Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Paper Or Kindle?

In what is probably one of the first forays into original content by me for some time (wait, does that mean I'm all confident again? I doubt it) I'm going to address something I'm pretty sure I left as a comment on another blog on the subject of ebooks, and Kindles and the iDevices.

See, at first, I was of the opinion that "oh noes, the printed word is dying, this is bullshit. DOWN WITH eBOOKS!" but over time I've come to realize some things. The first is that ebooks do a lot of good really. They're making books a lot more accessible, and a lot cheaper. It's also a lot easier to make a copy of an ebook than a real book. Yes this means additional piracy, but really people would (and have) scan a physical book to make a copy of it. It's not like piracy of books suddenly only became possible with the advent of ebooks.

They also help a lot with people who want to self publish. As well as helping less well off people access books easier, they're making it easier for less well off writers to get their work out there. iDevices and Kindles may not be very cheap, but there are plenty of alternatives such as Blio, which is what I have on my computer. They also have a range of free books that are in the public domain, and this has allowed me to really expand my reading repertoire. So while I'm here I'm going to recommend if you have a computer, and no ebook device, you check out Blio.

Let's not forget as well what they do for the environment by sparing many trees that would have otherwise gone to becoming books.

I'm not saying physical books are a bad thing, far from it, holding a physical book is still a great feeling, and I'll always prefer physical copies of things to downloads (especially when it comes to music) I'm just saying don't be a snob, give ebooks a chance, and of course, be sure to check out your local library.

There are plenty of amazing books out there. If you think you don't like reading, I think you just haven't found the right book.

72 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see you writing some original content again especially since the topic's a very good one. I'm with you that Kindle's definitely do have their uses, so long as they don't completely kill off books it's all cool for me.

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    1. Same here really. I love books too much.

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  2. I love my Nook and my Kindle. I read a lot, I travel a lot and with ebooks I can take my library with me wherever I go. And I got tired of having to give away books that I loved because I had no place left to store them. Storing 3,000 book on and ereader takes up virtually no space, in my house it would take up two rooms. I like them.

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    1. I wish I had enough books to use them for that reason. My biggest problem is I can't afford a Kindle, but I have the free kindle app on my computer.

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  3. There is nothing like reading an actual book - the smell of it, the feel - that being said, I am so thankful for my kindle app on my phone. Since I injured my back, I need to keep things as light as possible, and not carrying around a book makes my bag weigh a lot less! I will always prefer a real book to an e-reader, but they are a great tool and a great way to cut down on paper usage!

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    1. Indeed they are :) I wish I had proper ebooks on my Blackberry but oh well.

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  4. I think that comment you made was on my blog post about books

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  5. When my local library stops selling books for twenty-five cents, I may look inot getting a Kindle. But even then, I agree with Melanie, nothing compares to the smell of a book.

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    1. My library doesn't sell books :( Well, unless you don't return them and they charge you for them.

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  6. Ahem...I have some ebooks.. ;)

    but no, seriously, there's no reason for you not to have confidence bro. we got your back

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    1. I have some downloaded ebooks, but no released ones, yet :)

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  7. I prefer books! Kindles are okay but I'd much rather have a book!x

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    1. I'd much rather have a real book too, but some things are only out in ebook form :)

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  8. I have very mixed emotions about Kindles and e-books. At first I was one of the snobs, one of the puritans...but then I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Since then I've been forced to change my opinions. E-readers do make books more accessible, as you said. I've read books and downloaded sample chapters that I otherwise wouldn't have heard of. But I do worry about the death of the old ways...because cold, heartless technology will never replace the touch and feel of paper books.

    Thanks for the follow! I greatly appreciate your feedback. Will be following you as well. Also, this Wibiya bar at the bottom of your page is pretty sweet. I might get one.

    ~Shane

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    1. I really hope that cold hearted tech doesn't ever replace lovely books.

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    1. Aye, tis on my contact me page.

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  10. lol wtf, too much random shit every where and the comment box loads last. anyways im thinking paper, cause it'll be gone soon, thus becoming an antique

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  11. I'm more into audio book and paper books. hehe

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    1. I don't really like audio books myself. I think I can read faster than they can and when I'm listening to something, I'm not always listening :)

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    2. yeah, I agree. but the thing is, in audiobook, I can hear and learn how to read the word properly. hehe

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  12. I think the ereaders have a lot of advantages, but given a choice, I do prefer to read a paper book

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  13. I'm gonna try real hard not to rant here, but I'm still anti-Kindle. Sure, it might be technically cheaper to download an original book than it would be to buy a paperback or especially hardcover. But I buy $8 YA books, so that doesn't affect me. Also, you have to buy the device which means that you won't save any actual dollars until you download about a hundred books. And you mentioned piracy--which one of my author friends has expressed concerns about. Who knows what the net gains are from internet sales, after subtracting losses from illegal downloads?

