WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

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While planning his move from New York to San Francisco, New York Times Lead Bits Blogger Nick Bilton had an important decision to make: should he pay to ship his enormous collection of print books across the country when he does most of his reading on an e-reader? The answer, to me, seemed to be clearly to be “Yeah, duh! How could you not bring your books?” But after thinking about a moment more, I realized that I didn’t understand where such a strong sentiment was coming from.

The e-reader vs. print debate is an annoying one because, like so many things that essentially come down to differences in personal preference, it is argued as if there is will eventually be some definitive we-solved-for-x answer. I’m in the faction of people that like to say, “We just like reading print books better” which actually translates to “We just like reading print books.” I’ve never read an entire book in its digital form, so the idea that I like reading books more in print than on an e-reader is ridiculous. Sure I’ve used display models in stores, and sure I didn’t particularly enjoy my experience. But then again, I hated wearing my glasses when I got them a year ago, and now I can do so many amazing things, like read the score when I watch Celtics games and sit more than three inches away from my computer screen while I write.

No, I think my true passion for print books comes from their secondary use as wall art. If it’s bad to judge a book by its cover I guess it’s worse to judge a book by its spine, but I guess that’s exactly what I’m doing. A wall with a bookcase against it is a wall I don’t need to hang a painting or a poster on to fill out the room. The spines – with their varied widths, heights, and colors – do the work of a painting. Bilton even describes his books as possessing the two qualities that make art, well, art: “beautiful and important to me.” While an ebook can certainly be beautiful and important to its reader, it cannot liven up a dull, empty area of your living space the way a print book can. So while I may not always need to read books in their printed form, I feel that I’ll always need books in their printed form around, to make my home feel like my home.

What about you? Are those lovely shelves worth the clutter and hassle of owning the books that fill them? Or would you just as soon throw them into the shredder?

Photo by Flickr member CarbonNYC. Used under a Creative Commons License.

 

nazdrala


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nazdrala

My books are my trophies. They are how I say "Look at how awesome a reader I am." I also grew up in a house with book shelves on every wall. I don't feel like I am home unless I have that.

gcason


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gcason

I love print books and have thousands around the house. However, since I got my Nook, I'm probably 75% e-books these days and climbing.

A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover. -Clifton Paul Fadiman

LordCurzon


quality posts: 0 Private Messages LordCurzon

I once had a bedroom that was surrounded in bookshelves. There was only a tiny little space between my bed and the shelves. I would have to turn sideways to and shimmy into bed each night.

Now I just have the kindle and one tall book shelf left. It holds the books I'll need in case of the apocalypse. It stands there collecting dust as most of those books are on the kindle too...

I'm happier, I have more room, the cat that used to live on top of my bookshelves... not so much. Currently she is sitting under my bicycle glaring at me.

It's sad and liberating at the same time.

Amander


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Amander

I have the same response, and I try to keep an open mind about e-readers and book-less folks, but I'm a writer and an English professor, and I have attachments to books. Ridiculous co-dependant attachments. Every time I move I go through the same fight with myself "Do I pack up all of these, or do I let them go?" Then, I wind up packing all of them. Last move was 900 miles, and I packed 72 boxes of books.

I wish I had the willpower to let them go. I know that anything available on an e-reader will be the same as the print form, but it doesn't feel right. And, like you, I'm not sure where that impulse comes from. Maybe it's the feeling that a bookcase without books is a tragedy?

jdorritie


quality posts: 3 Private Messages jdorritie

I do a lot of sitting around in my car waiting (I'm an inspector), and the e-reader is perfect because it finds my page, its easy to put away in the glove compartment, there's always another book ready if I finish one early in the day and I've got nothing else to read (don't own a smartphone).

Its easy to rest against the steering wheel on my leg while I eat my lunch or something and only requires really one hand to turn a page, as opposed to the paper books where I pretty much need two hands at least when I need to turn a page.

True, I read an Umberto Eco book (really quite long) in the paper format in my car last summer, it is doable, but the e-reader is much more convenient for what I use it for. I hardly ever read at home except articles online.

I suppose for people who do all of their reading in bed or at a desk or a couch or something, the real difference is basically just personal preference, but at least for this one e-reader user, paper books have literally no advantages an e-reader.

