It’s that time of year! Time for that moment where we put our fingers on the pulse of our robotic books. Or something.
It is quite hard for me to believe that this poll is now a surly teenager. But particularly since we’re in the midst of a pandemic, I’m very curious if that’s had an impact on e-book adoption or if we’re clutching our paper books even tighter.
But first, let me include my caveats to spare the inevitable comments and emails:
- Yes, I know this isn’t a scientific poll.
- Yes, I know that not only is it not a scientific poll, it’s even less scientific to compare very different audiences and sample sizes through time.
- Yes, I know that you want more poll options because one of these doesn’t precisely capture all of the nuances of your very nuanced view. Just choose the one that’s closet!
Now then. The poll is below. You may need to click through to see it if you’re reading this in a feed reader or via email.
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my online classes, my guide to writing a novel and my guide to publishing a book.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!
Art: The Dublin Streets; a vendor of Books by Walter Frederick Osborne
As a new Kindle convert during the pandemic, I have many thoughts.
I’ve only bought one e-book and the rest I borrow from the library. I love the convenience and have read more books this year than I can ever remember.
However, if I purchase something I still want a physical copy. Yes, it’s more expensive, but psychologically it feels like you’re getting more and it feels more special. Especially cookbooks. Why would I want an e-cookbook?!?!
I already do – although Audiobooks have started to make a dent in that…
Laurie Young says
I have a significant number of books on my e-reader, which I like to use when traveling or out for the day. At home, since I work on a computer and stare at a screen all day, the last thing I want to do at night is continue to read off a screen. My eyes are shot. I love curling up in bed with a good book and feeling the weight of it and turning the pages. I don’t think that joy will ever lessen for me.
Lauren B says
I pretty much exclusively buy ebooks for my Kindle for myself (or borrow them from the library). When I buy physical books it’s either at signings, to support author-friends, because I want to be able to lend it out, or to give as gifts. Even for others with Kindles giving them an ebook doesn’t feel the same.
I love real books but have no more shelf space in my small apartment. Ebooks have other plusses: you can look up a word with a touch of the finger (handy with Franzen), make notes, enlarge type if eyes are fatigued. I like the price point and that light, fun books can be enjoyed without a tree having to give its life. And I like that the author gets a greater royalty.
Rex Stewart says
I live in Japan in a small apartment. I prefer printed books, but there is little space for them. Also, with e-books, I don’t have to pay shipping costs. I would much rather hold and read from a printed book than an iPad or Kindle, but I have to adapt to e-books due to the reasons above.
I rarely read physical books anymore. And when I do they are usually older books that I get from the library that aren’t available on Kindle. I love being able to bring my library of books I’m currently reading with me on my phone.
Thelma White says
I’m a die-hard, I guess, because I don’t own any sort of book reader. I’ve always loved the feel and the smell of books from the time I was a child and my parents put my first book into my hands. Yes, they take up room in my house, but there’s the physical satisfaction of seeing my shelves filled with beloved, well-read volumes and the feel of turning actual pages.
Jane Kirk says
Like many bibliophiles I own more than one copy of my favourite books, these days it is simply extended, so in addition to the hardback, one or two tattered paperbacks I have the digital version invaluable when on holiday or as I am now older when arthritis makes the weight of my beloved hardbacks too much, I can simply reach for the kindle…. it is not the same. A book you have read to tatters over 20, 30 or 40 years is more than the sum of its parts, every smudged thumb print or drop of rain that marked the page becomes part of the story. The words the author gave us are just the foundation. The physical book holds a thousand additional memories of its own.
Eve Ness says
Oh, nicely put, Jane!
Since I’m visually impaired, I find both ebooks and paper books difficult to read at times. I tend to do most of my reading at Audible.
Ever consider adding audiobooks to this poll?
Marilyn Carvin says
Love books. Just feels cozier to sit with a real book. Find it a nuisance to go back to check something in an e-book. But as my sight fails, I can see the advantage of being able to adjust the font size in an e-book.
JOHN T. SHEA says
“Cold dead hands!” John selects on his laptop after reading Nathan’s electronic blog entry.
Nathan’s choice of painting, an 1889 Dublin quay scene showing a book vendor, is also accidentally ironic. In the middle distance can be seen the tall dome of Dublin’s Custom House, which was burned-out nearly a hundred years ago in 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, destroying many irreplaceable public records. Most texts are conserved by copying and recopying through different media over centuries and millennia. E-books are one of those media.
Zoe Cannon says
I’ve been buying only ebooks for years. So much more comfortable to read when I can customize the formatting, and no having to give up old books to make room for new ones.
I’ve got no problem with people preferring physical books, but I do wish we could stop referring to physical books as “real books.” No matter how passionate someone is about, say, vinyl records, I’ve never heard anyone say an MP3 version of a song isn’t a real song.