Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!
Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:
All about Ebooks
(SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
Prompts: Are ebooks the future of books? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ebooks? Are ebooks strictly better than physical books? Do all avid readers prefer real, paper books? Do you use an e-reader, or read on a phone/tablet? Do you ever find yourself missing one or the other?
EBOOKS: THE FUTURE OF BOOKS?
This is an interesting question that I haven’t really given much thought to. There are so many reasons why ebooks could be the books of the future, namely they’re (mostly) easier to access (in terms of buying), are usually cheaper than physical books, can be carried in the thousands wherever you go and aren’t limited to one device (i.e. e-reader, phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). Do I think they’re the future of books? As much as I love ebooks, I certainly hope that they don’t replace physical books and become the future of books! Maybe they’ll gain popularity as more people give them a try but (as far as I know) many still prefer physical copies, and again, many are unable to read digital copies for various reasons (we’ll come back to this further on).
A FEW PROS AND CONS
I made this list of pros and cons about ebooks in a recent LTB and what I wrote still goes. A huge ebook pro for me personally is gaining access to books in general and in particular the newest releases. As an international reader living in a non-Western country, I don’t always get the “hot and new” releases at my local bookstore and even if I (pre-)order a copy, it still takes a minimum of one month to arrive at my doorstep! So I love the instant access I get with ebooks. As someone who also doesn’t have access to a library, I love subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited that allow me borrow up to 20 books at a time. Since I have to buy all the books I read, unless they’re ARCs, having access to KU brings me so much joy as I can read tons of books without having to dig deeper into my bank balance.
That’s not to say there aren’t any cons to ebooks. Prior to getting my own credit card (cos where I live it ain’t easy and digital banking etc. is still years behind compared to other countries) I had to rely on transferring funds to my dad so I could use his credit card to purchase books. Let’s just say it wasn’t fun…? 💀 Obviously, not having the means to purchase online is a con, not having access to internet is a con, and so is not having the right gadget (version) to read on. Buying books, in general, is a privilege and I believe buying ebooks is even more so!
Another non-monetary con of reading ebooks is that sometimes the formatting really sucks. I hate when pages or text don’t show up properly and there are gaps, etc., though this mostly happens when I read ARCs and less so with finished copies.
DO ALL AVID READERS PREFER “REAL” PAPER BOOKS?
Since I consider myself an avid reader I’d say the answer would be a hard no! 😂 As I mentioned before though, there are various reasons why some people prefer real paper books to digital copies and it’s not just ‘for the ‘gram’! For example, some people are unable to read them for medical reasons.
Ever since I got gifted my first Kindle in 2012, I’ve spent more and more time reading on it. This year alone, I’ve done 90% of my reading on Kindle and not only for convenience as I’ve been travelling a lot, but because I’m mostly reading ARCs and romances. Not to mention I literally have thousands of books on my Kindle so… I gotta start making a dent in it at some point, right? 🙊 That’s not to say that I don’t love physical copies because I still do love them and I’m a sucker for Illumicrate and special editions! It’s not that I’ve stopped reading physical copies completely, I just read them less but I do pick them up every now and again whenever I’m tired of reading on my device and I miss the feeling of holding an actual book!
What do you think, friends? Are ebooks the future of books? Do you prefer them or do you still prefer physical copies? What do you like/dislike about ebooks?
18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: All About Ebooks”
I completely and 100% agree with you. I don’t think real paper books are going anywhere, because people adore them. I still love them, but I haven’t actually READ from a paper book in probably…at least two years? My eye sight is not so great, and my hands hurt from my computer job at the end of the day, so holding a heavy book is not in my best interest. My kindle, on the other hand, weighs less than a pound, and has over 250 books on it. I can change font/size/spacing/whatever I need to in order to be able to read comfortably. Not to mention I can access any book I want instantly — either through the library, KU, or by flat-out buying it.
I love special editions of physical books, but my kindle is just soooo much easier to read on for me.
(And I consider myself an avid reader, too!)
Amazing post here! Excellent thoughts and I agree with so much of what you said. I also got my kindle around 2012 and it’s been a constant companion ever since. And I definitely don’t think physical and e-books are replaceable forms for each other, they certainly each serve their purpose and therefore neither will truly go out of style!
With the book community, there’s still a love & appreciation for physical books and I don’t see that going away anytime soon, which is so awesome! Though, ebooks definitely offer a lot of convenience compared to physical ones, I wish I could get more comfortable with digital reading, but there’s something about holding the book that makes the reading experience different to me. I do have an ereader, I’ve just set it aside and haven’t used it as much but at some point I’d like to start using it again more for the accessibility, especially when it comes to reading arcs! Loved how you explored this discussion Dini💕
I agree 100% with everything you said Dini! As a US reader i have a lot of access to physical books through buying them or my library (more so since I work in a library) and I recognize that as a privilege! But I also love my e-reader! My kindle has died at this point from many years of use but i love my kindle app and can’t see myself getting rid of it anytime soon especially for arcs!
