Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

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General > Why e-books fail to kindle bibliophiles' desires

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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 1866 comments Mod
A must-read article found here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/lo...

The writer of this article knows what he is talking about! :-)


message 2: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (bookeater89) Love it!! I've said it many times and I bet hundreds of people have said the same thing all over the world its just nice to read it all condensed into one place. We are not alone people! :D


message 3: by Deb (new)

Deb Why does it have to all or nothing? I love my Nook because I can try indie authors & publishers, I can carry a variety of books in the space of one book, and enlarge text size when my eyes get tired. I prefer reference books, certain authors, and picture/illustrated books in paper format.

So why does it have to be either or? I'm for both! :)


message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I love my books, love searching and browsing through second hand book shops for those out of print old titles, love the smell of them and I will never change to an e-reader but having said that, next time I travel overseas I will buy an e-reader for the trip. My last trip to Europe I packed about 8 hardback books and ran out of things to read towards the end and it was hard to find a non-fiction book in English until I hit Singapore on the way home, so they have their uses but they will never replace the feeling of walking into my own library and picking out a book to read.


message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris While I'm not quite like the author, I completely agree with the premise that e-books just aren't the same. I like seeing books on my shelves and holding them while I'm reading. And yes, even smelling them from time to time. Eventually I'll probably break down and get a Kindle when I start traveling a lot, but I think I will always prefer the physical book.

Also, a worry I have is what happens when inevitably something else comes along. In 20 years, will there still be Kindles or will the latest gadget take over and all your Kindle books become obsolete or almost unusable like VCR tapes did when DVDs came out.


message 6: by Stefani (new)

Stefani (steffiebaby140) Interesting, on some points I agree but on others I completely disagree with the author. I am a book lover, but that doesn't necessarily mean I am any less a book lover because I have a Nook. And not all the e-readers have the "bells and whistles" he talks about. I have a first generation Nook (yes the obsolete one lol), and it does the thing I was looking for in an ereader....it reads books. I wasn't interested in playing games or browsing the internet, I have a laptop for that. And even though I have my Nook, I still buy plenty of books!

This just gives me another way to comparison shop. If the ebook is less expensive than going to my bookstore, or if that book is not available on my swapping site then I will buy the ebook. If the ebook is more expensive than the physical book, or I can get the book on my swap site, then I buy the physical book.

And sometimes I go to the store and just buy something without comparison shopping at all! Or go to the Nook store and buy something just because I want it!

If anything my Nook has increased my passion for books because I have so many more ways of reading them now.


message 7: by Tajma (new)

Tajma Deb, the Word Muse wrote: "Why does it have to all or nothing? I love my Nook because I can try indie authors & publishers, I can carry a variety of books in the space of one book, and enlarge text size when my eyes get tire..."


Very good point and one I've been thinking lately myself. It really doesn't have to be all or nothing.


message 8: by Mackenzi (new)

Mackenzi (werewolfmack) | 21 comments Chrissy wrote: "Also, a worry I have is what happens when inevitably something else comes along. In 20 years, will there still be Kindles or will the latest gadget take over and all your Kindle books become obsolete or almost unusable like VCR tapes did when DVDs came out. "

If there is any one thing I hate about the advancement of technology, it's this! Already I fear for my DVD collection with this "blu-ray" business. E-readers seem pretty new, and I can't help but wonder if it's safe to get one.

If there was anything I got out of that article it's that now I want an e-reader of some kind even more. Obviously I will never stop buying books, I absolutely love them. Perhaps if someone made an e-reader you can hold open like a book, and make some page-flick motion to go to the next page. Not to mention it's so much easier to give things a trial-run if you can cram many new books in the space it takes for one.
And maybe it's my love of fanfiction that makes it so easy to read things in a digital medium.