    I know the publishing industry got all fat and happy and elitist and self-publishing is leveling the playing field and giving thousands of writers a chance they would never have otherwise. I know some of those writers, and I have bought their books. Not *downloaded*, bought. As in a physical, paper copy. And if I ever finished my novel I'd want to hold it in my hand, pass it around, and show people without making them turn on an electronic device.

    Also, try throwing your copy of 'The Catcher In The Rye' out your bedroom window. Now throw your Kindle out the window. If you can still read from your Kindle after that I'll give in ;P

    Sorry. rant over. Glad you're back to writing some original stuff!

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    1. Well the big problem I have with Kindles is that I can't afford one, but oh well. There are people who can't get actual physical copies of their book out right away. There are musical artists who release only a set amount of physical copies because they can't afford many more. Physical copies will always be best, but I can accept ebooks.

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  14. I can't read ebooks; I get dizzy every time I try to. :(

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  15. I like ebooks and read a lot of ebooks online mainly because I can't find them where I live. But there's nothing like holding the book in your hands though and having that book smelll if you know what I mean :D

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    1. Well as sad as it is, I do know what you mean there :) It's better than a new baby smell.

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  16. Im really old school...I much rather have some paper. I've read books via my computer or handheld device and Just didn't like it.

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    1. I prefer books but sometimes I did just go for the ebook.

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  17. I was one of the "no e-books!!" camp until I was gifted a Kindle. And now, I'm not sure why I was ever so against it. I'm still buying books, and if I love a particular book I'll even buy a second, hard copy. The ease of an e-reader is just worth it to me. I've read more and it's all at a touch of my finger. I was just say as you did- don't knock it 'till you try it. :)

    Lor

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    1. That is all well and good but no one has given me a Kindle yet :( Well I have an app at least. Ah well.

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  18. I like ebooks because they're free.

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  19. Paper all the way for me, I'm afraid. I love the smell and feel of books, especially old ones.
    Although I have down-loaded books from the Internet, they are still on paper!

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    1. Hehe if I had that much paper I'd do that :)

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  20. All facts! I've got a Kindle and I absolutely love it. Although sadly, I haven't bought a real book in ages. Like any technology it has its pros and cons. It definitely helps smaller authors get out there. I've read (and fell in love with) the entire Donovan Creed series by John Locke. They're only available as e-books. And with alot of them being 99 cents I don't feel upset if I've bought a book and ended up not liking it.

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    1. That is a good point. If you spend only 99 cents then it doesn't matter if the book is no fun :) Everything has pros and cons, even real books have a few cons. But buy them!

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  21. I'm all about the sharing/spreading of knowledge and also, all about keeping my room clutter free but something about electronic books just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe all those trips to the library as a kid has brainwashed me or something.

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    1. I still love me my library, I can still walk in empty handed and walk out with a bag of books I might not read in time.

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  22. I download books onto my ipad because I got tired of the stacks of books everywhere and my books are all neatly categorized onto the Ipad. I like to hold a book, but don't like lugging it around.

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    1. Well that is what personal libraries are for :)

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  23. I love my kindle...it makes the long train journeys to London semi bearable

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    1. Aye that is a good side of them :)

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  24. It's good to see yer gettin' yer swizzle back, bro. No gentleman should be without his swizzle, let alone his swag.

    ::refuses to explain any of that::

    I won't lie - whenever a new technology comes out I turn into the grumpiest old man ever to have hated on young'uns lounging on his lawn. It's a byproduct of my pro-level haterism - I can't simply like the idea of new technology once it comes out. Even video games! I usually wait until the first gen is over, and THEN I'll pick up something if I like the idea of it enough.

    E-readers was high on my list when they first came out, but more due to my principles than my ever-present hatred. Don't ever get it twisted - e-books are the best things ever. Like G said, it eats up time during long trips, and like you yourself stated it makes books and reading cheaper, easier for authors to get published (as a punk writer m'self, I'm looking forward to FINALLY finishing a project and releasing it sometime this year) and find an audience, and just widens the reading audience not only from we denizens of the library to technophiles (who were honestly savin' 'em as .pdf's anyway) and other techie types.

    Plus there are some (methinks Kindle) with almost as many apps and bells and whistles as a modern-day netbook. To a guy like me, I drool at the idea of snagging one of m'own sometime this year.

    Now, the way I'm lookin' at it - despite gettin' one m'self, I'm still going to buy used and new books. Why?

    Because e-readers represent something that books do not. I forget where I've read this, but it's true: with an e-reader, if it ever goes down, you'll have to pay someone to fix it or buy a new one. If it ever malfunctions or you somehow lose your files or if you get too close to magnets, you'll have to pay to fix that as well.

    With books, they last longer than a human lifespan. There is no going down for a book, and you're only limited by your light source.

    E-readers are truly wonderful, that's true...but like anything require balancing. E-readers represent dependance, dependance on others or a company to provide the hardware. A book, once published, can be traded like money - don't tell me you've never borrowed a book from the library or your friends, yeah?

    So yeah. That's my take on it. Sure, I'll get an e-reader...but it'll be balanced by the books I have in my personal library.

