Discussion: Print Books vs E-Reader

Posted March 26th, 2011 by in Discussions / 0 comments

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ebooks seem to be the current trend and hard copy sales of new books are being surpassed by their ebook counterparts. Lisa and I will discuss the pros and cons of ebooks versus “real” books and where we stand on the issue.

Price?

Lisa: I would say this topic is a draw for me. There are plenty of ebooks under five dollars and plenty at just $0.99 if you look close enough, so most readers can get a lot of bang for their buck if they aren’t picky about the books they purchase. But if you’re following a particular author, you probably won’t be so lucky. Personally, I can’t stand the fact that I’m paying the same price for an ebook as I do with a print book. At least a print book is a physical item I can walk away with rather than a file I’m going to store on my computer and accidentally delete or loose down the road. Plus print books can be used as a form of investment. You purchase them, read it, then sell them, donate them to achieve credit towards other books, or swap them.

Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Stephanie: I thought that when I bought my Nook I was going to get a pretty good deal. I knew that ebook prices weren’t too far behind paperback prices but since publisher pricing has come into play I’m wondering if this won’t be the slide into the doom of ebooks. Publishers are now setting the price of their ebooks. I have two books coming out in two series that I follow in March and April. Both ebooks are $14.99. Guess how much the hardcover editions are going for on Amazon. Lover Unleashed is $15.36 and 10th Anniversary is $14.28. I find it very hard to believe that it is cheaper to produce the hardcover than it is to create a file!

Availability?

Lisa: I honestly don’t know enough about the availability of ebooks vs print to truly give my judgment on this. I have yet to purchase an ebook with my ereader. I bought it and use it for the purpose of advance reading copies to review or free ebooks. If I want a book, I hit Amazon.com or drive down the road to Borders to get what I want. Usually I’m in the middle of a book when I order a new one, so by the time Mr. Postman delivers it I’m ready to read it. But I can see the appeal of having the book delivered to your ereader in less than a minute. Now books that are only released as ebooks or vise versa? That breaks my heart. Point in case – I LOVED Carrie Lofty’s Song of Seduction when I was sent the novel to review. It was only released as an ebook by Carina Press, an electronic publisher. Thinking of all the people who missed out on that release last year because it was never issued as a print book just makes me sad!

Stephanie: It’s odd but I get upset when a book isn’t available in ebook format. It doesn’t happen often but it’s a real bummer when it does. I’ve become very particular about what I’ll read and it what format. It used to be as long as I could get it, I didn’t give to much weight to how the book was presented. I fear that I may be spoiled by my Nook. I’m not sure it’s healthy….
Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Convenience?

Lisa: There really isn’t any appeal for me to carry around my whole library in one device. I have around 100 books on my Kindle and it drives me crazy because I easily loose track of all of them and what books are actually on there. Looking at the title on the Kindle doesn’t give me very much information, but looking at a book cover is easier to jog my memory about a book. If I traveled a lot, I would probably never part with my ereader, but most of my reading is done in the comfort of my home. Convenience has never really been an issue for me when it comes to reading. Not having any book, print or ebook??? Well that would be pretty damn inconvenient for me!

Stephanie: Now this I part I love. My Nook is so very convenient. I am carrying around 100+ books in my purse everyday. There is no way that I’m reading that many at a time but it’s like a security blanket. I like to have it with me! I have to drive an hour to get to a good bookstore. If I can’t get there than I have to wait a week to get it in the mail. The ease of just clicking, downloading and backing up a file is amazing to me. I don’t have to go out of my way for it at all. Hello instant gratifacation! My name is Stephanie.

Feel?

Lisa: No contest here. Print books win hands down. On an ereader, I’ve read dozens of books and they all had the same look, feel, weight. It’s boring! Print books come in different shapes, sizes, fonts. There is no better feeling than holding a book in your hand, flipping through the pages, glancing at the cover, reading the synopsis on the back. It is one of my favorite things about reading. Plus, I will never ever ever ever give up my library. I curl up in my big comfy chair, surrounded by my 1200 book and know I am home and at peace. Basically, I read to get away from the stress of the worlds and that includes technology. I want my smelly, colorful paper book!

Stephanie: Now this is where ebooks are just lacking. I like the shine and weight of my Nook but there is just something about a real paper book. I think only other book nuts are going to understand what I say next. There is something borderline therapeutic about picking up a beloved book and just flipping through the pages or admiring the cover. You just don’t get that with an ebook. I do like that the weight is always the same and that my hands and arms don’t get tired when holding it.

Member Pricing?

Lisa: It is a shame that in some cases ebooks do not have the same membership benefits as do most print books. Really though, I don’t see how this can last very long. Eventually, ebook sellers and publishers will have to reach some sort of agreement in order to satisfy their customers. I think publishers are trying to milk this for all it’s worth as long as they can…it’s only a question of how long it will last.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Stephanie: Another subject that infuriates me when it comes to the electronic world. Certain publishers seem to think that it is below them to allow places like Borders and Barnes and Noble to use their member pricing. You also can’t use coupons on an ebook. Sometimes it’s just so much cheaper to get the real book. I guess I just don’t understand where the publishers are coming from
on this.

Stephanie

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No Responses to “Discussion: Print Books vs E-Reader”

  1. Danielle

    Great blog today. I've had this discussion with my friends all the time. I work at an UBS and it's funny how many of our customers have an ereader and still come in and buy books. Their reasons for still buying books — I can donate it, let my friends read it or I can come in here and get store credit for more books. I have two ereaders and I have to admit that I pre-order a lot of my tradesize books with my online Borders coupon. Lisa, I always flip through the pages of a book, you don't know how many times I have to go back to an earlier part of the book to reread something and for me it's easy to do it with a book.

