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Old 10-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
uebyn
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Don't Own an EBook, Not About to Get One.

The title says it all. Despite the increasing popularity of ebooks, I refuse to buy one. Not because devices are expensive, not because I am biased against ebooks, but because of the way I discover books.

I hardly ever listen to book recommendations by people, around me or in publications like papers or magazines. Coz' I'm too aware how people's tastes vary, and what someone else thinks is a fabulous read may read terrible to me, and vice versa. Of course, there are those books that are so famous you can't help hearing about them, and usually end up reading them to see if they deserve their reputation. Again, it's a matter of taste - for example, I heard so much about Catcher in the Rye, but when I actually read it, I didn't love it. I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite. (I do love Catch-22 though.)

One of my greatest pleasure is to stroll in the bookstore and discovering books - sometimes by their cover, other times by their spines. In any case, I pick up a book, briefly read its synopsis, and if it interests me, I will read the first page. If the first page intrigues me, and I have spare cash, I will buy it on the spot. Sometimes, if I feel like it, I will stop right at a cafe to read the book over a nice cup of coffee. One of the simple pleasures of life...

With ebooks, you don't get that. Searching by keywords on Smashwords? Clicking on 'People who browsed this also bought...' on Amazon? Yeah, helpful, but not enjoyable. A flat experience no different from Googling online.

Why am I still saying this NOW? Precisely because there're so many converts now, I'm wondering: why did you switch to ebooks? Have you forgotten the pleasure of books browsing, or is the e-book experience comparable to that of the old-school experience? Or has convenience displaced experience?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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One of my greatest pleasure is to stroll in the bookstore and discovering books - sometimes by their cover, other times by their spines. In any case, I pick up a book, briefly read its synopsis, and if it interests me, I will read the first page. If the first page intrigues me, and I have spare cash, I will buy it on the spot. Sometimes, if I feel like it, I will stop right at a cafe to read the book over a nice cup of coffee. One of the simple pleasures of life...
That's just how I tend to buy ebooks. I browse the genre list on Amazon, check out the most popular or best selling ebooks or just browse through the lists. Then I download a sample if the book sounds interesting and is above my impulse buy price.

I'll also take a look at books other people are reading though or check out the books amazon may recommend based on purchase history. Not often I find a fit, but it doesn't take long to look.

Reason I switched to ebooks is, convenience and no need to set aside space in the home to store all those books I don't want to part with. Plus instant download if I read a book and want to continue on with the series, no nipping to the shop to see if they have it in stock. Added benefit is the ability to take a library of books on holiday and not have to decide until I'm sat in bed one night or at the pool which book to read :P

One thing I wish authors and the stores would do more, is notify you of updates to the books and make it easy to download the latest version or an earlier revision.

Not for everyone though, I know a few people who have tried my kindle and earlier my hanlin but would rather keep buying paper (especially when they pickup paperbacks for next to nothing in the local supermarket)

Last edited by JoeD; 10-06-2012 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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I am like Joe. I got a eReader mostly cause with arthris & bad eyes I can now actually read again!
Now Why did you come to MR?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Browsing for books in a store was a major chore that usually ended up with me leaving empty handed. I know exactly what kind of books I like to read, so I can easily target those kinds of books online and get a wide assortment. Also if an author that I like has a website I will join it and there will be like minded readers there to suggest other books of the same type that I can then go and check out.

So with the shopping so easy and convenient online, I now have over 600 books on my pc & ereader to enjoy.

I have NEVER been one to wax nostalgic over the look, smell, feel, blah, blah, blah, of paperbooks. I never once have sniffed one of my dusty old books, I have tossed quite a few since they were falling apart.

I absolutely LOVE the extra space I now have since I don't have to store the 600+ books that I have on my pc anywhere in my apartment. I love being able to adjust the font size on my reader so that it is comfortable for me to read for hours at a time and not get tired of being able to hold those 600+ books on one small machine with endless choices of what I want to read.

I am just as easily able to sit down and read my book and eat my lunch or have a cup of coffee with my reader as you can with your book.

If doing it your way makes you feel better about resisting change, simply to be contrary or whatever, good for you enjoy. I'll keep enjoying using my ereader and collecting and reading more books then I ever could if I was still stuck with reading paperbacks.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by uebyn View Post
I'm wondering: why did you switch to ebooks? Have you forgotten the pleasure of books browsing, or is the e-book experience comparable to that of the old-school experience? Or has convenience displaced experience?
None of those three choices apply at all. I never really found the book-browsing experience all that pleasurable in the first place ... to be perfectly honest. So nothing to "forget" or to be "displaced" here.

I like to read books. Pure and simple. I don't care about holding them, sniffing them, feeling their texture, locating them, talking to other people who are trying to locate them, lovingly perusing their spines/covers, or leaving them in conspicuous places so people can notice them and hopefully be impressed with my impeccable tastes. I like to gobble up their contents and move on to the next one, ASAP. That's it. Nothing else. I've always loved book guts waaaay more than the physical object previously known as "book."

So ebooks were a complete no-brainer for me. No gasoline involved, no time spent traveling to where the books all hang out before I buy them, no shipping and handling costs to get them delivered to me, and no annoying person trying to make small talk and generally delaying my mission to immerse myself in my new book's guts. That, and being less than a minute away from "that sounds like a cool book" to "look at me reading that cool book." And oh yeah ... Free Sample Chapters of any book that catches my eye and the synopsis doesn't turn me off.

