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Do you prefer E-books or real books?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by gdourado, May 8, 2012.

  1. gdourado

    gdourado Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 23, 2012
    Lisbon - Portugal

    How are you?
    Out of curiosity, today I was thinking about this...
    We live in a world that is more and more digital...
    Music is MP3, pictures are Jpegs, documents are doc and xls...
    And books...
    E-books are really gaining...
    I am currently reading a book on my phone. It is a 5.3 inch phone with an Amoled display and I'm liking the reading experience. It is one of those pocket romances, and I have in on my kindle app, because that way I always have a book with me, if I find myself on a cue or something like that...
    This really got me thinking about buying an actual Kindle and use it to read technical books also. Photography and other themes...

    So, I was wondering what's your take on this.
    Do you have an ebook reader? Do you use it over actual books?
    What's your feelings on this matter?

    Hope to hear from you.
    Best wishes!

    • Like Like x 4
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I have a Kindle 2nd generation 3G. Here are the benefits as I see them:

    I am never reading just one book at a time, and I travel for work. Kindle is great to have for carrying around many books
    Its very easy to read long term. No eye strain like an iPad (which I also have)
    If I hear of an interesting book, I can have a sample for free delivered to my iPad anywhere I am
    The battery lasts a long time
    Its very compact and light
    I can make highlights, notes, etc. and get them out as a digital file (though that parts not as easy as it should be)

    Its not the easiest thing to organize your books on
    More and more, my life is viritual. I do like physical books
    I dont want my young kids on a Kindle yet. I want them to experience real books. They'll have their whole life to be on a Kindle, or whatever is available then.
    Its not the best for diagrams and pictures
    Its not the best for nonfiction, where you might have a map or some other explanatory diagram. With a book, its easy to flip back to the visual, and then back to where you are in the text. Thats hard in Kindle

    I have used my iPhone and iPad for reading. The iPad, for instance, does better for visual material, like the photog book series Craft and Vision. But my eyes get tired (as does the battery) in a way they dont with the Kindle.

    How about others?
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    For me its real books all the way.
    As i said to someone the other day without thinking " i like books but i,m not so keen on reading."
    And its true.
    Just my weird way i guess.
  4. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I use the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader. I've read a lot more books since going the e-reader route than I would have otherwise, although it's mostly been detective/police/spy fiction that has consumed my spare time. I travel a lot for work, so the convenience is a big factor. My Nook is Wi-Fi only, but that hasn't been too limiting; I carry a MiFi with me and am often in an environment where free Wi-Fi is available.

    Nook now has a lighted version of the reader called Glowlight or something like that; good for reading in the dark. That will likely be my next reader. My wife gets irritated when I keep the light on late when she's trying to sleep.

    I also use my iPad for reading, and this allows me to hedge my bets: I can read Amazon books on the Kindle app as well as B&N books on the Nook app. Sometimes there's a price and/or availability issue that prompts me to buy Amazon; I don't want a Kindle, and reading on the iPad is okay for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I have really only starting reading Ebooks within the past 12 months. Cost and convenience are the biggest advantages and one's mindset about holding a tablet or a portion of a tree is the only other hurdle to get past.

    I believe it is a revolution in self publishing and anybody can publish something that they feel passionately about. I have 3 books underway and will self publish them by the end of the year. For me it is about finally writing that book that I always wanted to write, and now the only obstruction is my procrastination and laziness.

    How many quality stories and non fiction tales / theories have never been published due to the large publishing companies controlling what readers may purchase.
  6. gdourado

    gdourado Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 23, 2012
    Lisbon - Portugal
    I'm not able to find a cost benefit yet...
    When I browse Amazon, the paperback or hardcover books are usually cheaper than the kindle versions...
    That is for non fictions books at least.

  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I had the original nook e-reader and now the nook simple touch as well. I haven't read so much in a long time, and know that I wouldn't if it were in book form. Being able to set the font size, along with using something so light it isn't a chore to read for an hour holding it with one hand (including page turns), an e-reader, and the nook simple touch in particular, simply work for me. It is nice to be able to get books for free from the library in digital form as well, and I've bought a few as well as read some older books via pdf. I think it is definitely worth owning one!
    • Like Like x 2
  8. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2011
    Same here. I recently purchased the new Kindle a couple weeks ago and I've read more books in the past two weeks than I have in the past two months on my iPod. Most of my books are non-fiction, so its pretty rewarding to get completely engrossed and mentally absorbed in a subject for hours and days on end since my Kindle is always with me.

