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Old argument, I know, but just curious. Real books or the electronic rubbish (see how totally unbiased I am)? 

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Hahaha - I like both. I love traditional paperbacks (or hard-bound!) because there is something about sitting anywhere with a real book in your hands and turning the pages - the old (or new!) book smell, and having that physical aspect to it. Love that!

However, the ease and portability of having a massive library on hand for whenever my mood strikes me to read something is wonderful. I also like the idea of less paper/less murdering of trees!

Real books.  I do have an ebook reader and don't like it.  (Which didn't stop a friend from still trying to convonce me why I would...)

I love a real, papery book.  I find glaring at the computer screen all day pretty tiring on the eyes and it's just nice to have the solid work of art in your hands.  I am sure that a paperback is a much more satisfying treat for the reader and from a writer's point of view, seeing your book being held by a passenger on a train is deeply gratifying!

I love both

I have never really been a fan of digital books but I've realized, as an author, the only way to survive is to get on the train. At one point if somebody said "we'll put out your book but only for kindle" I would have said NO. But printing books can be expensive, books sell higher digitally than in print now, and people are less likely to turn away from taking a risk on somebody's small press book if it only costs them a few bucks to get digitally. I prefer print but I understand why digital is popular and nothing we think will change that.

Having said that, I've learned to embrace the medium. Most of my publications have been digital, and my new eNovelette (which hopefully opens some doors for me) is exclusively digital. I hope people buy it--it is only 99 cents. I'm not sure it is fair to only read print when there are things that do not exist in print. Nowadays you don't even need a kindle to read digital books--amazon has a virtual kindle etc.

I'm certainly going to start supporting writers in print AND digital formats, now.

I love eBooks.  A lot of people hate them because they're not real books, and I understand.  There's something special about real, physical books.  Their feel, their smell, their atmosphere.  Yet I go electronic for three main reasons:

1.  They're convenient.

Thousands upon thousands of choices from my bed, rather than taking a 30-45 minute drive one-way, depending on where I want to shop.  The eBooks have blurbs where I can easily find them, reviews to help me decide my purchases and they store on my phone and computer so I can always have them with me where they won't clutter my house.  Amazon is open 24/7 so I can fulfill cravings at midnight if I want and the book's progress bar while reading is much more encouraging for me than seeing how many pages I have left.  The bar doesn't interpret into my brain the way the thickness of pages do, and I'm ADD (I sincerely believe), so that is crucial.  I can also read the first chapter or two and return the book easily if I decide I actually don't like it as much as I thought.  The best thing of all, though, is that people can't see what I'm reading.  That shouldn't be as important to me anymore, now that I'm older, but it is.

2.  They're affordable.

Buying more than one at a time, I can't afford to go to a store for canned goods at $15+ a can when I could buy them for $5.99 or less elsewhere; and I don't feel much different about my entertainment.  Never have, really, when I was buying books out of the "toss bins" growing up, for much of the same reduced prices.  I pay paperback prices for a book only when I mean it, and eBooks help me to work around my stipulations so I can keep my TBR pile large and uncountable.  Yay.

3.  They're fast.

I pre-ordered a book earlier this year (it was J.R. Ward, so yes it was imperative I spend big money) and received it the night before it was to ship out physically.  I had the book read before some people even had their copy.  I felt pretty bad@ss.  I think it is wonderful how fast I can get my books.  I order them and by the time I would have left the store and gotten home I would already be chapters into one or returning it if I don't like the first one or two chapters.

I still love books; but I love, love, love eBooks.  They are the cream of the publishing crop for me, and I can't imagine my life without them.

Hi Daniel, indeed! There's a place for both, many like the physicality of picking up a book, it's almost like the beginning  of a love affair, the eye contact, the first touch, the sheer pleasure at meeting a new friend & then the exploration of the contents. However, many also prefer the ease of using e-books, those with limits on space in their homes welcome the electronic works & the portability factor cannot be discounted. 

A few years ago Mr T bought me a Kindle for my birthday. Secretively I was horrified I love paper books but now I'm hooked on both, like C.E. Schwilk . The ease of having lots of books trapped and ready to read and re-read within my apple green leather bound Kindle fills me with joy. Downloading a book in seconds still amazes me. I'll always love the real thing, bookshops and libraries but progress marches on.         

For every person who says they like the feel and smell of paper books there is a person who hasn't yet tried an e-reader.

I have a huge collection of paper books - over 3,000, Since I bought an e-reader I've seldom looked at them. Why carry round bulky and heavy books when the e-version on an e-reader weighs almost nothing and takes up far less space? Even my oldest Kindle Keyboard e-reader can hold my entire library. My newest can not only hold all that but also my music collection and video library. If a 7 inch tablet is too bulky - then I can read on my mobile phone just as easily.

Ever read a paper book in the bath? You end up with a soggy book. Put your e-reader in a zip-up plastic bag and it will survive falling in the water but will still allow you to turn the pages.

Of course there are disadvantages - my old Kindle requires re-charging at least once every 3 weeks. That has to be a real problem! Then, just occasionally there is an ebook which is more expensive than the paper copy. The huge number of cheaper and free ebooks outweigh that though. Finally not all books are available in ebook formats and for those you'll just have to put up with the smell and dirt from mouldy old paper.

John, I'd just like to thank you for reaffirming my belief that a lot of people who have moved to ebooks are incredibly snobby about it.

I'm just wondering where I fit into your neat little pigeonholes?  You see, I have an ebook reader (Nook) and a smartphone on which I can read ebooks and, guess what?

I don't like it.  For me, it's not reading, it's not the same.  I love the weight of a book in my hands, I love the physical act of turning the page, I, indeed love the smell.

I have read a book in the bath (not anymore as I don't have a bath) and, yes, one book did get wet when I dropped it.  A couple of hours on a radiator and it was still working, no messing about with plastic bags.

You prefer ebooks.  Fair enough, that's your choice, more power to you.  But there's no need to be condescending and patronising towards those of us who don't.


John Chapman said:

For every person who says they like the feel and smell of paper books there is a person who hasn't yet tried an e-reader.

I have a huge collection of paper books - over 3,000, Since I bought an e-reader I've seldom looked at them. Why carry round bulky and heavy books when the e-version on an e-reader weighs almost nothing and takes up far less space? Even my oldest Kindle Keyboard e-reader can hold my entire library. My newest can not only hold all that but also my music collection and video library. If a 7 inch tablet is too bulky - then I can read on my mobile phone just as easily.

Ever read a paper book in the bath? You end up with a soggy book. Put your e-reader in a zip-up plastic bag and it will survive falling in the water but will still allow you to turn the pages.

Of course there are disadvantages - my old Kindle requires re-charging at least once every 3 weeks. That has to be a real problem! Then, just occasionally there is an ebook which is more expensive than the paper copy. The huge number of cheaper and free ebooks outweigh that though. Finally not all books are available in ebook formats and for those you'll just have to put up with the smell and dirt from mouldy old paper.

You may be right about the e-reader users being snobby. Then paper book readers were probably snobby compared with those who preferred parchment and they in turn were snobby about those who wrote on clay tablets, who in turn....

Tell you what - let's all sit round a camp-fire and tell each other stories.

Seriously though guys, joking aside please keep discussion civil. We're all entitled to our views. 

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