Tuesday 15 February 2011

E-Books and Print

When e-books first popped into existence and we were told of the imminent demise of the printed page, I was skeptical.

I have always loved books: the joy of a new book, spine unbent, virginal; or the musky smell of an old tome, the delight at finding someone's pencilled notes inside, written fifty years before.

I was convinced that I would never stray to the dark side and adopt the e-book, certain it would not be the same as holding a volume in my hand. But I have modified my opinion somewhat in the last few months.

I can hardly look down completely on the e-book now that my own work is being published in that format. E-books have given me the chance to break into the world of publishing and, because of them, I can call myself a real writer. However, I will still be hoping to move into the realm of print in the future because that it where my passion lies.

Here is my first e-reader, bought just 3 days ago. I spent several hours yesterday, charging it and reading the instructions. Now I am ready to go.

For me, this will be used for set purposes:

  • Storing my own PDF's of my stories
  • Buying and reading e-books by emerging writers like myself
  • Reading ARCs from NetGalley
  • Possibly when travelling
I still intend to buy the majority of my books in print and, thanks to sites like Book Depository, this is not too great an expense. However, I will use e-books to trial new writers, taking advantage of the cheap prices for most publications from small independant e-book publishers.

I joined NetGalley yesterday. As a 'professional reader' (thanks to my reviews on Suite101), I can apply for free ARC e-books, often ahead of the publication date. Two have already been approved and I look forward to reading them in the coming days.

So, now this 'print-only' girl has a foot in both worlds. I am enjoying the chance to move between the two formats, but I know I will never abandon print entirely. I'm far too old fashioned for that. My 1000+ print books are here to stay - now I just need a bigger house in which to store them all!!


  1. You know what I've been doing with e-books? Printing them out. I tried reading them on the computer screen and on my iPhone, but it's just not the same!

    E-books are like e-mail for me: Although it has been around for years now, I still write letters by hand. I take the same approach to books: I need to be able to feel the paper between my fingers. I need to be able to bend it, crease it, mark it: Evidence that I've read it, enjoyed it (or not), made it mine - all act as a reminder of what it meant to me (in many cases what it still means to me), or what it possibly meant to someone else. But alas! I cannot do that with an e-book - unless I print it out first. ;)

    ~S. xo

  2. Yes, I know what you mean. I will still love print books most. But I am thrilled at the idea of getting the free ARCs from NetGalley now. I looked at it months ago, but because I hate reading off the computer screen, I didn't sign up. Now I have my ereader I can get them...I've asked for 7 so far and already received 5 of those. There are some others that looked good too - but I'd better get these ones read first!

  3. I've been anti-ereader since e-readers first hit the scene. My husband asked if I wanted one for my birthday. "NO!!" He asked if I wanted one for Christmas. "NO!!" He wanted to buy me an iPad for our anniversary. I thought, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I have a perfectly good laptop, I don't NEED an iPad."

    About 3 weeks ago my friends started getting Kindles and Nooks and Kobos. Well, I guess peer-pressure isn't just for teens, because all of sudden I think I want an e-reader.

    I sheepishly told my husband. "Hey, y'know what? I think I'd like to have one of those Nook colors."



  4. Hi Dawn
    I resisted for a while, but now I like my e-reader...though I like to swap back and forth between print still...

    Hope you enjoy your NOOK!