Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 1994 - E-Books versus Paperback

Do you read books made of paper? Or have you converted to the E-Book variety?


This is a serious question for this Deep Fried author.  I am very much a hold in your hands, hard copy, smell the print, lick your finger, turn the pages kind of girl.  I'm the girl that takes her book in the bath, reads by the pool, and gets sand all through the pages as we holiday at the beach. I'm also that naughty girl who dog ears the pages to mark my place AND I'm THAT chick who writes notes in the margins and uses a highlighter to capture quotable quotes.  I apologise right now to all the trees and forests, but I bloody well prefer paper.  My life is not complete without it.

As an author I like the idea that my books are in print.  Real fair dinkum hard copy print.

But as more and more bookshops close down around us, I wonder if I am in the minority.  Are people really converting to E-Books across the globe?  Am I one of the few that still prefers paper?

Going the E-Book route seems like a logical solution from an author's point of view.  So we've done it.  My books are available in E format on Amazon.  But compared to my paper copies, the E sales are very very VERY slow.

Which confuses me.  When it comes to MY books people (kids) prefer the hard copies. Yet all around us, bookshops are disappearing. Some regional towns no longer have bookshops at all.  What's going on? Is it that they are all still reading hard copy books but preferring to buy online?

I did some research about the pros and cons for E-Book over hard copy.  To be honest the arguments for and against each are fairly well balanced.

When it comes to children's books it seems the whole hard copy thing still has a lot of street cred. I personally have sold over 4000 copies already so I know that kids are still reading the paper variety.  Which is good news for me and the thousands of books I have in storage ready for distribution.

As I chat to people though, there are quite a few tweens now converting to e-reader as they leave the illustrated kids books and head into chapter reading.  Interesting ... (and now I'm thinking that's not so good for the thousands of books I have in storage ready for distribution).

I read recently that researchers from Harvard Medical School have warned readers that using an E-Book before sleeping could be affecting their health.  The study, which looked at the effects of light-emitting devices, found people who read E-Books take longer to doze off, have poorer quality sleep AND were less alert the next day compared to those who read print books before bed.

Isn't that interesting?

That's a big win for the print version I guess. For now.  But as humans evolve I guess our bodies will all adjust to these multi-media devices (much like we did to electric light bulbs and television sets).

It's all very technical. And scientific. A bit much to churn over at 5.00am.

But my question for you all today is:

Do you read books made of paper or have you converted to the E-Book variety?

What about your children? Which do they prefer?

Do you have a bookshop near you? Or do you order your books online? 



16 comments :

  1. I have too much screen time as it is and would much prefer a book you can pick up and walk away from the screen as my escapism.

    I do have an eReader but I'm not a fan.

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  2. As I work in front of a screen all day and write at night I still prefer to read a real book. Although I have read a few on my kindle for ipad, nothing will ever beat a real book. And as a budding author, seeing my own real book one day would be the best ever!!

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  3. I am exactly the same as you! I prefer to hold paper in my hands and I write on my books too much to everyone's dismay :)

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  4. I'm a mix between the two. It took me a long time to go to e-books though. I do like them for their convenience, and if I'm not sure if I will love a book I can cheaply try it out as a e-book rather than add it to my valuable bookshelf space. And I buy online most of the time, it is cheaper and it arrives right on my doorstep. Though I do miss the days of browsing bookstores aimlessly.

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  5. Definitely books in their paper flesh!
    My Kindle is handy but it always seems to be out of power which is more than annoying. I also can't stop myself from browsing for books on my Kindle instead of reading the novels I have already downloaded - so annoying!

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  6. I have a Kobo e-reader and while it is very very handy I still prefer hard copy books, particularly ones I really love and I know I will return to time and again. That being said, one of the best things about an e-reader is being able to access the book you want immediately, no heading to the shops or waiting for an online order to arrive in the mail. It's also great to load up with books for a holiday though to save space in your luggage. I'm kind of sitting on the fence aren't I?

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  7. I'm a paper book reader all the way.
    I buy my books online mostly these days, as my small children aren't conducive to browsing in bookshops.

    With childrens books i feel as though i need to look and feel first, but I sometimes just check out books in the library first.

    I always buy Australian books online from my favourite Melbourne book shop, Readings.

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  8. I refused to give up paper books completely and it took me a while to convert but I admit it is a lot easier to get hold of books and read from an e-reader, I dont have to go to the library and wait for a book to come in, I just download it and it's in my hands within minutes.

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  9. I read both. For straight novels, I prefer an e reader. I have been reading novels on my phone since my youngest (now 5) was a year old. So much easier in the dark as you try to get that kid to settle. I now have an actual e-reader which I LOVE.

    Picture books, for obvious reasons, are better on paper. The kids certainly prefer this, although I do have a couple of picture books on my phone for emergencies!

    Non-fiction I prefer in hard copy, so you can easily flick through, browse, read bits here and there.

    My son (just turned 13) also reads both. He got a kindle for Christmas, and loves it, but he still borrows books from the school library at least weekly as well.

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  10. I prefer paper always but have 2 exceptions- where the ebook price is super cheap I will grab a bargain and read it on my iPad and 2- nonfiction books tend to appear on my iPad more than paper because I keep and refer back to them so like to have quick access, the highlight and note functions etc and no clutter.

    With kids books I will grab an occasional bargain digitally buy otherwise stick to paper for them. I think kids get enough digital time so I am hesitant to encourage more screens for books. I also dread the idea of a future generation raised on digital books so will never abandon paper books or planners.

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  11. Everything affects your health but I don't care.. Ebook all the way, especially on holidays where I carry 1 but have many books inside

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  12. I'm with you - hard copy all the way. I've purchase a couple of "blogging how to" e-book guides, and read one novel on my tablet, but it just isn't for me. I stare at a screen all day for work, so like to have a real book or magazine when I'm relaxing.

    Visiting from #teamIBOT x

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  13. I just ordered 4 actual books, I love the act of reading and turning pages, I'm also in front of monitor all day so appreciate less screen time!

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  14. I don't think it has to be a one or the other choice. I think it's possible to love both versions of a book. Also decent e-readers are paper light so there is no back light and isn't much different from reading a paper version. I do read more books and have discovered more books because of my kindle. I love that I can get a new book at 2am when I can't sleep and that when I finish one book it shows me recommendations based on how much I love (or didn't) the book.

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  15. I love real paper, and have resisted buying an e-reader. I also buy all my books from actual shops, and one of my favourite places is the library.

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  16. I wonder if age has something to do with it? I prefer my reading material in print. I printed out all my Uni readings (spent heaps on printer ink doing it) because I take it in better.

    I like my children's fiction in hardcover and my fiction in paperback. Only because it's too heavy in bed otherwise. I like my recipe books in hardcover too.

    And then Amazon introduced freebies. Not being able to pass up a freebie I have a Kindle app on my iPad, but it's not how I like to read.

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