Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Blogger Hop No. 63: Reading Ebooks



Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


What to Do

1.) Post on your blog answering this week's
question:

Do you read ebooks?
If so, which one/ones have you
read, and why?

(submitted by Teri @ Sportochick's Musings)

2.)  Enter the link to your post in the
Linky list on Billy's blog.

3.)  Visit other blogs on the list and
comment on their posts. 

4.)  Be sure to find out next week's
question when you visit
Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer!



My Answer

I'll be VERY honest here. When the Kindle first appeared on Amazon, I wanted to fly to Seattle and have a few HEATED words with Jeff Bezos, the company's CEO, who is also the inventor of what I then looked at as a disgusting usurper of the revered, lofty place held by printed books for so many centuries. Just hearing the stupid machine mentioned made me cringe, as well as see red. I can barely tolerate ereaders, even now.

For a long time, I totally REFUSED to read, review, or even mention the Kindle, or ebooks, on this blog. I could not see ebooks as REAL books. To me, a REAL book was, and still is, a printed book, a PHYSICAL book, that I could hold in my hands, whose pages I could lovingly turn, and which I could even hug, if I truly felt that it was special. To me, it was nothing short of treason against the printed word to have books DOWNLOADED ONTO A MACHINE. Where was the delight of smelling that special book smell? Where was the sheer joy of the very physicality of the book? Could I proudly display this ridiculous machine on my bookshelves?! I felt as if my sacred bookish world had been turned upside down, sideways, and inside out.....Then, to my great distress and despair, the Nook appeared!! And then there was NetGalley, and Edelweiss, and I began to think that I was fighting a losing battle....

My greatest fear was that the printed book would someday become 'obsolete', and it looked as if that day might arrive sooner rather than later....

I remained adamantly against featuring Kindle or Nook books, or eARCS, or anything of the sort, on this blog, for the LONGEST time. As for my other blog, MindSpirit Book Journeys, digital books will definitely NEVER appear there. After all, that blog is dedicated in part to classics, as well as literary fiction. I just can't picture Great Expectations on a Kindle. No. Absolutely NOT. 



A partial view of my home library.
This is my own slice of "Paradise"!!



A closer view. This is the ONLY 
reading 'Nook' I own! 


Well, I have finally given in. Sort of. I still refuse to buy a Kindle. Or a Nook, for that matter. In fact, whenever I go to Barnes and Noble, which I have nicknamed "Paradise", in honor of Jorge Luis Borges (see my Favorite Quotes page, listed underneath the blog header), I make a point of totally ignoring the Nook display tables. And, I'm very happy to say, I'm not the only one. I've seen people walk right by this section of the store, as if it didn't exist. WHY look at MACHINES, when we have the real LIVE books sitting on shelves, waiting anxiously for the right people to come along, fall in love with them, and take them home? Even the bookstore staff has recently begun filling up the tables, formerly used strictly for the display of Nooks, with actual, REAL books. Oh, they still have a Nook display section. It's just much smaller than it used to be. YAY!!!!!!

I do own, and have even read and reviewed, some ebooks. They're all on my Android phone, to which I've downloaded Amazon's Kindle app. I am somewhat saddened by this..... Sometimes I feel as if I have betrayed something beautiful and sacred....  

My reasons for buying these books are threefold, and, what's more, one of these reasons has even helped me to be more discerning about the books I read. Here are the three reasons: 1.) I'm running out of space for printed books, unfortunately. 2.) Reading a book first on my Kindle app will allow me to see whether or not I will really like it. If I actually LOVE it, I can order the printed edition later on. So I am by no means turning my back on printed books! (Yes, Mr. Spock, it's TOTALLY illogical, I know. I just said I'm running out of space. What can I say? It's a HUMAN thing, to be illogical at times. Lol.) 3.) On Amazon, Kindle books are usually much, much cheaper than printed books, and sometimes, they're totally FREE. This is not always true, however. If a book is much in demand, the Kindle edition usually costs as much as, and can even cost MORE, than the printed edition. For instance, the trade paperback edition of City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, costs $8.53 plus $4.98 S/H, if purchased directly from Amazon. If purchased from one of their third-party sellers, it starts at $2.97, plus $3.99 S/H. The Kindle edition? It's priced at $9.99. You can check this out right HERE. This is totally RIDICULOUS. I am certainly NOT going to pay MORE for a simple download than I would for a tangible printed book! 