If people are so set on putting Kindles and Nooks into the "not good enough" category, I'll just say what I say about the Twilight series. Any book, or reading device, that gets non-readers to start reading, will forever have my love. My cousin hadn't touched a book since her high school days until she found Twilight. She got a Nook for her birthday and now she actually searches out more books to satisfy her need to read! It's a miracle!


message 9: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 592 comments I think most of the people that have so far reacted to this subject don't see the forest for the trees. So many people are worried about developments twenty years from now when they should be enjoying the present. Don't sweat the future and live in the present. You don't complain about buying a new car when over twenty years the internal combustion engine could be obsolete. You buy the car and drive it now......in twenty years your Kindle or Nook will probably have died a natural death.


message 10: by Chris (last edited Nov 18, 2011 12:08PM) (new)

Chris Thom wrote: "I think most of the people that have so far reacted to this subject don't see the forest for the trees. So many people are worried about developments twenty years from now when they should be enjoy..."

I think there is a discrepancy of this thinking between whether you read mostly fiction books for pleasure or whether you mainly read nonfiction books for knowledge. Most of my reading is focused on "professional reading" centered around non-fiction military books (not all of which books I post on here mind you) that are of use to me as a future Army officer. Most of my books are carefully chosen as invaluable to have long-term in my mind and in my library for the knowledge can be perhaps of life or death consequence, not just for me but for many others. The rare fiction book I read purely for pleasure I wouldn't care too much if I lost it forever, and those are the sort I wouldn't mind getting a Kindle for. If I lost some of my books on counterinsurgency warfare, however, that are or will be rare finds, I would be upset. Of course there is always a risk of theft, fire, etc., but those are not necessarily guarantees where technological advances that will make past technology obsolete is pretty much a guaranteed certainty. Also, I appreciate being able to easily lend out these texts to fellow officers if I so desire.

A Kindle (or other e-reader) has numerous benefits. The most appealing to me is simply the space-saving. However, if you're only desire for a Kindle is simply never going to need or care to read the book again later 5, 10, or 20 years down the line when the technology is obsolete, then I think checking out books from a library would be the best medium in that regard

I personally view my burgeoning professional library as more of a long-term knowledge investment that I will reap the benefits of over the entire course of my life, rather than a few hours of pleasure. But I'm sure people that use books as purely a medium of pleasure and escape for a few hours, much like a movie, tv show, or music, then they might not care as much to develop a long-term library, much as I don't really care about collecting movies, tv shows, or music that I only use for temporary pleasure. This goes to show that a Kindle isn't the be all, end all for everything, and neither are paper books. They both have their advantages and disadvantages to consider how it fits in with each person's own needs or wants


message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin Germain (demiguise) | 97 comments I've read over this thread a few times, but haven't commented. I just went back and read the article that inspired it and find that my opinion hasn't changed, so I'll dredge this up again.

It seems to me that there are a number of things the author assumes about those who use e-readers that I don't think are true. Yes, I like the convenience of getting a book right away. I live in an area where there are not many brick-and-mortar stores, and even the second-hand ones are very slim pickings, tending to cater to beach goers who are looking for an easy read. I can't blame them, since that pays the bills, but the rare treasures don't usually turn up here. Also, I have limited space for my books. I'd prefer to use it for those that really mean a lot to me, and I do have a number of books like that.

I still search out physical copies of books that are important to me, and I enjoy the hunt for them. Sometimes it's multiple editions of the same book, such as the 20+ copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland I own. That hasn't kept me from downloading digital copies of AiW and Through the Looking-Glass, since I'd much rather read that and save the more fragile paper editions.

Over the years, I've worn out numerous copies of books I loved. Now I have the option of saving them from falling apart in my hands and still enjoy the stories. If I were just a collector, maybe that wouldn't be so important, but I actually enjoy reading those books again and again. That was the reason the author sat down and wrote it in the first place.

My readers also don't have all the "bells and whistles" the author insists get in the way of reading. I have a first generation Kindle and just upgraded to a Touch. The Touch is a bit more streamlined, which makes searching my library, sorting titles, and turning pages a bit easier, but that's about it. It's still black and white, it doesn't have all sorts of apps, and the fanciest thing I've seen about either Kindle (and I suspect Nooks, although I haven't much experience with them) is that I can instantly look up a word I might not be that familiar with, rather than pull out my old Webster's Dictionary (another book that is falling apart from years of use). I don't consider that to be such a terrible thing.