    My iPod touch is always with me too, but it's more of a chore to read from the smaller back-lit/glare-prone screen; despite its a retina display. The iPod is fine for articles and media, but I would rather avoid it for lengthy books. It sounds like you're going through the same dilemma that I went through a month ago, so if you're still debating it, stop, and go get yourself a Kindle. You won't regret it.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I have an original nook - I absolutely love it! I was constantly looking for more shelf space, trying to decide which books to get rid of to make more room - now I have several hundred on my nook and also on my Xoom and available on my wife's nook. I rarely miss reading dead-tree books.:biggrin:
  10. ill_dawg

    ill_dawg Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2010
    I travel a lot, and for me it's no contest - ebooks all the way. I'm probably not the most typical case, though. I move to a new country every year or two, and before ebook readers came out all of those dead trees were a hassle to move around. Also, English language books are often hard to come by, expensive, and limited to recent bestsellers in countries where English is not the first language. My eboook reader allows me to read a lot more than I did previously, and more of what I want to read; whatever that happens to be at the time.

    My current ebook reader is the kindle keyboard with 3g and the light built into the cover. For me, it's just about perfect. I have also used an Onyx Boox (rip - screen got cracked during a bumpy landing, this thing supported more formats than anything else I've seen), a windows mobile phone with several apps (the peanut press one was the best), android phones and tablets with various apps (kindle is great for the cross-platform page sync, moon+ is great for books that kindle doesn't support, most PDF readers on my tab are good for photo/nonfiction books).

    The kindle is the clear winner for fiction/general reading. The tab wins for pdf and nonfiction/technical books with diagrams/pictures. paper books are great, but for me they are a bit of a luxury these days, whereas ebooks are a convenience.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011

    In other words, I like both, at different times and for different reasons. If I'm sitting in a comfortable chair, relaxing, then I still prefer the experience of a paper book.

    But reading an ebook on a tablet (or book reader) is a lot easier when I'm working out on a treadmill or elliptical, because I can just rest it on the device and I don't need any hands to hold it. Reading on my phone is a lot easier if I'm riding the subway, because I can hold it with one hand. And it's great to be able to start a book on my tablet, then read some of it on my phone, and some on my computer, and back to the phone, etc. (OTOH, a paperback is pretty easy to carry with you.)

    I don't like the licensing and DRM terms of ebooks. When I buy a paperback, it's mine. Period. Amazon can't decide to remove it from my device without my permission. I can share it with anyone I want, for as long as I want, as many times as I want, and whenever I want. Publishers are trying to take advantage of technology to prevent what's been standard behavior for consumer purchases nearly forever, and I hate that. And with a book, I don't have to worry about whether the recipient has the right device or software.

    With an ebook, I also don't get the immediate sense of how long a book is, and how many more pages I have to go to get to the end of a chapter or the book. Yes, a kindle shows you how far you are through the book in percentage terms, but if I'm at 30% it's not clear if I've got 100 pages left, or 200, or 400. And reading on a phone or tablet is, I think, more tiring on the eyes.

    Finally, books are readable in more conditions. Most tablets and phones don't deal well with really bright light sources, either washing out or suffering from glare. OTOH, I can read my tablet in the dark, which is tough to do with a book.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    In general, I prefer "real books", but I have a Kindle that I use a lot. I read a lot of French and like the built-in dictionary that lets you stay on the page while you look up the word. For traveling the e-reader wins no-contest; I can take a whole library with me on one, small device. But the walls of my home are mostly covered with books and records (yes, that would RECORDS, LP's, vinyl: See my blog:Vinyl Fatigue

    For language students, I imagine the Kindle is a blessing: I just downloaded the complete works of Guy DeMaupassant for $1.99 from Amazon, thousands of pages for a song.

