Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Girls Don’t Cry: eBook vs Print

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Book Girls Don’t Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don’t miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:


Ebook or Paperbook – the big debate

Do you have preference on the form you read? I know some prefer reading ebooks above everything else, and others will argue that nothing will ever replace the print book. Do you think print books would ever become extinct? I don’t personally, but who knows?

In favor of eBooks:
In some cases I will like print books better, but in others the ebook wins. For instance, if I’m reading at night I prefer reading on my Kobo because it has a light, whereas a print book I need to sit where my lamp is and it’s less convenient (the way our living room lighting was designed was not with readers in mind >.<). For some reason, I also find I read faster when I’m reading on the Kobo. I don’t know why and really it may all be in my head, but I feel like I get through a book much faster. Maybe it’s because I don’t see the end coming and suddenly it’s there. Side note on this – have you ever read an ebooks where the publisher has an interview session or sneak peek at the end and the book actually ends at 85% and you’re like GAH because you weren’t expecting it? Especially frustrating when it’s a cliffhanger ending!!! And of course there’s the obvious convenience of an easy to carry and bring places e-reader, as well as an easy to purchase books from your couch and start reading right away. It’s also a requirement if you want to read Netgally or EW books.

In favor of print books:
No matter how convenient or hi-tech an ebook is, nothing will ever replace the print book for me. I love the feel of turning a page. I love the ease of flipping through – especially when there’s aย hierarchy or index which are common in fantasies (though not a genre I read that often). Then if you consider MG novels with illustrations to me a print is a must. However the most alluring for for me is that it’s more worth it. Unless I get an ebook for free or under 5$, I will not pay for an electronic copy of a book that I can’t even legally lend to my sister or show off in a pretty bookshelf. I mean, most ebooks are the same price as the paperback version. What is up with THAT? Am I seriously expected to pay 15$ for an ebook when I can buy a physical copy for the same amount? How is that not ridiculous? I know rights and DRM or whatever costs money but I won’t ever believe that it costs publishers the same as printing an actual book. Paper and ink is not cheap. They must make 90% profit on those things. They won’t be getting that profit from me. Anyways, that’s a discussion for another day >.< I don’t even feel like I really own my ebooks, so regardless of the price I prefer a print book that I can hold and smell (yes! Book smell FTW!) and display on my bookshelves to make my house pretty!

The verdict
Unless it’s an ARC that I get from Netgalley or EW, or I see a 2.99$ deal on a great ebook, you will find me reading my print books. Though even with ARCs, I give preference to print copies. If I run out of time and I have to skip an ARC it will most likely be an ebook one. Most of the time, I will have both an eBook and a Print book on the go simultaneously. I like to pick and choose which format I want to read at the time! ๐Ÿ™‚


Do you prefer ebooks or print books?
What do you like best about both formats?

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You know you love me!
XOXO, Book Girl

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

Latest posts by Giselle (see all)

34 Responses to “Book Girls Don’t Cry: eBook vs Print”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Before I had my e-reader, I used to be in favor of print books. As soon as I got my reader though, my opinion completely changed. I feel like I can read faster on my reader as well and I definitely like how you can highlight, take notes without actually ruining the book. Plus, you can change the font size, which is probably the greatest advantage according to me. I hate those huge print books with teeny tiny fonts!
    Still, print books are still awesome, but I feel like they take forever to finish. One thing I dislike about ebooks are the prices. I hate it when there’s only a couple of $ difference between an ebook and a print book. I definitely feel like ebook prices need to go lower.
    Great post, Giselle!

  2. Pili

    I adore paper books and nothing beat them for me, but with the issues of space that I have, eBooks have become my best friends! I love being able to carry a shitload of books in my eReader to take with me on my flights and trips. Also, I’ve been known to stop reading a paper book that was too big because my arms were tired, with an eReader I don’t have that problem! And since I’m not in the US, eARCs are the only ones I have somewhat easy access to!

  3. Helen Keeble

    Actually, the cost of an ebook to the publisher is about 80-90% of the cost of a physical book. Only 10-20% of the cover price of a physical book has anything to do with manufacturing, storage, shipping and distribution. Publishers putting out really cheap ebooks are generally doing it at a loss, in order to drive sales of a series.

    (The reasons why self-published ebooks are generally priced a lot lower than traditionally published ebooks is an entire essay in itself…)

    I personally prefer ebooks to physical books, just because I’m running out of shelf space in my house!

  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I definitely agree with all this! I’ve grown to love my ereader just because that’s where I read all those eARCs and cheapo books. And romances. Always good on the ereader (not because I’m ashamed but because I read too much and have no space in my house…).

  5. Anya

    Yup, I’ve bought about 1 eBook ever. I snag freebies if it’s a book I had been contemplated before (though I have yet to actually read any of these due to so many NG/EW books!). I got my Kindle specifically for the sake of reading NG books when I first started blogging, and because it was around graduation time so it made a great gift ;-). Though an eReader is a lot lighter than many of the hefty fantasy books I read, so my elbow joints thank me when I read on my Kindle, haha.

