Books vs. ebooks – the Hypocrisy of It All

4 Aug

My name is Dianne and I am a hypocrite.

That’s right. You see, I love books.

Totally addicted to them. Love the feel of one in my hands, love drooling over the covers in a bookstore (figure of speech, guys, ok? I don’t actually get the covers wet). Spend money I don’t have on more books. I have books squirreled away in every room of my house ( ’cause you never know when you will find yourself with a few minutes to read …). I love the feel of the paper, love the faint smell of books ( they do have a slight scent, you know, especially when new…), love being able to see how far I’ve read and how much I have left in the story. My WTBR pile lines one wall of my bedroom in a rather precarious design that is two books deep by 7 feet long, 2 feet high…

BUT I am also an author and believe that if you want to be successful in this new world of publishing, you MUST embrace ebooks. And so, I have a Sony ereader that Hot Stuff Hubby, who is not by nature a gift-giving sort of guy, surprised me with to celebrate the publishing of my debut novel, amzn.to/ORNZDL

An awesome cover designed by Derek Murphy at http://bookcovers.creativindie.com/

I also have the Kindle app on two laptops, one net book, AND my Samsung tablet. Yes, I confess that I am reluctantly becoming an ebook convert. Not totally, though. I’m a fence-sitter with this. (Not a comfortable position to be in, really…) but here’s the thing – there are pros and cons to both, and in my opinion, here they are:

Books

  • Pro – As mentioned above, I like being able to visually assess my progress through a book, marked by a cute little bookmark popping out of  the pages, marking my place.
  • Pro – Back Page Cover Copy. So interesting! This is what eats up my browsing time in a book store.
  • Pr0 – easy to read in full sunshine.
  • Pro – easy to read on a sandy beach or in the bath. No worries about permanent destruction should I drop a book in either of these locations.
  • Pro – easy/fast to go back a re-read a favorite/puzzling  section again. ( I often mark book passages with color coded sticky notes, especially if a book is instructional – hey!  – whoever “gets it”  when reading a list of “how-to” for the first time?)
  • Pro – I can loan out my faves to friends for an unlimited amount of time.
  • Con – Books are heavy. They take up room in my suitcase (who doesn’t read while lounging on a sun splashed holiday??) and the weight of them alone pushes me close to the airlines’ maximum allowed luggage weight.
  • Con – Paper books are not as green (environmentally friendly) as a digital file. And I love trees. Can’t bear to cut one down and so I never dwell on the amount of them that are killed to supply our greed/need for paper products. (more hypocrisy, I know)

Ebooks

  • Pro – each one can hold thousands of books in a space of no more than 6″ x 9″ by 1/2 “.
  • Pro – obviously, weight of a life-time supply of ebooks is no concern at all.
  • Pro – BIG PRO, actually – enlargable font. Oh, yeah, these old eyes LOVE that!
  • Pro – kinda … – ereaders have the capability to bookmark places, too. I just don’t find this as convenient as the real  physical thing.
  • Pro – again, kinda … – lending of an ebook is possible between people who have ereaders of the same type, and you can get thousands of ebooks on loan from libraries now, too.
  • Pro – ebooks have brought authors and readers closer together in the new world of self-publishing, where readers, not multiple layers of agent, editor, publisher and associates, decide on access and availability, and yes, the success, of a story with the reading public.
  • Pro – purchase is spontaneous and instantaneous. With the click of a button.
  • Con – purchase is spontaneous and instantaneous.  With the click of a button.
  • Con – it’s so easy to ignore/forget/overlook all those WTBR ebooks that I have downloaded into my Kindle library or onto my ereader, unlike my physical WTBR pile that reminds me that it’s still there, every time I stub my toe on it, or accidentally knock it over, sending a small avalanche of books skidding across the room.
  • Con – although battery life is improving with each new generation of ereader, electricity is still needed to recharge, and for a traveler like me, not all countries/places have easily accessed or appropriate voltage to do so. I hear there are solar powered rechargers available now but I don’t have one. Maybe I should put the bug into Hot Stuff’s ear …

So how about you? Which side of the fence do you park your bum on?

2 Responses to “Books vs. ebooks – the Hypocrisy of It All”

  1. Michelle Proulx August 5, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    I’m still on Team Book, but I recently got a tablet computer, so I’m giving ebooks a try. I’m doing all right so far, but it still doesn’t feel like I’m actually reading a novel. I don’t know. Maybe that will change if I give it enough time.

    Like

    • Dianne Greenlay August 5, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Michelle, I found it took me a while – probably a couple of ebook’s worth to get used to the ereader at first, and even now if I don’t keep at it, it feels strange once again when I go back to e-reading. But, I have to say, that once I’m into a good ebook, I love being able to read on the Kindle apps on my laptops. (Big screen makes reading effortless, and it looks better when I’m “concentrating” on a computer screen at work rather than trying to sneak-read a book when I’m supposed to be working!). And tablets are so fast and portable! However, this “ol’ dog” will always be a book lover at heart. 🙂

      Like

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