E-Book vs. Print – A Diversion

This post may seem frivolous, given the horrible news of the past week, but, for the sake of my sanity, I needed to change the subject; if only for a moment.

Recently, I polled my Facebook friends about their preference; E-Book or print, and I got some interesting responses.Esther's Books

Esther said, “I like Ebooks for convenience. But then I like the hard backs for the collector/Great Gatsby look. I DO like holding a book once in a while. In fact, here’s the stack I need to get through, besides about 50 on my kindle.

Sunny practices practicality. “I like to read in the pool or hot tub and it doesn’t matter if a paperback gets wet.” (I like your style, Sunny!)

One exceedingly generous soul, Daiyu replied, “Paperback, since I can pass them on to others.” Good for you! (Except mine. Make them buy mine!)

Terry also likes to pass on her books to friends. “On the iPad for email and FB so reading a paperback gives you a break from “electronics”. However, she also admitted to cheating on her books by looking ahead! (tsk, tsk, Terry)

Having to work with electronic devices and computers all day, Karen prefers to hold a real book, calling herself “old fashion when it comes to certain things and books are one of them.”

Wendi cites ecology. “Both versions have their pluses. An EBook saves trees and clutter. But nothing beats the smell of a paper book – hardcover or paperback. But the Lorax in me says go EBook.”

I have to call Jill the most intense (psychotic?) reader of the group. “I prefer paper because I like to flip back and forth and write notes in the margin. I even tab them with post-it notes.” Seriously? I’m lucky if I don’t drop food on mine.

I have to give the award for the most enthusiastic Kindle reader to Josie. “Ya know, I had a kindle for a year before I took it out of the box. Once I did, it was game on! Now, I am on my 3rd kindle! I bet I’ve read double the books in the last 5 years that I’ve read my whole life!! Love my kindle!!”

Sandra had the most logical reason for EBooks. “I have many paper books, but I’ve been reading EBooks lately, with the nighttime screen (a yellowish tint) that kicks in at sundown to help me relax and maybe fall asleep. If I happen to get sleepy while reading, I don’t have to reach out to turn off the light, thus breaking the spell. Even if I close my eyes while reading, the tablet goes to sleep shortly after I do.”

Candy wins for marketing! “Both. Paperback for those of us who love the thing. Ebook for accessibility to e readers and online. Put it in every format you can. Paperback print on demand, EBook. Also, if you load it in Smashwords, they will offer it in all kinds of electronic formats for free. You hit different markets with different formats.” (Can you tell she’s an established author? Great points, Candy!)

Mary likes “Lying in bed” with her EBooks and “Curled up in a chair” with print. (I’m sure there’s some deep, psychological reason in there, somewhere)

John has the view many of us “seniors” take. “I started reading way before there was such a thing as an electronic book. So, naturally, my preference is for either a hardback or a paperback. But, I have to admit, a Kindle or similar device is the perfect choice for travel. In those old days I was like Maugham with his book bag when traveling.” I remember those days, John. Even paperbacks weren’t that easy to get!


A good point was made by Kristina. “I read almost exclusively on my Kindle, my Mac, or my phone. I like to read at night and I don’t want any lights on. A paperback means I have to light up the room.” In fact, several said easier readability was their main reason for reading EBooks. Eileen, William, Alice, Sharon, Jan (I’m sure I missed someone!) all stated, electronically, they were easier on the eyes (Notice I didn’t say, “aging” eyes!)

Zan Marie (I call her ZM) prefers EBook because it’s hard to hold a book and turn the pages with her arthritis. I hear that! I find that sitting with my IPad, with it’s handy stand/cover, makes it easy to simply swipe page after page.

I also encountered some downright hostility to even the thought of electronic books! “I believe in BOOKS. I have a library in my home for a reason. I recall Farenheit 451, I remember 1984. I treasure physical books. There is no replacement, and they cannot be erased unless they come past my gate and my puppies tear them away from my dead body. And that’s all I’ll say about that.” Whoa, Amber, tell us how you REALLY feel!

Finally, Sandy seemed to sum up the question quite nicely with arguments for and against both! ” Both, but at different times. Just NEVER NEVER NEVER take my books away!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont like the way they have narrowed the paperback books. They’ve taken the margins away! You have to break the spine to read the inside margins!!!! (I think Sandy is somewhat conflicted, don’t you?)

I found it interesting that those who prefer print love the smell and the feel. Those who prefer electronic do so for the convenience and the ease in holding a tablet and the ability to change the font size.

So, here’s the final count as of 10:24, February 20, 2018:

Paperbacks – 31

EBooks – 26

Both – 15

Now, back to your reading! (Especially if they’re my books! – Just kidding…maybe)



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