The "book" is a lie ... the "words" are where all the value lies. Ebooks allow me to easily skip right past all the distracting lies.

Enjoy your (I'm assuming) brief sojourn among the philistines.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-06-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Browsing for a book physically in a store on online is all the same to me.

I read my first ebook on my old Handspring Visor. It was convenient for short bursts of reading but not good enough to convert me. Then I bought a Kindle 1 and have not looked back. I bought it as a way to save space in my little condo and found that I much prefer reading eink than I do paper for all my fiction reading. The few times I've gone back to paper because a book was not available digitally has not lured me back (it actually feels strange to me now).

Along with Katie1, I'm curious as to why are you a member of Mobileread if you have no intention of buying an ebook?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #7
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I still like going into a book store & browsing. And I still buy books there. Same with libraries. BUT I aso enjoy browsing for books at online sights. I have found so many more authors via the internet. Book stores tend to carry what sells well. Online browsing lets me find some new & interesting authors that big publishers will not publish. And the prices are right.

But the main reason I went to an e-reader is space. My house was full of books on bookshelves & my tables loaded with books. Soon I was going to have to weed out books or give my hubby the heave ho. Hubby won.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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I too still like to browse book stores for books. I just go online when I find one and buy it there. It usually costs less money also.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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I'm not 100% switched to ebooks, but in large I am, because they're so convenient. I am literally out of room in my house for more paper books (and my husband keeps buying more -I'm only gradually converting him, and a lot of what he buys isn't available in e-format yet.) We not only are floor to ceiling bookshelves in all the rooms, we have boxes and drifts of more books with no place to put them.

Too, my kindle fits my hands, and isn't as heavy as most paper books are, so reading doesn't hurt my hands anymore.

I feel like I didn't leave bookstores, they left me. The B&N nearest me doesn't seem to stock the kinds of books I read, so browsing in the bookstore doesn't do me any good. If I want the latest Liaden book, for example, if I'm going to order it, I might as well get it in eformat and save postage and time. And if I want to get the latest Lois Bujold book months before it's out in paper, I can buy the eARC from Baen.

I still get some paper books - I just got Bailout Over Normandy (WWII fighter pilot's exploits after being shot down over occupied France - great reading!) because I wanted the pictures, which don't show up half as well in eformat as they do in the printed version.

But mostly, these days, I get ebooks. I can carry around a library with no problem.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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eReaders and ebooks are convenient. Packing my Kindle instead of 10 books for a week of vacation or transporting 100 books a year to my summer cabin is the main reason I switched, but browsing for books using a computer is many times better than wandering aimlessly through a library or bookstore. I can search by author, google reviews and prize lists, read samples, track bestsellers, compare prices, access recommendations by other readers, etc. All from the comfort of my home, at any hour of the day or night. In a bookstore or library all I get is the information contained in the book itself.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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I have one used bookstore that I still occasionally browse at, but in the end if I find something interesting I generally check out Amazon to see if it's available as an ebook.

My last holdout for paper books has been cookbooks, but I'm finding more and more of these available as ebooks and I expect eventually that path will be gone.

Last night was the first time in nearly a year that I purchased paper on Amazon (a couple of older homebrewing books still not available as ebooks). It'll probably be another year before I'm tempted again.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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For me, it was a space-saving measure. No more room for bookshelves or books, except every once in awhile when I cull through (In terms of numbers, I try to buy only what I get rid of so as to keep the numbers the same). I've found my ereader much easier for travelling, taking to work to read on breaks, etc. But I just can't buy books the way I used to...otherwise it'll get to be like something on Hoarders, lol. Still enjoy browsing and looking at paper books.

I'm also a bit of a gadget geek, so I enjoy the gadget aspect too.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by uebyn View Post
Why am I still saying this NOW? Precisely because there're so many converts now, I'm wondering: why did you switch to ebooks? Have you forgotten the pleasure of books browsing, or is the e-book experience comparable to that of the old-school experience? Or has convenience displaced experience?
It's not often about "convenience". I often found the "experience" of browsing for books in a bookstore to not be as poetic and lyrical as those who wax nostalgic over them. I like libraries, where if I spend half an hour at the library looking at a book and then putting it on the shelf without officially checking it out, nobody looks at you like a freeloading cheapskate

I'm very glad about the ability to purchase things on line - when my kids were young, going from store to store to store to buy every blessed thing we needed or wanted was an exhausting chore - kids got cranky, and I don't like crowded malls/places anyway.... so e-books work for me.

Plus, there are so many that you can download for free. I was getting into the classics and after spending a good amount of money on paperback sales, I discovered I didn't even have to buy them!

So I will pitch the emotionally and physically exhausting 'experiences' and trade it for good ones.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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i used to love going to the market to browse the second hand books, reading the blurb and looking at the covers, but times change, now i have found 100's of books to add to my TBR list just from recomendations on here.

I have enough books on my kindle to last me for the next two years and the list grows daily.

i wouldnt go back to reading just paper books.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #15
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I like wandering in bookshops. One the thing I miss.
But not having to carry huge books, more room in my appartment, worth it.
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