  6. StacyHgg @ Books Unhinged

    Great Post! I completely agree! I like to read ebooks a little more for a few reasons: I have a backlight on my Kindle Paperwhite so I can read in the dark, It’s easier to highlight passages for reviews, and I feel like I read them faster. I usually only buy a print copy of a book that I gave a five star review to. I call them my “Five Star Paperbacks” LOL
    But I will say that many of the ebooks I read are priced at or below $2.99 because I read a lot of indies ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy Reading!

  7. Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea

    I definitely agree with what you say about being able to read in bed with an e-reader, that’s probably what I use mine for the most! I do love print books though, there’s just something about the feel of them that I love, however weird that sounds. I can’t imagine only reading e-books or print books, I love both of them for different reasons!

  8. Ashley

    “have you ever read an ebooks where the publisher has an interview session or sneak peek at the end and the book actually ends at 85% and youโ€™re like GAH because you werenโ€™t expecting it?”

    LOL YES! that always throws me off guard. Like when there’s an entire chapter preview of the next book or something. Crazy!

    I used to be 100% print books, but I’m mostly an ebook girl now. My reasoning started off with the fact that I have been moving around a lot. Over the last 4 years I’ve lived in 4 different *small* apartments. I’m constantly uprooting my life and moving to a new place. Most of the places I live don’t have a ton of space for bookshelves, so I just don’t have places to keep books. Or for the books I do keep, I have to pack up and move them and put them in storage for a few months out of the year. Soon, keeping print books was just no longer a viable option.

    Ebooks allow me to continue buying books without that big issue of space. Plus it’s useful for the many train/plane rides I go on. I don’t have to carry around huge amounts of books for when I finish my current one.

  9. Savannah

    I will always prefer a print book. if I’m going to pay $7+ or more for an ebook I might as well by the print. Only time I get ebooks are for arcs or indie books. Other than that, I will always buy the actually book.

  10. Lenore (@Nocturnereads)

    I prefer eBooks lately. There was a time when I would go to the bookstore and buy 10 books at a time, but with the accessibility of eBooks, the ease of reading at night or in odd places, and carrying many books I have been leaning toward them. It also keeps my room from looking like an episode of the HOARDERS haha! However, my favorite series I am sure to get in print. BDB by J.R Ward for example is a must have in print kind of series.

  11. Justine @ paperback heart

    I love my print books, but I use my kindle mostly in the way you describe, with the addition of: if I need to read a book RIGHT NOW. I really do love the portability and all the great things about my kindle, but even more than that I like to see my books on my shelves.

  12. Jasmine @ Flip That Page

    Oh, I definitely go for the the print books! I have nothing against ebooks, and I myself have only requested ARCs in ebook form, but there is nothing that beats the feeling of a book between my fingers ๐Ÿ™‚ Great topic ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I agree with everything you said. I also have a feeling I read faster on my e-reader, but it seems weird if that’s the case.. What is the difference? I also love reading on my Kobo at night – and it’s much lighter to hold when I snuggle under the blankets. But for me, nothing can beat a paperback. The feeling and the way they look on the shelves. If I buy an e-book, it almost feels like I’m buying air.. It’s not something I can show off. Having 20 books on a shelves is way more impressive to me than having 40 e-books :p

  14. Trish @ Between My Lines

    It’s never an either or with me. I love them both. Ebooks win for sheer handiness. I love having them with me at all times, especially if I am travelling. And at other times physical books win because my hands crave to hold a real book! Nowadays I read more ebooks than physical books though and I enjoy not having to worry about storage problems afterwards.

  15. Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan

    I’m a lot like you in that it depends on what kind of book and when. Because I’m an international blogger, I don’t receive physical ARCs as much as I would like, so in this case, my Kindle wins over physical books. But one thing I dislike about reading on my Kindle is that it totally screws up the formatting of the galley! I have no idea why, but now sentences are joined together, paragraphs aren’t paragraphs, and it annoys the hell out of me. But, like you said, reading at night with an e-reader is good, too, because it has its own built-in light so I can sneak-read without anyone knowing. *evil laugh*

    I’ve noticed that I tend to read faster with physical books, though, and with physical books, you get to stroke the cover, smell the pages (I sniff book pages like crack), and yep — it’s definitely loads easier to spread the reading love by lending them out! Unless you get them back in a worst condition, of course. Also, it’s nice to show-off your collection of books on a bookshelf — you can’t do that with an e-reader.