  2. Kathy

    I have two ereaders and really like them. But, I will always buy physical books! I want to be able to give a great book to my Mom who will then give it to her friend and so on. You just can't do that with an ebook.That said, though, my son is reading a lot of classics in his Honors English class. We can download for free and he can carry a little "gadget" in his backpack. I've mainly used it for free ebooks, ARCs from authors, publishers and NetGalley. I've probably spent less than $10 on ebooks. I did by New York by Rutherfurd for $5. It's 800+ pages and it's just easier to read (and carry) on an ereader. I have "scoured" the web for info about free ebooks and have bunches of sites bookmarked. and they aren't just self-pub or classics.I love my ereaders but they will never take the place of a book.

  3. Danielle

    Great blog today. I've had this discussion with my friends all the time. I work at an UBS and it's funny how many of our customers have an ereader and still come in and buy books. Their reasons for still buying books — I can donate it, let my friends read it or I can come in here and get store credit for more books. I have two ereaders and I have to admit that I pre-order a lot of my tradesize books with my online Borders coupon.

    Lisa, I always flip through the pages of a book, you don't know how many times I have to go back to an earlier part of the book to reread something and for me it's easy to do it with a book.

  4. Kathy

    I have two ereaders and really like them. But, I will always buy physical books! I want to be able to give a great book to my Mom who will then give it to her friend and so on. You just can't do that with an ebook.
    That said, though, my son is reading a lot of classics in his Honors English class. We can download for free and he can carry a little “gadget” in his backpack.
    I've mainly used it for free ebooks, ARCs from authors, publishers and NetGalley. I've probably spent less than $10 on ebooks. I did by New York by Rutherfurd for $5. It's 800+ pages and it's just easier to read (and carry) on an ereader. I have “scoured” the web for info about free ebooks and have bunches of sites bookmarked. and they aren't just self-pub or classics.
    I love my ereaders but they will never take the place of a book.

  5. Lisa Jo @ Once Upon

    Great comments you guys! Of course, there are always reasons to love both ebook and physical books, but I fear my heart will always belong to the print books! The 'feel' topic is the main reason. Like Danielle said, I just love to flip through the book and re-read my favorite part! And the 'reusable' issue is a big deal for me! If by some crazy chance I ever do get rid of these books, it's nice to know they would have some value! Kathy, you make an excellent point. The e-reader is great for the larger books! And kudos to you for even trying to read an 800+ page book! I would be intimidated! lol I don't hate my e-reader…I think it's a great invention. But I am just an 'old fashioned' reader! 😀

  6. Lisa Jo @ Once Upon A Chapter

    Great comments you guys!

    Of course, there are always reasons to love both ebook and physical books, but I fear my heart will always belong to the print books! The 'feel' topic is the main reason. Like Danielle said, I just love to flip through the book and re-read my favorite part! And the 'reusable' issue is a big deal for me! If by some crazy chance I ever do get rid of these books, it's nice to know they would have some value!

    Kathy, you make an excellent point. The e-reader is great for the larger books! And kudos to you for even trying to read an 800+ page book! I would be intimidated! lol

    I don't hate my e-reader…I think it's a great invention. But I am just an 'old fashioned' reader! 😀

  7. Danielle

    Lisa, this is gonna sound "weird" but I keep my favorite books on the side of my bed. Whenever I'm having a bad day or I can't fall asleep I pick up one of my favs and reread the last few chapters.

  8. Danielle

    Lisa, this is gonna sound “weird” but I keep my favorite books on the side of my bed. Whenever I'm having a bad day or I can't fall asleep I pick up one of my favs and reread the last few chapters.

  9. Carrie at In the Ham

    I love this post!! Gosh, I agree with so much of what you have said in favor of print books! I LOVE my print books, i love my bookshelves, I Love my book covers. I don't have an ereader and I don't plan on getting one yet. It sadly seems like that's the direction we're headed though. I TOTALLY understand an ereader as an addition to a paper book library. But I'm vastly seeing print books becoming harder and harder to get. With b&m book stores closing and like you said some books only being producted in ebook format. Funny that you mention carrie lofty's book b/c I sooo wanted to read that one, but it's ebook only.Thanks for the great post!!

  10. Carrie at In the Hammock Blog

    I love this post!! Gosh, I agree with so much of what you have said in favor of print books! I LOVE my print books, i love my bookshelves, I Love my book covers. I don't have an ereader and I don't plan on getting one yet. It sadly seems like that's the direction we're headed though. I TOTALLY understand an ereader as an addition to a paper book library. But I'm vastly seeing print books becoming harder and harder to get. With b&m book stores closing and like you said some books only being producted in ebook format. Funny that you mention carrie lofty's book b/c I sooo wanted to read that one, but it's ebook only.

    Thanks for the great post!!

  11. Stephanie @ Once Upo

    I do miss all the physical attributes of a good book. I can however sacrifice them for the ease of use and all the above mentioned reasons. That doesn't mean I'm anti-real books. I still love to visit a book store. 🙂

  12. Stephanie @ Once Upon A Chapter

    I do miss all the physical attributes of a good book. I can however sacrifice them for the ease of use and all the above mentioned reasons. That doesn't mean I'm anti-real books. I still love to visit a book store. 🙂

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