As for demanding perfection, well I don't expect any more from my digital copies than I do from my paper ones. I've read paper books that had pages missing, misspellings, and grammatical errors that made me cringe. Unless it was a very old copy and such errors would add to the value, I've searched out a replacement. Mistakes happen, and I can overlook the occasional mixing up of names or some similar thing, whether it be paper or digital.

Sorry for hopping up on the soapbox.


message 12: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (last edited Jan 23, 2012 07:15AM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Love it. Thanks for sharing the article.

I bought a cheap ereader simply to have a place to read the free ebooks I've gotten. (Doesn't help with Kindle freebies though, as I'm reading one now on Kindle for pc.) For travel, they'd be great, but I'm still not a fan of ereaders.

And lighten up folks. It was an editorial that was meant to give a different side of the story in a light hearted and entertaining approach. I don't think it was written to start a huge nasty debate on the merits of ereaders. If you read it again, he wasn't saying they were bad. He was just saying some of us still prefer the printed word and the feel of paper.


message 13: by Marsha (new)

Marsha | 14 comments Chrissy wrote: "While I'm not quite like the author, I completely agree with the premise that e-books just aren't the same. I like seeing books on my shelves and holding them while I'm reading. And yes, even smell..."

I'm the same way about my books - I love having them, holding them, seeing them sitting on my shelves or in stacks - knowing that I've had some kind of relationship with each and every one (or I will once I find the time to read those on my TBR pile). I also like knowing that I can go back to them at any time.

But, I do have an e-reader (a Pandigital with a 9 inch screen that's linked up to Barnes and Noble) - but it does allow me to download other e-pub books and read them b/c of the Android app running in the background - or so my husband tells me. I'm not very knowledgeable in that area. Mostly, I use my e-reader to sample books that I'm not sure I want to spend the money to purchase. I probably have 30 samples sitting on it right now to remind me which ones I've enjoyed so I can buy them eventually. Or buy that Indie book that just isn't in print yet. And, I also buy the occasional book on with my e-reader when I can't bring myself to buy something that might be a little embarrassing. Like when I buy a PNR, UF, or book that may border on erotica. I know - I shouldn't be embarrassed by what I read - but I'm tired of people judging me. So, I can read these books without anyone ever knowing that I bought them or that I'm reading them.


message 14: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 592 comments Chrissy wrote: "Thom wrote: "I think most of the people that have so far reacted to this subject don't see the forest for the trees. So many people are worried about developments twenty years from now when they sh..."

Chrissy I agree, in part, to your worries but even if your Kindle or E-Reader is replaced with something else in the future, this doesn’t mean you have to lose a single page of your valued library. I have many books stored on my computer or memory sticks, disks, etc. Advancements in reading mediums don’t mean that you have to throw away the old to embrace the new. I am sure that whatever happens in the future there will be compatible with the present technology. I love the written word. It makes little difference to me what form it takes. The Kindle and other e-readers have many advantages over traditional books. The ability to take it wherever you go, the ability to have thousands of books at your fingertips and the ability to read at night with the lights off are just a few of the advantages.
You appear to be at the beginning of a long and hopefully glorious career. I am at the end of my working life and my dreams are filled with what to do to enjoy the autumn years of my life. One of my goals is to read as many books as I possibly can. My life as most others has been dominated by home, spouse, children and work. The working aspect will soon come to an end and I fully plan to enjoy my retirement.


message 15: by Coqueline (new)

Coqueline Ebooks for me are what snacking is to eating proper meal. I load it up with 'easy to digest' books (I refuse to spend more than $10 on an ebook purchase), keep it with me just in case I might get bored along the way, or bringing physical books is not practical.

On the other hand, books I truly enjoy and value, I will always buy them in physical form. I will put in effort hunting down hard-to-get books and being more picky about editions and cover. I dedicate more time and patience) to them, and reading it in the comfort of my home or other places where I know it won't get damaged (not getting them squashed into a beach bag full of wet towels!). I will display them on my bookshelves, and perhaps one day pass them over to my daughter.


message 16: by Becomingme (new)

Becomingme | 15 comments Deb, the Word Muse wrote: "Why does it have to all or nothing? I love my Nook because I can try indie authors & publishers, I can carry a variety of books in the space of one book, and enlarge text size when my eyes get tire..."


