasured heirlooms. That said, I have had ereaders almost since they were invented. Two reasons – many old books are not available any other way but in PDF reproduction. I’ve read volumes that I may have never had access to otherwise. Sites like Scribd.com are great (except they make you pay now to subscribe). The second reason is shear volume. When I moved two years ago I nearly exhausted myself moving my books.
    I like paper white ereaders as they are easier on the eyes. I read a lot on my iPad, but the backlight causes fatigue. I haven’t found a really good large screen paperwhite that’s reasonable priced. So – I only buy print books now when there is no ebook version. I back up everything two and three times. Have solar chargers for battery devices, and own more books now than I could read fir the rest of my life. I do a lot of research through them all though … Which do I love more? Both …

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    • You have added two good points for e-reading. My dream house would have a library (like the one in Downton Abbey, perhaps?) but that will never happen. It has been so interesting to read all the comments and find that many are comfortable with both! One negative point on e-readers is that you can’t pass them on and they become valued heirlooms. Your input to our bookish conversation is appreciated, Grandfathersky!

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  13. I can relate to this! I still prefer actual books, but I have learned that reading from a screen can be enjoyable as well. And its necessary when something is published only as an e-book, or when the writing I am enjoying is someone’s blog. We all have to keep evolving, I guess!

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    • Exactly, Ann! Several bloggers that I follow have books only available in e-book form. I don’t want to be left too far behind on some of these things but I pick and choose carefully. Changes can be difficult for a crone! Thanks for chiming in the discussion! Spring is here, isn’t it?

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  14. I love printed books and I love supporting my local bookstore but when I travel I read on my iPad and I enjoy that. For me English is a second language and on the iPad I can get a definition of a word I don’t know instantly.

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  15. I might have guessed that the Tin Man would dabble in both! Yes, perhaps the sensual is part of the attraction to books. And the book is always better than the movie except for the Land of Oz. You are right about the words still being powerful no matter the media. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Hugs & Cheers!

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  16. I do both and for very good reason. I confess, I love print. I love the feel of a book in my hands and flipping pages. The problem is, books are heavy and when I travel for more than a day or two I need more than one book! So my e-reader is the perfect solution. I can store several books, including those books I use for reference and research on my e-reader. It is small, light weight and travels easily.

    Like you, I often purchase books from bloggers I follow. These also go on my e-reader. Also like you though, my house is overrun with books I love and I don’t know what I will do when eventually I downsize and have to choose.

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    • I can see where an e-reader would work better for you when traveling for several days at a time. And for flying one wants to travel as light as possible. But reading is reading no matter the form. It is nice to have choices and not have to give up our books for now. Have a good week, Val!

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    • Now that is a true lover of books! I am not sure I would do that but I like the idea. These are the only two I have downloaded and I have a stack of books to be read by my nightstand. I’ll never give up my printed books either. Somehow it seems more personal to have that book with cover or book jacket the author has chosen and seen. Silly perhaps. Nice to have you visit, Cynthia!

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  17. I read both. I probably won’t ever give up print books, I adore them. I do like e-books because you can read them on all your devices (I can read on my phone if I’m stuck somewhere with time on my hands) – just so convenient. The other thing is that e-books don’t take up space (which I’ve maxed out with my other books) and of course, you don’t have to dust them either 🙂

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  18. A lovely post, Jo! And thank you for the mention of my books.

    I feel like we are travelling on parallel paths. My husband is fond of reading on his Kindle, iPad and iPhone. He even read Ulysses, imagine, on his iPhone.

    I, on the other hand, am a traditionalist. I love my paperbacks and hard cover books, and like you, read at night, in bed. I have read the odd book on Kindle, and it’s been alright, but I find it frustrating as I can’t flip back easily to a spot that I want to re-visit. Maybe the newer Kindles have that capability.

    Anyway, I read somewhere recently that e-book sales are falling off and print is making a re-surgence. So, yay for our side. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow Jo Nell you hit on a popular subject here, I could get carpel tunnel from all this scrolling down! As for my choice I would miss browsing my two local bookstores for my next treasure and chin wagging about books with their friendly and so very knowledgeable staff.