    But the tactile enjoyment of a quality book, printed on good paper and designed to be easily held, is a joy undo itself.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I agree--the ability to change font size is HUGE! I tend to adjust it up in the evening when I'm tired, and down during the day when I'm not. Beats reading glasses, that's for sure.

    In general the ergonomics of e-readers are much better than real books, for me. I can lie on my side and read an e-book with one hand without having to keep the pages separated and figure out how to change them. I'm sure the new Kindle Touch would be even better in this regard; it can be a little awkward learning how to hold the original Kindle in one hand without inadvertently changing pages.

    Also, I travel a lot and there's nothing quite like taking 50 books with you in a package that will fit in your pocket. And the ability to move them quickly to an iPad means my wife gets to read them at the same time I do.

    The ability to get books, on the fly, at remote locations is also a plus. More than once I've run out of things to read and then . . . presto! . . . chose a new book and began reading immediately. You pay for the privilege, of course, but it's about the same as an impulse paperback purchase at an airport--about $10 in the US.

    I've also re-discovered some of the classics, since they can be downloaded for free. For example, I'm absolutely enjoying The Scarlet Letter which I'm sure I read (and hated) in high school but am now finding fresh and riveting.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I bought my first Kindle (the K2) in 2009 and have never looked back. I read much more than I did pre-Kindle. I still have a Kindle (keyboard with 3G), but I do 99% of my reading on iPad using the Kindle app. The Kindle, with its long battery life is great from traveling. As others have said, it's great to be able to carry your library with you.

    I buy almost no dtb (dead tree books) now. I have bought <10 since I bought my first Kindle, usually guide books (birds or travel) as they are not as easy to use in e-format. That is changing, however, as guide books switch to app format. For example, iBird Pro is a superb US bird field guide.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Nook shows current page number and page count per the original paper book. However, if you use a larger font, a "page" may be two or more pages long.

    Re reading in the dark, new Nook Glowlight looks like a good solution for me, but I don't want to test drive for fear that I may buy one!
  16. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    I like e-books when I'm reading a novel. I've been using my iPod Touch for a few years now, a Palm before that and even my Newton back in the day. I've also read a lot of novels on my laptop over the years although I prefer the smaller handheld devices that are always in my pocket.

    If there's lots of illustrations however it's still hard copy. That may change when I get around to getting an iPad.

  17. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I guess I'm bucking the trend. I don't use an e-reader and I reckon I never will. I look at screens too much as it is. Books (or magazines or newspapers) are a nice escape. To me, nothing says "I'm on vacation" more than not having to look at a screen....any screen. No computers, no e-reader, no TV.

    I need a vacation.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    We moved from a house to a much smaller condo in the summer of 2007. We gave away TONS (maybe literally?) of books and bookshelves when we downsized. The original Kindle came out around the end of that year. My brother was a first-adopter - I held out for a few months before getting one. Perfect timing. I've had a couple other Kindles and now have a Kindle touch that cost a fraction of the original and is waaaay better in basically every way. The first gen Kindle died a while back but the other interim Kindles are still on our account, with other family members. I may have bought one or two actual physical books since then, but I'm not sure. We basically live in an era now where almost zero media comes into or leaves our home physically. Whether books, magazines, movies, computer applications, music, TV, you name it - it all comes in by shuffling electrons and protons around. I'm more or less offended by the physical product and, particularly, the packaging associated with hard good containing software. Its as close to a cause as I have these days.

    Ironically, the one place where I still like physical media is with photography - I look at prints differently than I look at electronic images. Every year I get a few prints made and mounted for hanging and I'll occasionally put together a photo book just to have some physical record of the best of my photographs. I do like browsing the books more than looking through images electronically.

    But OTHER than that, almost never...

    • Like Like x 1
  19. fgbrault

    fgbrault Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    I had completely converted to a Kindle and then I broke it and tried reading om my phone's Amoled display that I have now totally switched to my phone. I still buy a real books, but only very rarely.
  20. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    I have a Kindle and I like it pretty well. I read a lot of lengthy fiction novels so the lightweight Kindle is nice for that. I even put mine in a quart-size ziploc bag and read in the bathtub.

    But there are clearly some books that do not translate well to the Kindle. Books with extensive drawings or diagrams, textbooks, anything in color, and definitely children's books.
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