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Printed Books V. EBooks: Your Opinion Please

Were you an avid reader growing up? Did you grow out of it or continue into adulthood? Did you allow your busy life to sweep away the concept of reading books along with rugging up in your pjs and sipping hot milo?

I am a huge lover of books.

My parents spent many a day during my childhood yelling at me to stop reading and do my chores. These days my partner considers my book collection a fire hazard. He doesn’t understand how I could possibly need to buy ‘just one more.’ (Of course, today he gave me a new book as part of his anniversary gift to me. Love it!)

The thing is over the last couple of years I’ve developed a strong relationship with ebooks to the detriment of my beloved paperbacks.

I’ve read far more ebooks, particularly those that have assisted me to develop new skills and ideas.

Paperbacks have been reserved mainly for biographies.

According to data released by Pew Research Center in 2011, people read in different formats depending on the purpose of their reading. In our instant gratification society many of us can no doubt identify with “being able to get a book quickly” as an influence in our purchase decision.

Also in 2011, Amazon advised it was selling 143 e-books to every 100 hardcovers sold. Perhaps this reflects a preference for  lower priced alternatives in a period of financial strain?

Despite feeling like I’m cheating on my loyal printed books I can’t help thinking my treacherous actions will continue. It seems I will be one among the masses.

So I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

1. Do you read particular genres in one format rather than the other?

2. Do you still read printed books?

3. Are there situations when you are more likely to read an e-book?

And for fun, is reading an e-book rather than a printed book cheating?

Pic Source: 1. Blogger’s Own Image 2. Pew Research Center

10 Responses to Printed Books V. EBooks: Your Opinion Please

  1. oh yes a tricky subject and worth a blog post over at helz-design.s too.
    as a media designer of books i love the old fashioned printed book.
    i disagree with the chart … reading in bed and while commuting: nothing better than having a good printed book in your pocket … and nobody wants to steal your ipad, kindle or whatever! (and printed books don.t run on batteries)

    i have some social media reports as pdfs – but i like to print them – so it is quite annoying when the book contains many pages 😛

    my opinion: a real book is better than anything else (we won.t talk about my library now! i am able to fill shelves! and i love to visit the local library!)

    • Oooh I think there are a few of posts for you Helen!
      1. Printed book v. ebook
      2. 5 critical elements in ebook cover design
      3. What your designer needs to know before designing your book cover
      Maybe a couple of UBC entries covered above?
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I prefer printed books, mostly because I spend so much time on the computer during the day. I also have books all over the house that I read when I have a few minutes, and they are from a variety of sources – library, friends, bookshops, second hand stalls.

    I also find it hard to focus on a screen for extended periods, and can with a printed book. (I’m one who prints out ebooks and binds them so I can read them)

    • Hey Melissa,
      I tend to agree. Read printed books seems so inviting, relaxing after spending long hours on the computer.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Cheers, Caylie

  3. Ah, I don’t have an ereader so I am 100 percent hard copy books… at the moment. I think I could see myself reading ebooks for reference, or if I’m travelling (an easy way to carry 10 books in your suitcase!). But for day-to-day reading, there’s the full immersion that a ‘real’ book gives you: it is more than words, it is sensory, tactile. Oh, the smell of old-book paper! (I just sounded about 100, didn’t I).

    • Hi Naomi,
      Not 100 at all. I love delving into the pages of a book too. I don’t have an e-reader yet either but I know it would have been awesome when travelling around Europe rather than lugging books.
      Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Hi Caylie,

    Great questions! I guess I’m a bit of a traditionalist in that I prefer the tangible aspect of paper books. However, a big part of that has to do with the fact that I don’t won an e-reader, so when I get an e-book I have to read it on my computer. After spending all day at the computer for work, I usually don’t want to spend more time at it after work. Out of necessity, I have read several business related e-books on the computer because they were not available in print. With e-books, I do love that they are more environmentally friendly though! And I can see the benefits of using them while traveling, big time! So, I tend to read more techincal and business related books in digital format and more of the fiction books in paper format. Hope that helps!


  5. When it comes to eBooks, the point is lost on me, because I print them out and read them unless I can upload them to my Kindle.

    I never thought I’d give up paper (love the feel and smell of books), but my Kindle allows me to take my library everywhere I go. I love that convenience.

    Speaking of eBooks – I have two to read this weekend! I’m excited, it’s fun to read work done by people like me. I love that anyone can write a book and self publish it online.

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