EDIT: I didn't read the comments before but I can see that I'm pretty much the opposite kind of reader that you guys are. I don't have any bookshelves and own only a few books (not nearly enough to fill up a wall, my goodness!). I read to pass the time, not because its my favorite thing in the world.

cenzorrll


quality posts: 0 Private Messages cenzorrll

I agree wholeheartedly, I take pride in my book collection. I also like being able to share a book with a friend without commiting a felony.

theGrape


quality posts: 0 Private Messages theGrape

Will there come a time when Charles Addams and R Crumb books are on an e-reader? I hope not.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

I always keep a few ebooks on my phone for times when I'm caught somewhere without something else to read.

But for the most part, I'm sticking with paper. Ebooks offer a pretty sterile experience as far as I'm concerned. There's nothing at all evocative about a text file, while every physical book I read enhances the experience in a dozen different ways, from the covers and typefaces to the signs of wear.

And I'm also a chronic flipper-through of books. I like being able to jump back in the story to clarify something, or to browse around in a nonfiction book. Doing the electronic equivalent is much clunkier and less satisfying.

Then, of course, there's the price of ebooks. With current list hardcovers, I understand the need for premium pricing. But no way will I pay $9.99 for a text file when I can get the physical book at a used bookstore for half that price (or a library for free).

1ocean


quality posts: 0 Private Messages 1ocean

For me, the major shortcoming of ebooks and ebook stores is that they lack the serendipity and adventure of finding something unexpected, especially in a used book store. The best finds are books that have gone out-of-print and cut-outs. There's no guarantee that everything worth reading stays in print and makes to the ebook world.Without the noble used book store, you'll never experience the fun of finding something that you never imagined existed, and that you only came across because you happened to glance at a shelf as you were passing by.

Very few of the books on my shelves are available as ebooks, so they're staying.

That said, for ordinary novel reading, ebooks are great!

lynnagee


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lynnagee

Well, ironically, this morning, the neighbor next door was having a yardsale and had a number of books up for grabs. My daughter and I, the avid readers of the family, ran to her house. She had books like the blindside etc. Lots of books. My daughter went through and picked out eight, I also picked up a couple and ironically my son found a couple.

The neighbor and I were discussing how horrible it is that book stores are going out of business. Then we were discussing just this. Is a book better than an e-reader. We decided yes. A book is better. When you curl upwith a good book, just the sound as you turn the page is just comforting. the feel of the weight of the book as you flip the pages and it gets lighter on the right is comforting. And to be able to slide in a book mark and see how far you have gotten in the time you spent reading is rewarding. Yes E-readers make some things easier, but for me the book will always be the most amazing part of reading.

liralyn


quality posts: 0 Private Messages liralyn

I completely empathized with this post...and with the dilemma of a book lover considering the move to an eBook reader.

I love love LOVE my books. I love the smell of them. The feel of the pages. (I won't buy a book, if the paper doesn't feel "right" to me!) I love the covers. I love reading the inside cover and seeing print information and the name of the cover artist. I love the way walls of books warm up a room...and make handy "platforms" for objets' d'art. I love knowing that when I read "Man's Search for Meaning" on the bus, Harvard PhD students will hit on me. (Best intellectual "pick up" book, EVER! ;)) I love having thousands of books, and the conversations that are started when people visit me, and see my bookshelves. They can tell I'm "smart", because I have lots of antiques, and classics--and I know they're "smart", if they tell me their favorite Austen character, and don't say anything like, "So, you READ all these books?" ;)

And despite working in IT, I LOATHE reading things on a computer screen...so I was very, very anti-eBook reader.

But the reality is...I read approximately 45 books a month...and not only is finding a place to put all those lovely books difficult, but when faced with a recent move to a new city--where I knew I would be stuck in temporary digs for about three months, possibly more, and there was simply NO WAY I could bring the 300 or so books that I really felt were the bare minimum to make life worth living during that time--I realized I had to make some difficult decisions.

I did the math--and realized that for $139 I could tuck more than 1,000 Project Gutenberg books in my purse--the world's best security blanket!--and decided that even though I didn't WANT an eReader, it was the best way to go, to make it through that 3 month period of time.

What I didn't count on was the fact that the Kindle is SO comfortable to read on! And I regained time and lost stress each and every morning, by no longer having to go through my bookshelves, trying to figure out which book to read in the bath...and then which book to read to get me through the commute to and from work, and on my lunch break!

There were no more worries if I wanted to read Auntie Mame--no more careful planning to make sure I read the first 80 pages at home, since all those pages and the front cover are falling apart! I no longer found myself in the position of being ready to start home, and finishing my book BEFORE THE BUS CAME--and having to turn to the front of the book, and start all over again--just so I'd have something to read!