Also, for some of us, ebooks allow us to enjoy the experience better(inflammatory arthritis, AS specifically)...it is easier to hold and turn pages than a traditional book, not to mention weighs less. I still have my collector edition books, but I don't think that an ebook experience is any less than a "book" experience, especially when you compare it to a paperback book(which I find cheaply made, and at time hard to read if more than a few months old)...


message 17: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 592 comments This month I bought an AV E-Book Reader and it works as I expected it to. There are now so many different readers on the market; I have a question. Internationally, which is the best?


message 18: by Lilian (new)

Lilian | 3 comments I don't see why it has to be an either/or proposition. I love my ereaders, especially since I've moved and have limited space for books. I wondered at first whether I'd really like my Kindle, but after the strangeness of the first couple of books, I love it. I want to be able to read a book with minimum fuss, the support really doesn't matter to me. Besides, not having to haul around two books when I'm almost finished with one is a major plus.

Does the fact that I don't mind not owning a physical copy of a book mean that I'm not a true bibliophile? I don't think so, but whatever floats your boat, really.


message 19: by Geevee (last edited Feb 03, 2012 07:37AM) (new)

Geevee I'm with Aussie Rick in that I love having physical books, looking at them and buying books (second hand or new) but I also have a Kindle - since November - which I use for travelling on the train and tube (subway/metro) and at hotels. I've downloaded many "classics" and am now using it to read these to which I had always said I would read but never got around to it.

As for longevity the Kindle won't last as a mainstream item just like the new technologies of their day (e.g. quill pens, printing presses, sail ships, steam trains, crystal radios, vinyl records and VCRs) as it will be superceded by other technology but much like smart phones are doing e-readers are changing peoples behaviours and approaches.


message 20: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (cassandraprettyinpink) I am a true bibliophile, but I do have a kindle. When I first got it, I was kind of embarrassed to tell my friends because I ranted about them.
So, when the excitement and novelty wore off of being able to buy the books that were .99 and up and only available as ebooks, I realized I missed (horribly) the feel, smell and weight of my books. I also missed the title page, the back cover, the front cover...

I've thought a few times about giving my kindle away...


message 21: by Jes (new)

Jes (jespearl) | 4 comments I understand why some people would like e-readers, especially if they are constantly on the go. I guess it would be handy to have all of your books in one place at all times.
BUT I can't do it. E-Readers just don't cut it for me. I like purchasing books, and flipping the pages and smelling them and seeing them on my bookshelves.
I can't justify it. Yes, they are cheaper, but they will never be as satisfying as actual books.


message 22: by Thom (last edited Feb 04, 2012 04:49PM) (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 592 comments I agree that it is not an either / or question. Frankly I don’t think anything can really take the place of traditional books. The simple smell and feel of them has been mentioned as well as their esthetic qualities, but I see the e-book as a new method to enjoy this old treasure. E-books are handy and easy to carry around with you. I haven’t, however, read anything about the ability to listen to books in times and places’ reading isn’t possible. I do a lot of traveling and certainly my time on the road cuts dramatically into my reading time. When I find myself bogged down in traffic I’m sure I keep a smile on my face as I no longer consider it a pure waste of time.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm for both like previously started I like trying out new indie authors that dont always get published in Australia.
Having said that I still prefer real books. the smell and feel of old pages, nothing compares!

and there is something to be said that technology dies, changes and when all is said and done books will always work, they will out last our e-readers over time.


message 24: by Becomingme (new)

Becomingme | 15 comments The experience...hmmm...with my Nook, I have an Oberon leather cover, so it feels better than many of my print books, and about as good as my collector leather bound books, but a LOT lighter...so I think it depends on how you look at it. I agree with many other who said it's not an either/or, both can be fulfilling experience. I tend now towards ebooks (it's because I can't really hold a book to well), but some books, such as How-to or special editions I still go for traditional bindings. (like The Hobbit)


message 25: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (imsophiedavies) I do not understand why owning an e-reader makes me any less of a book lover as someone who uses a traditional paperback.


message 26: by Angela (new)

Angela (ambience) | 11 comments I really dislike e-readers.. Nothing will ever beat the satisfaction of holding the book in your hands.. Ever!


message 27: by Paulfozz (new)

Paulfozz Cassandra wrote: "I am a true bibliophile, but I do have a kindle. When I first got it, I was kind of embarrassed to tell my friends because I ranted about them.
So, when the excitement and novelty wore off of bein..."


