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Old 10-15-2008, 01:52 PM   #1
PsyDocJoanne
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Do you spend differently on ebooks vs. pbooks?

I've noticed that my book buying habits have changed since getting my Sony 505.

I'm much more concerned with price now than I think I was before (maybe because its so much easier to spend money when I can instantaneously download content, right from my bed ).

So I've moved away from books that I don't think are worth the money, putting them in my queue for a time when they'll go on sale or when I've built up enough FW Micropay to buy them.

I put really easy, pulpy reads into this category (like Jonathan Kellerman, Star Trek series books, Dean Koontz, and the like), and wait for them to be sub-$5. In the past, I would have forked over the $6.99 or $7.99 at the brick and mortar bookstore to get them.

Do you think that your spending habits have changed, because ebooks are so easy to get?
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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I find the "infinitely expandable bookshelf" has a greater effect than price. I've never been a "hot off the press" reader, so there was always the used book competiton if I didn't have enough money...
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:19 PM   #3
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I'll have to say that they have, but mainly because I'm not willing to pay full list price for a eBook as I might have been for a paper book.

I like to skim through books by new authors before buying them to see whether I like the style, so as this is not possible in eBooks, I tend to be more conservative in what I buy.

Now this goes out of the window when the Prices are low ($5 or less) or there is a massive sale . Then I've found that I'm more willing to spend the money as if I don't like it, its not that big a deal.

The problem i've been running into is that a lot of the books I'll like to buy are not available as eBooks
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:49 PM   #4
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I am always trying to get the best price. I generally go to back catalog before new releases which are generally cheaper.

In the pbook store I would usually wait for the paperback to come out that was in hard cover and when that happened the HC was usually on the bargain rack for less than the price of the paper back. This is how I bought about 6 of the sword of truth novels. Yes, I had to wait a year to read them after they came out, but there's no much other stuff to read too.

So, I do the same thing with ebooks... I am basically trying to stay at or under $5 a book. If it's more I'll find something else.

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Old 10-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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I would say I spend more now. In the past, there were some books (cookbooks, for example) that I would buy anyway. Many others I would get at the library, and I still will go there for 'just browsing' or for books I suspect I might not read again or am not sure I will like. But the 'pulpy' reads, I am actually more likely to buy now that I read in ebook more often. They are cheaper than the paper ones, which in Canada anyway go for $10 or so. And now that I don't have to worry about storing physical books, it's much more like an investment for me because I can keep them all (in the past, I would buy and then sell when I'm done). I recently re-read a favourite series of mine in print, and was really annoyed to find that some of them were missing, no doubt victims of a shelf space purge So if it's under $10 and I want it, I'll buy it. But that's subjective. Nora Roberts, I may read again. Koontz, probably not, so I would get him from the library.

I also find that Fictionwise has encouraged me to spend more than I used to What I do is have a monthly budget (say, $20) and then spend it exclusively on 100% Micropay titles (there usually are at least one or two a month which may interest me). In this way, I get a balance that I can spend throughout the month on other little things. I could buy a couple books a week and still not go over my $20! You can't do that in the print world.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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I spend less now but I'm reading more books. How great is that?! This is largely due to the free sample chapters I get from Amazon. The only time I've bought a book without reading the sample first was when I was travelling out of the US and wasn't sure how easy it was going to be to get internet connectivity on my laptop. I was reading a series so I downloaded a few books ahead. I knew I'd want to read them anyway. Other than that, I grab samples of anything I'm interested in and don't buy the book until I'm done with the sample. This has saved me a surprising amount of money and the samples act like a "to-read" list.

Before, I used to go to a book store and try to buy enough books to last me a few weeks. Some of those books, I didn't end up liking enough to continue. Others, I never started because the mood for them passed. I'd estimate this accounted for a good 20% of my book purchases. Add to this the fact that I tended to buy a fair number of hardbacks since my main source of booklust is listening to NPR. Many of the interviews with authors are for relatively new releases. When I bought one of these and didn't finish it, that's $25 or so down the drain.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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I'm spending less. If I visit a book shop, or order pbooks online, I tend to get a stack of books all at once.
The immediacy of buying ebooks means I just buy an ebook when I'm ready to read it.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:38 PM   #8
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My spending habits have changed significantly. In a previous life (i.e., before Sony PRS-505), I only bought hardcover books that I wanted to add to my permanent collection, spending $5,000+ a year on those books (some of the books cost $150+). The books had to be first edition and in fine condition.

Wih my new life (after PRS-505) my habits have changed. I still buy hardcover books that I want to add to my permanent collection, but at a significantly reduced rate -- largely because I already have hundreds more books to read than I will live long enough to read. But books that I am not so sure that I want to add to my permanent library, I buy as ebooks, where I am more price conscious.

If the ebook would cost me the same or very near the price of the pbook, then I simply do not buy the ebook. I either buy the pbook or pass on the book altogether. OTOH, if I buy an ebook and find I really like it and find it valuable (such as is occurring with Taylor Branch's trilogy regarding civil rights in the Martin Luther King years), then I will also buy the hardcover version.

I basically consider my ebooks as throwaway books; that is, unlike with pbooks, I find it hard to think about building a library of ebooks. I don't literally delete the ebooks so that they cannot be reread someday, but I do remove a book from my Reader as soon as I am finished with it and I save the ebook files in a zip file.

In the end, my after PRS-505 spending on books has declined significantly. I've spent a third this year (after) of what I spent last year (before), and I do not see that as changing in the near future.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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I'm spending much less on books since I got my Reader. The only time I go browsing in bookstores these days is when I'm craving some new magazines. And if I do happen to stumble across a new pbook that looks interesting, I think about all of the public domain ebooks on my TBR list. I typically leave the store without the pbook, but I add the title to my TBR.

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Old 10-15-2008, 08:28 PM   #10
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I have noticed some definite changes in my habits:
  • I buy more books (to take advantage of FW deals)
  • I read a bit more per week (nicer to read on the Illiad, but it still competes with games and programing)
  • I save more per book
  • I have started reading short fiction magazines

The first is the only downside, I have a very large to-read list.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:06 AM   #11
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While living in the U.S.A.:

As a collector of First Editions, I would buy new First Edition literary novels every month, spending slightly more than $100 a month on these new releases and also experimenting on some newer writers reiviewed in the New York Times Book Review.

There was also Half-Price Books in about four prime locations in Cincinnati, Ohio area. Occassionally, the clerks would overlook a collectible of an author whom I collect, and thus I would spend about $30 additional a month from them.

At that time, I had just bought my PRS-500 a few months after it came out, and I also began purchasing books from Sony. (I had yet to "trust" Ficionwise.)

Moving to Peru:


Now that I've moved to Peru - and this was January, 2008 - I buy only ebooks. On the few trips back to the U.S., I was able to pick up some hardback editions of authors I collect and brought some of those books back with me.

Of the close to 2,000 books in my collection, all but about 20 of them are in a climate-controlled storage in the U.S.A. Those 20 hardbacks are here in Peru with me.

So, for the past 9 months (with the exceptions noted above), I've only bought ebooks for my (now) PRS-505, having sold both my PRS-500s. I've also set up an account with Fictionwise and they're now my main source for purchases - mainly pulpish, Sci-Fi, Horror fiction, what for me I term as easily disposable genre fiction.

For my literature reading, I still frequent Sony. I'm currently reading one of my favorite writers Richard Russo (NOT the Sci-Fi genre writer), having recently purchased "Bridge of Sighs," which is excellent.

I probably spend about $50-$60 USD a month on my ebook reading habit, with no book purchases yet from Peru.

Don
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