Nope--suddenly, I had most of my favorite books with me, at all times. Including many books that I loved, but hated to take out in public to read, because they were 100+ year old first editions. Autographed. And they were FREE!!!!

Previously--I'd only been able to read John Halifax, Gentleman, and The Little [word that means crippled] Prince, by Dinah M Craik--getting my hands on anything else was too hard. NOW, I had close to *20* books and stories by her--again, FREE!

I was able to read ALL the Five Little Pepper Books, and confirm that I hadn't been missing ANYTHING. Phronsie was ALWAYS annoying, and Grandfather was ALWAYS an unlovable, hair-brained martinet. And I found it out for FREE.

Vistas opened in front of me.

And so did my pocket book--as after making the final move to the new city, in permanent digs, I realized that I had WAY too much stuff, and I never, ever wanted to have a move that complicated again.

Many many many hours and dollars later, I'd managed to replace every single book I owned that was available on Kindle, with a Kindle version...and took all but the antique books and the coffee table books to the second hand bookstore.

I still have several bookshelves of books. Manuals are still more practical in print, than an ereader. And you can't beat a book for "looking" through--so all the coffee table books stay...and the antiques are too much a part of my soul to go...and poetry books and children's books need to be read aloud, from a book, for full enjoyment--so there are many, many reasons to keep my books--but there's also about another two to three boxes of books that are on a "waiting for Kindle" wishlist at Amazon...and as soon as they're available on Kindle, they'll go, too.

I miss having them all around me. I miss all the questions I used to get, when reading in public, about what I was reading (now the question is, "Is that a Kindle?). I miss the secretive, smug glances that I can exchange with other readers who are reading "your kind" of books--the camraderie from seeing someone reading your favorites. And I feel a little lost, sometimes, now that information I used to wear on the outside is no longer as readily available--as a monster copy of David Copperfield commands a lot more respect than a slim little Kindle! (On the other hand, I don't miss feeling vaguely ashamed, when I wanted to take a book out in public that didn't satisfy my Inner Intellectual Snob: true, no one knows when I'm reading The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire--but they also don't know when I'm reading a trashy romance! ;))

But mostly, I am happy and satisified...because my books are always with me, no matter where I go. It's a marriage made in heaven.

(And we all lived happily ever after.)

[Edit: apparently this forum subsitutes silly acronyms for certain words...hence some rather clunky workarounds of mine, in this post!]

jkrzok


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jkrzok

I while I ago I realized that I didn't enjoy reading books so much as I enjoyed reading novels. Or short stories. Or histories. Or whatever. Books are just a way to convey the author's story to me.

So I can carry around a paper book, say the Complete Sherlock Holmes, which weighs some 3.5lbs. I've had this edition for some twenty years and the font size is no longer so kind to my eyes. At 3.5lbs it's darned uncomfortable to read. And turning pages can be a chore.

Or I can carry around my nook. With The Complete Sherlock Holmes on it. And the complete Shakespeare. and Proust's Rememberance. All seven volumes. And the Civil War trilogy by Shelby Foote. And Catton's trilogy... And some 1400 other (trashier) friends.

All at less than a pound, including the optional cover. With multiple fonts and font sizes. And easy to turn pages. And a form factor that doesn't require me to weigh down paper pages while reading while eating. And I can read what I want in public without being judged for it.

So for reading novels and such, it's a no brainer for me. Is it more sterile than reading a paper book? Perhaps. But I say the novel is independent of its format and I chose to read that novel in the easiest, most convenient format I can find.

lorf


quality posts: 4 Private Messages lorf

I own both an e-reader and many books but my views seem to differ from the others who have commented here. I tend to buy books on my e-reader when I'm not sure I'll like the series so I can cut my losses, however if I find I enjoy the series then all subsequent books I'll preorder the hardcover and read the book in 2 days or less.

I more or less approach book buying the same way I approach buying games. I'll buy games I enjoy on steam but games I treasure I tend to purchase the collectors edition although I don't really benefit from the extras.

cindyscrazy


quality posts: 3 Private Messages cindyscrazy

I am an aspiring writer. (aspiring = procrastinator and will never actually write a book) I love books like crazy and always have.

When I bought my house this year, the house wasn't MINE until my tall book shelf was full of my books. 5 boxes of books were missing and I felt so empty until they were found.

However, I do have a Nook. I like the Nook when I want to ready a book at work or something, and to get online quickly at home (not have to wait for the laptop to boot up). Its very convenient like that, and I've started loading it up with research books.