I railed against them too, and still do as I find the thought of paying licenses for e-books on transitory electronic devices (they all become obsolete at some point - vinyl to cd to mp3, vhs to dvd to blu-ray to downloads...) rather than owning paper editions extremely difficult to swallow. I did buy a kindle at the start of this year to read free ebooks on (and partly to rejuvenate my flagging interest in reading) but other than one book that I was interested in that was reduced to 20p I've not paid for any ebooks on it, can't see me buying any in the future and in fact the e-reader has really kindled my love of real paper books instead. I can't imagine I would buy another e-reader after this, it's nice to read on but I think I'd rather borrow from the library than pay out for more hardware.

Unfortunately only available in e-book format, people interested in the topic should read Amy Stewart's book, The Last Bookstore in America:

The Last Bookstore In America by Amy Stewart

I found it fascinating and more than a little portentous.


message 28: by Casaubon (new)

Casaubon (hadrian_gr) There's something very tactile about owning a physical book which cannot be totally replaced by ebooks yet, as much as I like collecting the latter.

I have heard stories of readers asking authors to sign their e-readers. A scifi author, William Gibson, was happy to do so - whereas Johnathan Franzen was disgusted and refused.


message 29: by Paulfozz (new)

Paulfozz Refusing to sign an e-reader is not too surprising given Franzen's attitude towards e-books.

There are two kinds of readers I think: those for whom the words are the only important factor, who will leap onto the e-reader wagon to regain shelf space and so-on, and those for whom reading is a sensory experience, who love to read but also get huge enjoyment from handling and owning paper books.

I don't think people who have dumped their paper books and moved wholly to e-books are necessarily wrong to do so, if they get a benefit from the change (perhaps they read new books voraciously but have no emotional connection to the physical medium or through ill health find holding books difficult) then I'm sure an e-reader is advantageous. I worry though that in 'buying' e-books people are losing a lot of the advantages that physical books offer. As Franzen says, there is no real permanence in an e-book. Can you be sure in 10-20 or more years you will still be able to read your e-book? Will reader devices still be around and able to display them? We've seen how many formats have become obsolete so that media companies can 'encourage' us to re-buy music and films - can we be sure the same will not happen to e-readers (there is already a new format for Kindle books that may be incompatible with older devices). Can you loan an e-book to a friend? Can you pass them on to charity? If a publisher decides to pull an e-book that you want to read (not sure if this has happened but with rights issues I guess it's possible) you likely won't be able to find a copy, but with physical books you can probably find one in a used bookstore somewhere.

Plus I don't think I've ever heard of someone having a treasured e-book... ;-)


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Paul wrote: "I did buy a kindle at the start of this year to read free ebooks on (and partly to rejuvenate my flagging interest in reading) but other than one book that I was interested in that was reduced to 20p I've not paid for any ebooks on it, can't see me buying any in the future and in fact the e-reader has really kindled my love of real paper books instead."

I bought a $79 kindle for the same reason. I have over 250 free kindle ebooks and gaining more daily. (I follow a list on Facebook that posts and informs others of about 40 free ebooks Amazon gives away daily.) I bought a couple cheap games and just 3 or 4 ebooks when I bought the kindle. One I bought was the first book in a two book series, and the second I'd gotten free. Should have waited as literally 1-2 days after I bought it, my $5.99 book was free. The other ebooks I bought were only 99 cents. After this experience, I don't anticipate buying any new ebooks any time soon. One I bought was available in ebook format only, which is about the only way I'll be tempted to buy an ebook from now on. I got enough free ebooks til then, plus my 5k+ library of dead tree books at home not to mention the local library for new releases.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) I do get the free ebooks for computer reading but rarely read them, I just lose interest reading electronically easily, no idea why. I'm a bibliophile though as many here and not just a reader. I love everything about actual books, not just what's inside them. Holding, smell, cover, pages, the back, the front, etc.


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