    Plus an e-reader can't smell like new, used, or old books, nor can it truly ever mimic the visceral feel of turning a page (though they come quite close!)

    Sorry for the ramble, but this is kind of one of those subjects I touch upon m'self in real life. :D

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    1. You know I forgot about the whole data loss issue too, but I think there are ways to back up things like that. Data loss is a prime cause of piracy actually, people can't be bothered to pay for something again. Never give up on the dream of a personal library :)

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  25. So far I am not interested in getting an eReader. However, I do appreciate their advantages.

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    1. I'm interested in free ereader programs, but I can't really spare the money for a kindle or nook.

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  26. Im not sure how i feel about them, they are a lot cheaper and stuff but its hrder for me to read off a screen than a book

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    1. It doesn't bother me that much, but I spend most of my day looking at a screen.

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  27. i got a kindle as a college graduation gift, and I was initially skeptical because I am still unwilling to pay for digital media, because I am essentially paying for nothing. Until I found two awesome things out about ebooks: first, that there is such an awesome thing as public domain, and most great works of literature are public domain in this age. Second: there are many other great works that are dirt cheap. Such as a collection of works by James Joyce that included Dubliners, The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, and fucking Ulysses.

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    1. I've really gone crazy on the public domain thanks to Blio, I've gotten a few things I never would have gotten the chance to read. If you can recommend any I'd be happy to look them up.

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    2. Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky and War and Peace by Tolstoy are both free via kindle. So are Beyond Good and Evil and Thus Spake Zarathustra by Nietzsche and On the Sublime by Longinus. On the Sublime is dense as shit, being translated from ancient Greek, but I consider it necessary for a writer to read at some point. It delves deeply into the purpose of writing, and resonates with the idea of what literature is and can be

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  28. I appreciate your mention of Blio. I just downloaded a copy.

    Glad to hear that you haven't sided with the Luddites in terms of book distribution.

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  29. Yep. I'm a fan of both. Sometimes I just prefer one over the other.

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    1. Depends on what you're after I guess.

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  30. I don't read nearly enough to warrant the price of a kindle.
    Maybe if I found an eReader that supports CBR files.

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    1. I don't know if there is an ereader that can handle CBRs but I do most of my ereading on my computer, which can handle them.

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  31. Tbh I cant stand reading books digitally, paper for nothing for me. Short stories are about the limit of something I would read on a screen.

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    1. I'm pretty used to electronic screens so I'm good.

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  32. I think I will always be a book conservatist. I love holding books, turning their pages, and... smelling them.

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  33. Like print journalism, I do think that normal books are going to go the way of the dinosaur. I wonder if I'll be telling my hypothetical future grandkids, as they zoom on their aerial skateboards, that people used to consume something called "trees" and those were used to make the artifacts called "books."

    -Barb the French Bean

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    1. Well here's hoping that at the very least we still have trees.

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  34. From a while I'm reading only eBooks, but I also have a very big and diversified library. An e-reader is so small, portable and I can have it always in my purse... not occupying lot of space. From All you can books I got quite many of my favorite titles.

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  35. Interesting.. I had written an article on the same topic for my college magazine, but my point was that books are much more than just BOOKS.. They are a sort of legacy too. I have some books that belonged to my late grandfather.. Some of them were even printed in 1909, and here I am a century later, still reading. I don't think that ebooks will replace actual books any time soon.. And I don't think that they should either.

    Also, the question of ebooks being cheaper than actual books is because of technically, you don't own the book or something like that.. I'm not too sure about that though.

    It's heartening to see someone blog with such dedication! :)

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    1. There is also that side of books, another one I hadn't considered :) If you paid for it, you own it. The cheapness comes from not having to pay for the material it's written on. I think the argument about not really owning them comes from DRM, and not being able to make copies of the book. Or something like that. No matter what it is, and how much you paid for it, if you buy it, you own it.

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  36. I love both books and ebooks. I have about 80 of the latter in my laptop and yes, I'm always adding my books collection. If books were to get cheaper, that will be great. Over here, a typical paperback is between RM32 and RM35. I need to save up just to buy one.

    I still buy books because I know that for some, I'll want to hold it.

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    1. I think that books will never really replace ebooks. It's a shame books are so expensive for you but you do have an alternative :) That's what ebooks are really, an alternative, not a replacement.

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  37. Love that last line you wrote. So true. There's a book out there for everyone.

    Initially, I was judgemental towards e-books too. But now I see how much more convenient they are. I read e-books on my phone all the time now, instead of reading from a physical copy of the book. Mainly because it's easier for me, I can't carry a book around with me wherever I go, but I always have my phone. And also I don't really have a library here which I can borrow books from, so buy so many books can be costly.

    Though I still think reading from an actual book is a pleasure in itself and I do prefer to read books cover by cover, e-books are not bad at all. So I guess it just depends on each individual's choice.

    Nice topic!

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    1. I have an ebook app on my phone, but I'm yet to actually use it. I think I'm going to stick to using the one on my computer. But I do have an ebook version of the bible on my phone.

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