However, I very much enjoy walking up to my bookshelf and looking for something that I want to page through. And I can't get everything I want on the Nook. It's hard to find certain non-fiction, research type books for it, at least in my experience.

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"--from a T-shirt

https://www.etsy.com/shop/cindyscrazyknits?ref=si_shop

GSimmons01


quality posts: 3 Private Messages GSimmons01

While I completely agree with you: I enjoy the sight of bookshelf as opposed to the sight of finder folder full of pdfs, I have to admit moving all this mess from Philadelphia to New York is a chore. I couldn't imagine how anyone gets their crap across country and eventually I have to move back to Hawaii. Gross. I love how books fit so neatly into banker's boxes, but after you fill the box up, it weighs between 50lbs and 80lbs. I swear I got a little more muscly in the four hours it took to move my library in and out of that Budget truck.

The Nook is cool if only because I'd rather read my wealth of PDF papers on there. An E-Reader is wAAAAAy better than a laptop, because I can guarantee something will actually get read if I can read it on the subway. I never finish long PDF's on my laptop. I can keep up for about a half an hour before I open up Command and Conquer.
But if I can find something in hardback form -that's my preference.

Tablets are another story although I love everyone's articulated reasons for wanting/owning one. It does everything my 2002 palmphone did... except make calls. One of my Blackberry toting buddies said she wanted an iPad because "like what if I'm out and I want to check my email?" Really? Your email?
At least an E-reader looks great in any light and lasts for weeks on a charge. I don't need to shoot birds at pigs. That's just inviting police brutality.

mgb65


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mgb65

I think I am with most of the others here. I have been an avid book reader for most of my life, and have always had books at hand.

I like others here, have given ebooks a try. My daughter upgraded to a nook color, and handed down her old nook to me. I like it, but I don't think I'd ever get rid of my printed books.

There are books I have that I don't think will ever be offered in ebook format, like service manuals for my 1965 MGB or a technical manual on the M1911.

I like the nook for it's portability and convenience, but I print books are here to stay, at least for me.

Ron
...Semper Fidelis...

deadeyebart


quality posts: 0 Private Messages deadeyebart

My house is decorated in "library." I have bookehelves in every room except the bathroom where the top of the toilet tank always has a few stacked on it. One time when I moved I gave away about half of my sci-fi collection. When I got to my new home city I had to go out a find all those books again and reacquire them. All of them. Except for Triplanetary by E.E. Doc Smith which I am still looking for. Oh, it's available as an e-book but how is a e-reader going to look shoved into my bookshelf next to First Lensman. Sure, the short stories I write are published for the e-readers, but what sort of an artist would I be if I could afford one for myself? Nope, I'm keeping my books.

ZapDevil


quality posts: 2 Private Messages ZapDevil

It is a conundrum, for sure. I have bookcases all over the house, and LOVE going to used bookstores. My wife once told me that she enjoys going with me to hear my sharp intake of breath when I find an old out-of-print title I had been looking for.

That said... I love my Nook for new purchases, and what really sold me on it was the time that I was reading at the beach in Ogunquit, Maine. I finished the ebook I was reading, browsed for a new one, purchased it, and was reading it - all without getting up from my blanket. All of a sudden I realized that I was living in the future :-).

That said, I don't think I will ever get rid of the many books I own now (especially some of the more rare 1st editions). However, the physical collection is not growing nearly as fast as it used to (maybe one or two purchases per month are real books, and six to ten are ebooks).

theracoon


quality posts: 1 Private Messages theracoon

Like several other wooters, my home abounds with bookshelves and printed books. The last time I moved there were 13 boxes of books, and that's not counting the boxes that I stuffed a few books in to fill the last nook or cranny.

Every room in my home has a bookshelf except the kitchen and laundry room (yes, my bathroom has a small bookshelf).

But I've also owned several ereaders, starting with a Sony PRS 500 (returned to Sony because the Adobe Acrobat support was abysmal!). I currently have a Nook and an iPad, but neither is a perfect solution.

The Nook turns pages too slowly for my liking, and the iPad is too heavy to hold for very long without needing to rest it on something. I probably own 30-40 eBooks.

There are a couple of things that keep me switching completely over to eBooks.

1. Cost. Most eBooks cost as much or more than the hardback version of the book, which makes no sense from a publishing perspective...except the greed of the publishers. If the eBooks costs more than a paperback, why would I buy the eBook?