So I have purchased ebooks, but only if they cost $4.99 and below. I do own the digital edition (along with several printed editions) of Twilight, for which I paid $6.99. But this was a marked exception to the rule.  

Sometimes, the lack of space and money have forced me to buy an ebook, because my book buying compulsion is much too strong for me....but again, if I really LOVE an ebook I've read on my Android's Kindle app, I will make an effort to buy the printed edition later on, and somehow find room for the book....lol.

I have read and reviewed a few ebooks  for this blog. The titles of these books are: Withering Rose, by Kaitlyn Davis, which I'd like to own as a paperback, The Neverland Wars, by Audrey Greathouse, which I never finished, Snowed In, by Rachel Hawthorne, the paperback edition of which I bought as soon as I had finished reading the ebook, Grimm and White, by Emily Hansen, which I also left unfinished, and Eden's Creatures, by Valerie Zambito, which I did like, but not enough to buy the print edition.  There was also Escapee, by Edward Hoornaert, which I greatly enjoyed. I want to buy the paperback of that one, too.

I have read one book in PDF format --  Pirate's Alley, by Suzanne Johnson. I ADORED this novel! Even before I finished reading it, I had already ordered the hardcover edition.

All of the books mentioned above were read for blog tours. Since all of the writers were new to me, I felt I should read them in digital format first. You can find the reviews of all of these books on my "Book Reviews" page, which is listed underneath the blog header.

Bottom line: although I will read and review ebooks -- mostly for blog tours -- from time to time, I still MUCH prefer printed books! I do realize that ebooks have certain advantages, especially for those who travel on a regular basis, as part of their jobs, for instance. If I were 'a frequent flyer', I would have no choice but to take an ereader with me, as they are much more convenient to pack and take along with you. But, since I'm earthbound, and have no plans to take flight, or even board a ship, in the foreseeable future, I am totally free to indulge in my love ot that most beautiful, exciting, intoxicating, creation of humanity: the printed book. Long may it live and prosper!!  

  

 
What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment,
and I'll go check out your post!





18 comments:

  1. Great post on this issue that all bookish folks seem to be very interested in.

    This might be a more controversial and hot button topic then religion or gender issues :)

    Seriously, as you know I see a difference between higher quality physical books and ebooks that is not necessarily in conflict.

    Lately it seems that ebooks have not been so popular. I am seeing a lot of articles indicating that sales of ebooks have flattened. Most people I talk to, including young people, do not seem to like them. I am not sure what the future holds.

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    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thanks for the good word!! :)

      You are SO right that this might be a more controversial topic than either religion or gender issues! Lol. As you can see, I feel VERY passionately about this!

      I have to reluctantly admit that ebooks DO have their uses, but they will NEVER replace printed books for me. That sense of BLISS I get from a printed book, I will NEVER get from an ebook. Besides, a great deal of the fun of printed books is going to book events -- book signings, book fairs, and midnight release parties like the Harry Potter event I recently attended. Can you imagine any of those events with ebooks? Of course not!

      I'm glad to hear that ebooks have been losing popularity! Music to my ears!! I have noticed this myself at Barnes & Noble. It seems they're not selling that many Nooks anymore.

      It's WONDERFUL to hear that even young people are preferring printed books. That bodes very well for the future of the physical book. I just hope this trend continues to hold!

      Again, I can see that ebooks do have their uses, such as convenience, ease of changing font size, portability, and so on. I can see that. But the value of the printed book, which is more along the lines of aesthetic superiority, remains supreme, IMHO. I just can't get as excited about an ebook release as I would about a printed book release!