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  20. It seems to be a popular subject because as bloggers/commenters we always have these things in common – reading and writing and the digital world. You are the first to say you would miss your local bookstores! I would too! I could spend an afternoon in a bookstore and end it with a good cup of coffee. Used bookstores are even better. I should have know you would prefer the texture and art of a printed book! Thank you so much for contributing a positive for paper! Cheers for the weekend!

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  21. What a lot of amazing and fun comments you have received on this subject! I would like to be a purist and say that I would only read ‘Real’ books. I treated each of my books like pure treasured and honored friends. But when my guy and I downsized, I had to get rid of almost all of them. It broke my heart, and I knew I could never save all my books again. I read at least two books a week! So I started reading on my Kindle about 2 1/2 years ago. And despite my hesitation-I have to admit I love reading on my Kindle. But I do about 50-50 print vs Kindle. I travel a fair amount from one coast to the other and it makes a big difference not having to cart 10 or 12 books with me, but instead just my one thin purple covered Kindle. And as an author, it was wonderful to publish first in an e-book form and find it so easy for people to download it and read. But when I next published my e-book The Right Wrong Man into print — well, as soon as it arrived in the mail I held it in my hands and cried. I still love the feel of a ‘real’ book in my hands.

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  22. Thank you for giving an author’s view on print versus e-book! I really wondered about that and can see that an author might want to hold that book. But, basically, I guess they are both here to stay. I too fear downsizing and having to give up my beloved books. I must check out “The Right Wrong Man” in the version of my choice! Thank you for taking time to express your feelings as an author. All the best to you!

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  23. Funnily enough, I had exactly the same experience. I like my bookshelves of “real” books, but I read a couple of e-books by bloggers I follow (Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin, Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley) and enjoyed the experience very much. Perhaps Kindles are not going to bring about the end of civilization after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps we bibliophiles cannot resist a book in any form! I admit to having been a bit of a snob but now admit that it can be pleasurable and will not bring about the end of civilization after all! Changes are had but I am trying not to get stuck in the past even at my age! My sincere thanks to you for taking time to comment!

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  24. My wife love her Kindle ( sounds naughty some how). I still prefer hard copy. The reading experience of printed text and electronic text is quite different . Consider that your memory of reading a hard copy book includes tactile and kinetic experience, along with the visual input of text. The feel of flipping a paper page is different from that of a virtual screen page. It may also include sound of the paper, and at least subliminally, if the book is new, the smell of the paper.

    The content/message is being delivered through a different medium and the brain filtered the message through the different set of sensory input. I don’t know if that makes any actual difference to memory or or understanding of the message, but for those of us who have a strong emotional connection to physical books, there may be a feeling that something is missing/different.

    I suspect that, just as with alternative process/analogue photography and vinyl records, there will be a continued market for hard copy printed text in the future. Each Medium provides its own unique qualities to the experience of the audience. 🙂

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    • You have expressed and analyzed the pleasures and sensations of holding that book in your hands and interacting as you read so well! The only point I would add is the visual experience of the print book that I had only taken for granted. Thank you so much for sharing your wise thoughts from your artistic point of view! Husband and I went to our local library book sale; I bought four books and have not downloaded any more e-books. It is always a pleasure to have to visit and comment!

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  25. I love reading about others experiences trying ebooks. I fought e-readers for a long time and have to say that while I will read a book on a tablet I still prefer an actual book I can run my fingers along the pages while I read. There is more to my reading experience than just the words. I’ll keep reading e-books when I don’t have an easy option of a printed book but when the printed book is readily available that’s what I will choose.

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    • Thank you so much! Some have said that they really that one can enlarge the font on a Kindle. Some days I could use that myself as I get older. Books are still my choice but have read a few on my Kindle. Thank you so much for the visits to my blog! I will enjoy exploring your. Your comments are appreciated!

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  26. I read both paper and electronic books 🙂 If it’s a book I want to read again, usually I prefer it in paperback. I have also enjoyed audiobooks. Great to have the options! Hehe it sounds like your husband was all over the e-book trend 🙂

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    • Paper books are still my preference but I enjoy checking out e-books from the library and I can’t buy every book I want to read. My bookshelves are full and I have them stacked on the floor. Haven’t tried audiobooks but my daughter loves them. I suppose it would be like listening to soaps or stories from the radio days that I remember. TGIF to you, Christy!

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