2. Niggling eReader issues.

The Nook is horribly slow at turning pages, something that annoys me every time I use it. It will soon be for sale on everyone's favorite auction site.

The Nook app (that's no longer available to download) for iPad is horrible because it had no way to organize your eBooks. Imagine storing your printed library in a big pile in your house, with not even the option to group them into separate shelves or even rooms? I say old, because the Nook app for iPad has been pulled from the Apple store for a required update (no announced released date for the new version).

I have the Kindle app on my iPad with a few books, but I refuse to do business with Amazon anymore. I know Woot is now owned by Amazon, so I'll keep my reasons to myself.

I've got a couple of other iPad apps for free books, and have a few 'classic' books in them.

And of course I have the iBooks app, which is pretty good, and does have the ability to organize books into categories. Not perfect, but significantly better than the Nook app.

3. Positive comments -- there are several websites that help authors self-publish their books, including the ability to buy the books from the site, usually for around $5 or so per book. And also usually with no DRM. I've found a couple of new favorite authors, and most of my recent eBook purchases have been from those types of websites.

Over the last 6 months I've probably purchased 20-25 print books, and only 4-5 eBooks. And as of this moment, I'm only anticipating one more eBook purchase in the next few months, and that's from one of the self-published authors noted in #3. I have plans to have lunch with some friends tomorrow, and afterward there's a bookstore near the restaurant that I'll probably visit, and it's unlikely that I'll leave it empty handed.

olperfesser


quality posts: 2 Private Messages olperfesser

I have a collection of 350-400 books. I also have a collection of over 800 CD and 500 vinyl record albums. I am a throwback to an earlier time. I also have an iPod with over 4000 songs on it (99% from the CDs) and a big eBook collection. I am modern.
Of my book library, about 100 are signed by the authors. These will never be taken from me. I waited in line to get them signed, I spent hours of my life talking person to person with the authors at conventions and book fairs. The signatures prove I actually met them. About a half a dozen of my CDs are signed. Musicians are a harder lot to sit down with, unless they are just starting out.

hekate101


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hekate101

I'm an American born-and-bred, but am writing from Germany. One decision I had to make before flying to Europe was which books I would bring with. Two months of my seven-month-long trip was to be spent backpacking across four countries. In the end, I brought one - ONE! - novel. Then I found a used book shop in France with an English section, and picked up a few more. I bought even more in Germany, both before and after settling into my small apartment.

When the Nook came on Woot a few months ago, I jumped on it. Books are heavy, and expensive, especially if most of what you read was written by old dead dudes. I'd played with a friend's Kindle, enjoyed the e-ink screen, and the Android hack made the Nook even more appealing. One drop-ship later, a girl in Germany got her first look at the future.

Without the Nook, I would read less. Without the Nook, I would be forcing dozens of Europe-acquired books into my overstuffed luggage, rather than pawning them off on friends who could do with a bit more reading. Without the Nook, I wouldn't have gotten so good at Sudoku -- whupps.

To sum it up, I love print books. The boxes-full that I put in storage before coming to Europe will go back to their rightful place on my wall, and when I crave to reexperience one of my favourites, it will be that copy and not a digital version that I turn to. I will still trawl library sales and used book stores, but perhaps with an eye for a different sort of book, now.

BlindingMask


quality posts: 6 Private Messages BlindingMask

From the Hallowed Halls of Science:

I've gone through both engineering and chemistry, and I can honestly say that the reader world is not anywhere it needs to be for fast-paced consumption of technical materials. Flipping back and forth looking for math and examples, using multiple books simultaneously, writing errata in.

I read JACS pdf files every day, but if you really want to use the material effectively you must print it out. Every chemist I am aware of peruses articles in pdf, the prints out useful targets.My books are the same way.

It's horribly inconvenient attempting to compare data across two books and three papers electronically, while with paper I can spread it all out and hunt for details. Page marking/noting with post-its is quick and handy, and the equivalent function with pdf is time-consuming (on the seconds scale).

I also always get the feeling that reading while holding the item in question increases my focus and comprehension. Anyone else feel this way?

Having said all that I'm still trying to transition to electro books and articles using Google Docs, but until I have a monitor the size of my desk in unholy resolution, I'm going to need my print. In towering piles, no less.

clarkbhm


quality posts: 19 Private Messages clarkbhm

Some materials are going to continue to be most useful in a print format so there will always be books. However, I agree with the many people who said that for everyday reading, it's nice to have a single source for your books without tons of bookshelves.