      Thanks for the WONDERFUL comment!! :)

      Delete
  2. Interesting question. I once interviewed a person in publishing from Scotland who had started a Scottish Ebook day. She said she realised that ebooks were complements to normal books and could never replace them, and that's how I think of them. I will admit, I love the idea of always having my most beloved and favourite books with me on an ebook reader or my phone apps because I've given up too many books while travelling to count. It's comforting knowing they're at my fingertips, no matter where I may be travelling -- they're with me you know? But in the end, if I enjoy the book I'm happy, no matter the format.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Verushka!

      That's how I think of ebooks, too -- as complements to REAL books. However, I just barely tolerate them. I read them only when I have to.

      You make a GREAT point about always having your favorites with you. That's what I've done with "Twilight", the first book of The Twilight Saga. I have several printed editions of the four books, including the original hardbacks, the collector's edition, the white trade paperback edition, and the trade paperback edition. I also have all four books in the Spanish trade paperback edition, with the original black covers! Lol. I'm fluent in that language, and I just can't get enough of this series! Well, I also have the first book's mass market paperback edition, AND the ebook edition, on my Android phone. I do love the fact that I have this book with me, everywhere I go. But I still prefer the printed edition that's sitting on my home shelves.

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! :)

      Delete
  3. To be honest I don't see ebooks every replacing printed books. For me they've just become another medium on which to read - like an audio book for example. I normally have 3 books going at a time - 1 in print, 1 ebook and 1 audio and use them at different times. I like my Kindle for reading in bed because I can turn the lights off as well as with the adjustable font size I can finally read without my contacts in which I've never been able to do because my vision is so bad. And of course a Kindle if fabulous for travel (though I always bring at least 1 print book too). However, it is useless for any book with heavy graphics - especially cookbooks and children's books.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Katherine!

      You make some great points regarding ebooks. They do have some advantages, such as portability, and ease of changing font size. I'm glad, though, that you don't see them ever replacing printed books!

      I'm also really glad that ebooks enable you to read without your contacts! That's a definite plus! And yes, they're also convenient for reading in bed without disturbing anyone.

      Books with a lot of graphics, such as art books, and children's books, are definitely not candidates for ebook editions. That would defeat the whole purpose of these books!

      As for audio books, they only interest me if I've already read the printed version. Lol. After reading The Twilight Saga, for example, I purchased the audiobooks and listened to them. But I would NEVER listen to an audiobook if I were encountering a book for the first time.

      I will always prefer printed books to any other format!

      Thanks for the TERRIFIC comment!! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Maria! Your post was very thorough. Good work! I have to admit, I honestly don't care WHAT I read on. Yes, I will always love a book BOOK, but I spend hours on my Kindle.....!! Here's my Friday Meets: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/08/friday-meets-19-august-2016.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Mareli!

      Thanks for the compliment! I guess you can see just how PASSIONATELY I love printed books! Lol.

      I have read some ebooks, but as you can see from my post, I haven't read that many. Most of the books I've reviewed for this blog are printed books. And, as you also know, my other blog will NEVER feature ebooks. Lol.

      I think of ebooks and ereaders as being complementary to printed books, but I will never be entirely comfortable or happy with them!

      Thanks for the nice comment!! :)

      Delete
  5. I know for some people ebooks make reading more accessible, particularly if they have a print disability or mobility challenge. Personally I can't stand ebooks and have no interest in them (grumpy old lady over here!), but I can definitely see their appeal, and boy would they free up a lot of space in my apartment! :)

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    1. Hi, Jane!

      I have to admit that ebooks have their good points, especially for those who have problems reading printed books.

      You're so funny! I used to hate them as much as you do. Now I sort of TOLERATE them. Lol.

      Yes, ebooks would free up a lot of space in my apartment, as well. I'm starting to run out of shelf space, and my non-bookworm husband is getting on my case about this....lol. But oh, how I LOVE my bursting bookshelves!! As you can see from the pics above, they do look beautiful, don't they?

      Thanks for the nice comment!! :)

      Delete
  6. Awesome post! I love your bookshelves! I really need to have a big bookshelf like that! Here’s my Book Blogger Hop!

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    1. Hi, Ronyell!

      Thank you! It's very obvious that I LOVE printed books PASSIONATELY, right? Glad you like my bookshelves, too!

