Saturday, July 29, 2006

The E-books Mystery

I don't understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to ebooks. I have no interest in them whatsoever but everyone seems to be really into them. What gives? What's so special about them? I love having an actual book in front of me...I feel like I'd have to buy a binder for the ebook. I don't know...perhaps I'm wrong, but...well, isn't an ebook just something you download and print off a computer. Sorry, but the idea does zilch for me. We all have different tastes, I suppose. As much as I whine and complain about certain AVON book covers, I like having them around (some more than others, I assure you). I'd feel like I'd have to walk around with a highlighter and a pencil if I had to lug a book around in a binder all day. Sorry...not for me AT ALL.

Can someone explain the fascination? Because I don't think anyone could convince me to actually shell out money for one. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I'd want to read a free one either.


Nicole said...

I think the appeal is that you can have more variety of books with you. I can have hundreds on my iPaq at once.

And some e-pubs are publishing stories that are much different than print pubs.

But even though I do enjoy ebooks, I still buy far more print books.

Anonymous said...

one perk to buying ebooks is that more 'explicit' books are kept in my hard drive, not on the shelf on full display.
But I'd say my purchase of ebooks is only about 1% - I prefer real books, too.

stay_c said...

The only benefit I can see of an ebook would be that I could read it during a meeting.

Mailyn said...

I don't think it's a fascination so much as the fact that a lot of good writers don't have a contract with a big company so their books don't get printed. with e-books, which are cheaper, at least you can read their work until whenever they hit it big and can get printed.

I also prefer holding an actual book but I have read some really good authors online that sadly enough haven't gotten published ergo no print.

even more sad is the fact that a lot of people who are published shouldn't be lol

Rosario said...

All that has already been mentioned, plus for me, living outside the US, you have to add a) no paying for shipping and b) no waiting for weeks (if I splurge on expensive shipping, otherwise it's months) for books to get here.

Oh, and there's also the fact that my shelves are already filled to bursting, and ebooks don't take up physical space.

BTW, I don't print them, I read them on my ebook reader (an ), and while it's not quite as good as holding an actual paper-and-ink book, once you get used to it, there's not that much of a difference.

Avid Reader said...

Agree with Rosario on many points. I don't think it's a fascination. Just another way outlet for writers and readers to get books that are a bit different than what's print by NY publishers.

Why I like ebooks is that I get to carry around my library with me wherever I go and no, I don't print out ebooks to read - might as well buy the paperback if your going to do that but the prices for most ebooks are cheaper than the print/ink books and the biggest advantage to ebooks is instant gratification---if I want to buy a book at midnight I can and read it, too. I read all of my ebooks on my LOOX 720 and after you get used to reading ebooks, it really isn't much different, like Rosario said. In fact for me, it's what I prefer when I see new releases come out now.

I'm the hardest to covert to anything so, I still like reading paperback books, I prefer ebooks whenever I can get them.


Devonna said...

Oh so funny ~ I posted on the same subject this morning. I don't get the fascination either. Me, I love to hold the book in my hands and don't want to be tied to the computer in order to read something. Maybe someday. But for now, I don't get it either.

Amarjaa said...

Hmmm...I like e-books because the stories can be more hardcore than what you normally find on a Barnes and Nobles shelf. Sometimes, it's just what I'm in the mood for. Other times, it's the lazy factor. It takes me five seconds (literally) to buy and download an e-book. So, easy!

Though I like e-books, I still love print books more. There's nothing like the feeling of a good book in your hands!

CindyS said...

I'm still on the wrong side of the fence on e-books also. It's like I'm waiting for all the kinks to be worked out. I have heard that people who buy the handheld devices for the books love having them especially when going on vacation.

I'm having a hard time reading print books now (eyes get tired) that I'm afraid reading on a screen will strain them more.

Again, maybe waiting for the prices to come down on both the hardware and the books. I'm not so much intrigued by books that are only 100 pgs. If I'm spending 8 bucks on a book I want it to be of the same quality as print.

Even so, like others have said, there are exceptional authors writing e-books and I think it is easier to break taboos and bring about change by going e-publishing as it takes the bigger houses longer to convert.


Kate D. said...

I was about to go off on how much I love holding a physical book... and then I realized that I frequently plunder Project Gutenberg, Shakespeare Online and, when I can get my hands on it, the English Short Title Catalogue. (Mmm... microfiche...)