Having said that, I'm holding off on buying a kindle until I clear off some of the unread books on my bookshelf. I'm also not too keen on paying money to replace all of the still readable books on my shelves. Thus, it's likely that I'll buy one and only use it for new purchases.

silvershutter


quality posts: 0 Private Messages silvershutter

I am moving in a few weeks and I got rid of most of my fiction books (except Anne Rice of course) but I kept all of my reference books. I only read on my kindle app so it seemed like it was finally time.

zekecatz


quality posts: 193 Private Messages zekecatz

As a child I was always delighted to open a birthday or Christmas present and find a new book. How do you wrap an e-book?

I love the feel and smell of books. I want to be able to flip back and forth or make notes in the margins. I need to have books in my life, within reach at all times.

I notice bookshelves when visiting. Large, small, (gasp, none at all!), filled with impressive tomes or trashy paperbacks, or mixed with pictures or objects. Books are the windows to the soul. I will always have books.

brandon823


quality posts: 0 Private Messages brandon823

It's true that bookshelves really suck. It only collects dust and a good hiding place of cockroaches and other insects. Also, it occupies a space in an overcrowded room of furniture. However, the things that is placed in the bookshelves something matters to me. The book or the hard copy, shall we call it, is the most precious thing that can be truly treasured. Every book acquired had a memory one can remember.

lozerette


quality posts: 2 Private Messages lozerette

I love to read, and am almost never without a book. The entire experience is important to me, not just the data contained in them. The smell of the paper, the feel of the pages, the weight of the book itself... I have trouble stopping to think about what I've just read if I can't use my finger to mark the spot and close the book around it. I've been devouring books since I learned to read, and I wouldn't give them up for anything.

I've tried e-readers, and the experience just isn't the same. I do have a few e-reader apps that I keep on my smartphone with some of the classics (mostly the free ones) downloaded, just in case I'm stuck somewhere without a book.

It's definitely a personal preference, not an absolute one-is-better-than-the-other.

canuk


quality posts: 1 Private Messages canuk

I've had a Kindle for a couple years and love to read books on it when I can sit down and read. However, I still love going to used book stores and just looking around. I don't necessarily know what I'm looking for in a book, so searching on Amazon doesn't work: I don't know what looks interesting until I'm in a store, looking at covers and titles, flipping through them and making the decision. However, I love the convenience of having a ton of books in my Kindle with no physical overhead.

Then there are manuals - these really don't work electronically for me, I need to flip back and forth, page quickly and do all sorts of things that just don't mirror the physical world yet in the world of e-readers. And I'm with some of these other posters - I love bookshelves full of interesting books, and would love someday to have a room in my house with bookshelves on every wall just filled with books. They represent knowledge that is yours if you want it!

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm torn too.

bkd69


quality posts: 3 Private Messages bkd69

Oy, post about ebooks and of course all the book fetishists come out.

Look, I get it. I love reading too. Thing is, I love some books more than others. Just as I don't want to have every tv show and movie I've ever watched on DVD, I don't necessarily want a physical copy of every book I've ever read or want to read.

For the vast majority of people, book buying runs on a spectrum, ranging from buying at midnight the day the hardback is released, all the way to maybe picking it up off the book swap shelf at the local Java Hut, and ebooks are just another point in between, along with clearance, trade paperback, mass market paperback, etc.

Another point to remember, is that ebooks are optimized for narrative text, not journals, coffee table books, RPG books, tech manuals, or anything else in that regard. Epub3 may help with that, and more editors may learn how to better epub layout, so things may get better.

And finally, it's not about you. It's about the current crop of kids just graduating 6th and 7th grade right now. First, look at the reading lists they'll be up against between now and when they graduate from 12th grade. Now consider how many of those books are in the public domain (as well as such essential reading as Sherlock Holmes, HP Lovecraft, and Conan) and freely available from Gutenberg, and the fact that $140 isn't too extravagant for a graduation present at that age, and you'll see a a perfectly natural gift decision.

Your Woot Is Not My Woot, But Your Woot Is OK.

swafford


quality posts: 3 Private Messages swafford

I have the problem of not really feeling like I own something if I only own it in a digital format. This includes video games, books, and especially music. I'm not a huge reader, but I love having physical books too hold and look at. I can see them on the shelf and know that they are real, instead of just a text file.

The attraction to physical media for me is much stronger with music. I've embraced digital music in the sense that I have an iPod and do my listening via iTunes, but I still have hundreds of physical CDs (which, ironically, reside on my bookshelf).