      Thanks so much for the nice comment!! :)

      Delete
  7. You certainly gave this a lot of thought. And I can see your point on everything. I unfortunately travel for my work and I am gone for months at a time. By the way what is Edelweiss?
    Sportochick’s Musings Blog Hop Answer

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    1. Hi, Teri!

      I will NEVER love ebooks as much as I love printed books!! Actually, as I wrote this post, the words just poured out of me. That's how strongly I feel about this issue!

      In your case, of course ebooks make a lot of sense, as you travel so much. Since I don't have that situation, I can enjoy my printed books as much as I want! Lol.

      I can understand why people would read ebooks, though. It's just that the crazy feeling of LOVE I have for printed books, I will never feel for ebooks. And I think it's VERY insulting that many ebooks are as expensive as -- and sometimes even MORE expensive than -- printed books!!

      To answer your question, Edelweiss is a website on which you can request free ebooks before they are published. So it's just like NetGalley. Needless to say, I'm not interested in either one, lol.

      I have in the recent past acquired some free ebooks from Amazon, for my phone's Kindle app. However, if these ebooks have a printed edition, I want to get it when I can. I will just pick out my favorite books, as I don't have room for a lot of books anymore.....

      I'm going back to your blog now, to leave you the link for Edelweiss.

      Thanks so much for commenting back!! :)

      Delete
    2. Well I learned something new today ;) Edelweiss!

      Delete
    3. Now you have yet another site to request free ebooks from! Hope you enjoy!! :)

      Delete
  8. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this topic, Maria. I wasn't so different from you initially in my opinion of e-readers. Somewhere on my blog (a long, long, long time ago), I wrote about picking up an e-reader at a book festival to get a feel for it and utterly dismissing it. I probably even wrote once or twice about how I couldn't see myself reading e-books. Fast forward to today and most of the books I read are e-books.

    I got my first e-reader as a gift and used it now and then. It was a Nook (my disdain for Amazon products being well known among my family at the time). It wasn't until my husband decided to get a Kindle and let me try it that I fell in love and had to get one of my own. I think the turning point for me in reading more on my e-reader than reading paper books was after my daughter was born. She spent a lot of time breastfeeding and then sleeping on me (she would cry without stop when I put her down in those early weeks). Being able to read one handed, especially something that wasn't awkward to hold for long with one hand (or in turning pages) was such a convenience. Early on, I did purchase a lot of e-books. Now mostly I read my NetGalley and Edelweiss review books on my Kindle. I do watch for good deals. Prices of e-books aren't what they used to be anymore--and on the rare occasion I decide to buy a book, I will often go with whatever is least expensive.

    I read both print books and e-books these days, although e-books still out number my print books in terms of books I read (I own far more print books!). E-books are very convenient, but they do have drawbacks--namely that even though I buy a book, I don't actually "own" it. I still prefer print books in many ways, but they also have their drawbacks. Mostly, I love that I have the option between the two!

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  9. Hi, Wendy!

    I think you REALLY hit the nail on the head when you state that you don't really OWN an e-book. Exactly! How can you possibly OWN a download? There's nothing PHYSICAL to hold on to, and that's the main reason I don't like ebooks. I need something TANGIBLE to hold on to. This is the way I am. I feel the very same way about CDs and DVDs. I do buy MP3s, but usually just single songs, or albums that are not available in CD format. I don't like to stream movies, or see them on Netflix. I want to have the actual disc, as well as the container. It's a matter of ownership, as well.

    I can see how ebooks can be very convenient,though, especially in cases like yours! You had a sleeping baby in your arms, and yes, it was more convenient for you to hold the ereader in one hand, while cradling little Mouse with the other.

    I do have quite a few books on my phone's Kindle app, but I really do prefer to read print books. And the prices on digital books are sometimes just as high as those for printed books! Yes, there are still freebies and cheap ebooks, but not always.

    The greatest advantage of ebooks for me is that, when hubby is driving me back from work at night, I can read one from my phone collection during the commute (he drives me around, lol). And sometimes I read one in bed while he's asleep. That way, I won't disturb him. That's about it, though.

    For sheer enjoyment, NOTHING bests a printed book!!

    Thanks for the AWESOME comment!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)