I am a big dork.

So I love using the Internet and e-reading for academic purposes. But when it comes to pleasure, I like being able to hold a book in my hands. Hm. Wonder what that's all about.

Jane said...

The convenience is what sold me on the ebook issue. After carting 20 books with me on a vacation one day, I started thinking about how some books were digital and some were not. Over the years, I have amassed a huge library of ebooks so that when I travel, I can take my library with me.

I am replacing all my paper books with ebooks when I can. The other consideration is the space issue. I used to have almost 2000 books and no where to put them. I have cut that number down dramatically and every day it gets smaller and smaller and my ebook library gets bigger.

I don't miss my paperbooks at all. In fact, the other night, I was having hand cramps in one hand and it made it very difficult to read a paperbook (I tried). My IPAQ, however, was lightweight and could be read with my non injured hand. It was so much more comfortable.

For me, it has to do less with content (thats a benefit) than with the other things. I don't advocate for the elimination of paperbooks. I advocate for the simultaneous release of the paper and the ebook format so that readers can choose.

I do think that if you get a good reader, you fall in love with the form factor. My DH was very hard to convince and now he won't even touch a paperback.

romancelover said...

So many e-book lovers...ok...I'm a little behind with the computer stuff...I still don't even own an IPOD...what's an IPAQ???

I might try an e-book, if someone can recommend a really amazing one to me. Are there any historical ones? Are they really risque?

I'm not completely sold on the ebook thing, but...I can't really say they suck since I've never tried one, huh? Maybe I should...

romblogreader said...

As a reader, and someone who commutes every day on public transit with a number of short trips (not one long train ride) my new ebook reader has been a godsend. It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes, I can have dozens of books to choose from at any given time, it starts up at the same point, and doesn't necessarily advertise that I'm reading, say, one of the naughtier Ellora's cave.

I like the instant gratification of buying and downloading, and while I don't think the industry's even begun to explore the full potential of this, I think that because they don't have to appeal to as wide an audience (no inventory issues or need to get past, say, wal-mart censors to acces huge numbers of buyers), they've got the potential to push the boundaries of "what is romance" and take things in new directions that traditional publishers might not yet be able to make profitable.

Damn that sentance sucked. Anyway, I'm certainly not either or, and reading on the little screen of my Palm z22 took a little to get used to, but I love having a serious selection of books w/ me at once. I think that without a dedicated reader, the benefits of ebooks become...less obvious. But the thing I bought was about 90 bucks at Amazon and it's more than worth to me, so far.

Just my two cents. ;)

Avid Reader said...

A really amazing ebook? Hmmmm. Why don't you select a Kleypas title to read as an ebook? Start with an author that familiar to you. That's a rather tall order for a rec for an ebook even though there are some really good ones out there. I do prefer historicals whenever I'm shopping for ebooks.

As for content - some ebooks that are romances are more explicit in nature but not all. I think this is a great market for authors who have OOP stuff and own the rights. I'd love to see this market flourish.

romancelover said...

I thought ebooks were mostly of the erotica variety...I've read everything by Kleypas...hmmm...need to look for something.

Avid Reader said...

You've probably moved on with this topic Daniela but I'm posting anyway:

Ebooks are not strictly erotica, another misconception there as most of your NYT publishers release ink/paper books in ebook format. Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, and many more authors have books in ebook format.

Now most ebook publishers like Samhain, LTD and Venus Press and other ebook pubs do have romantica, erotica, whatever you want to read and assign individual heat levels. Shannon Stacy's 72 hours was not very explicit or no more explicit than your print/paper books. There's historicals, sci-fi, etc.

As a painless introduction, I say pick a romance author that you like, see if it's in ebook format and read it. You have three free readers online to download: Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket reader and Palm Reader. Microsoft reader requires you to have Internet Explorer and you must activate it using your browser.

Must blog about this.

romancelover said...

Thanks for the info. Honestly, I thought they were mostly erotica...I guess because most of the covers I've seen from Ellora's Cave seem to be that way. I'll have to check out Mary Balogh's new book in ebook format. Hopefully, it's sold that way. I don't want to spend over $20 on her new book, SIMPLY LOVE, which is a hardcover, courtesy DELL Publishing. Jerks!

I have grown curious about Ellora's Cave books, I must admit. I'll have to do some digging.

Thanks so much for the help!!!