While i pray physical books don’t die out, as a library professional I’ve seen the millenials and gen zers coming into the library less and less because they can access things much easier via their devices. I have a few patrons that come in just to use the wi-fi to reload their kindle apps or browse Libby on their phones! So I do worry about physical books becoming less popular as the older generations start declining. But I also hear lots of success stories from parents of readers who only used tablets and e-readers during the pandemic since libraries and schools were closed doing better in school when they picked up physical copies so there’s hope! Also, it’s nice after a long day of staring at a computer not having to stare at another screen.
tl:dr | I think ebooks are a GREAT addition to the reading experience but hope they don’t replace physical books completely!
As a millennial I still use the library to pick up physical copies! 🙂 I commented directly on Dini’s post, but to summarize, my small sample size of trying to get e-books from my library system has shown me that waitlists tend to be much longer than those for physical books. So for that reason I tend to prefer physical copies when using the library.
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That makes my heart so happy! We get all types but at my last system it was often the opposite problem of the lists for physical copies being longer so I would always tell people to order both and see which one comes in faster since that it what I live by as well. My new system is smaller with a smaller circ count over all for physical copies which often makes me sad
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I have a love/hate relationship with ebooks. I love how convenient they are for traveling and saving some money, as well as being able to highlight quotes and access them easily after reading. However, I often go on splurges where I buy a lot that are on sale, then forget about them. Like, I’ll see a book at the bookstore and then I can’t remember if I own it as an ebook or not because it looks familiar (luckily, I can just check on my Nook/Kindle apps to see if I do or not, but still). And… I’m all about the ‘gram, so I prefer to buy physical for that reason, as well as the feel of holding a book in my hands as opposed to an e-reader.
For me the biggest pro of e-books is the ability to carry so many on my e-reader. I also like that it’s easier to keep track of quotes/passages I like. For the first time this year I used my library to check out an e-book and since then have looked up several other titles, including some on audio to listen to while on road trips. And that’s where the biggest con for me comes in. The waitlist for e-books, I think because of the ease of access, generally seems to be longer than those for physical books–at least, that was such with the backlist titles I was interested in. So I definitely still read physical books because of this.
Great answers! I have mulled on the topic as well and i agree that there’s no a soled answer wether ebooks or physical books are better: it’s up to every person’s preference, convince, and availability of books.
I realize that I’m in a privileged position to own an ereader, but I’m also so grateful for it. I’ve read about 75% of my books this year in eformat and it’s mostly because I’ve moved last year and cannot afford to buy that many physical books. I would never want physical copies to go away entirely, but I tend to only buy certain editions, sequels to physical books I already own or books I really loved and want to annotate. Great post!
Bless you, Dini. My reading prowess has been questioned in the past because I am always reading ebooks. I can give a list of reasons why I read them, but it shouldn’t matter. I read five books a week – I am a reader. I guess the ebook situation can be difficult when you are younger, but I do love that ability to have it instantly in my possession, and how I can borrow them from the library and not have to worry about returning them. Back when ebooks came on the scene, they predicted the downfall of physical books. That has not come to fruition, and I doubt it ever will
Honestly, I never thought of how hard it is for others to get ebooks. You have brought up great points! I have definitely veered towards more ebooks this year as well, due to arcs and the library. I even bought a new Kindle because mine was full. 😂 I hope physical books continue to thrive because I love having my favorites on my shelves.
I loved reading your answers. I’m lucky enough to live in a region where both e-books and library books are readily available. That you jumped through such hoops to be able to use a kindle is a testament to both your love of books AND the power of an e-reader!
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I had to laugh at the last prompt. HECK NO! I rarely read physical books anymore. For the amount of books I read (for my eyes, back, arms, hands, pocketbook, etc.) ebooks are the way to go. Plus, I have little shelf space. I also kind of feel like this topic is outdated because ebooks have been around for years now and physical copies are still around. If people are still buying physical books, they’ll keep making them.
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You made some really good points, Dini. The main two reasons I read a lot of ebooks is because of my vision (I can make the print larger) and when I travel, I can bring my kindle with me and never run out of books while I am away. I still read physical books, but no longer the small paperbacks as the print is too small, and hardbacks are expensive, so I am limited on what I can buy. I use the library a lot though.