    So I’m definitely going with physical books. Both have their pros and cons, but I’ll stick with tradition, and based on what others have said, it’s doubtful that hard copy books will be going out of style anytime soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Jasprit

    If you asked me this question last year, I most definitely would have gone with print copies over e-books, but now I’m not too sure. I love being able to carry my Kindle with me everywhere and the fact that I’ve become such a fussy reader, I can change books as soon as I want without having to carry around so many books. Also I’m such a neat freak when it comes to my books, I hate having cracked spines, so used to get really frustrated if my book cover ever got bent out of shape in my bag. I also like the one click buy option I have on my Kindle, I’m such an impatient reader, so want my books as soon as, I don’t want to have to wait on the postman, or wait until my bookstore gets it in. But then if I end up reading an e-book, most likely I will also want a pretty copy on my bookshelf. This was such a hard discussion topic this week Giselle, so thanks for sharing your thoughts, I think my answer would depend on what mood I’m in! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Candace

    I think reading on my paperwhite is nice because it’s convenient and like you said, I don’t need much light. Being able to have a bunch of books in spot is nice so I can just carry and not a ton of books. However, I MUCH prefer a paper book. I don’t know why other than if I’m buying a book I want something to show for it. I also loan my books out a lot, so obviously I need a paper copy. I also like to look at them, and pet them, and sniff them… you get the idea. I’ll buy an ebook if that’s all it’s available as, and if it’s $2.99 or less. I’ll pay $4.99 if it’s a series I already I know and love, but I’ve never paid more.

  18. Shelly

    I totally agree with everything you mentioned! I love reading print books but if I have to, an ebook is always handy. I also love using my ebook on vacations so that I can read tons of books (without the trouble of carrying them all). I am in love with print books and that love will probably never read my Sony Reader. Amazing post and thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Juhina

    I am also like that.. reading ebooks is more convenient for me too but sometimes I love having my physical book and can take it anywhere without fear of it breaking.. I am always very cautious with my readers (whether my iPad or nook). And it’s true, I read ebooks faster than books!

    great discussion,
    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  20. Roselyn - bookmarkedpages

    For me, nothing can replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands. I love everything about it: turning pages, the smell and the weight of in in my hands. I only read ebooks when its more convenient or if its a review copy.

  21. Andie

    It really depends on the book for me. I have limited space since I live in an apartment. As much as I would love to have all printed books, I just don’t have the room. So if I am reviewing an ARC I do prefer them in eBook form. If the book is part of a series I absolutely adore, I prefer print since I collect the books and go back and read them repeatedly. Same if it is a book by an author I love like love. Lately though I have been slowing getting rid of my paperbacks and replacing them with signed first edition hardbacks. So unless it is a signed first edition hardback, I will tend to go with an eBook form. Saves me money and space.

  22. Henrietta

    I prefer e-books over print books because I can adjust the font size of the books that I read ๐Ÿ™‚ Like you, I also find that I read faster when I’m using my e-readers. With higher resolutions nowadays, the illustrations inside MG fantasies actually look really beautiful even when it’s displayed with e-ink. I love the latest versions of kobo aura and kindle!

  23. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I am more in favour of print books, I just love having things in the flesh, y’know? BUT I have to agree! I feel like I speed through books on my kindle and I can read really late with it coz mum won’t see my light on and would think I was asleep when I’m actually under the covers reading a good book >.< (shhhhh don't tell!)

    Fab post! <33

  24. Nicci

    I love both formats for difference reasons. Honestly, the genre I read can be quite racy and generally about same sex. It used to be uncomfortable riding public transportation with book cover exposed for all to see.

    My shelves were overflowing with books. Years of accumulation was getting out of hand. I miss print paper. I miss the smell, the touch, the pure satisfaction of thumbing through pages as I skim a book. It was with great pleasure I purchased a paperback at B&N couple of days ago. I couldn’t resist it.

  25. ABookGeek

    As with so many serious readers, I have run out of space in my house for books, so I am trying to read e-books more. It has become a matter of necessity. I love both formats for different reasons, most of which have been expressed by other comments here.

  26. Bonnie

    It’s a mixed bag for me. I read on my Kindle more often than not and I love how I can pack far more books than I could ever read anywhere I go but… there really isn’t anything like holding a book and flipping through the pages. A few instances where I definitely prefer my Kindle is when the print copy has horribly tiny font or ginormous books because I’m far too lazy to hold that thing up and read for an extended period of time. I do love seeing them displayed on my bookshelves though, there is nothing better than that.

  27. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    I much prefer print copies, but I’m growing fond of my ereader(s). Especially my new Kobo with the light. It’ll make things so much easier when I’m up at night feeding the baby — the light AND the fact that I can read with one hand. That’s tough to do with a print book!

    I think I’ve been getting to the point where I want to buy print books that I really, really want, whereas the ebooks I buy are usually the ones I want but where it doesn’t matter HOW I’m reading them. If I find them on a deal for an ecopy, I’m more likely to jump on it.

  28. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

    I think it’s the opposite for me! I read way slower with ebooks. But that’s mainly due to how I have less time to read using my ereader. I can’t bring them to school, and due to homework, I haven’t been using my Kindle much.

  29. Charlotte

    Both are win-win for me, Giselle. Previously, I really hated e-books. It’s not just the same with physical copies. But when my mother started banning physical books from our house due to shortage of space, well, I don’t have any choice but to settle for e-books. At the beginning, I was really in a dilemma. I just can’t understand what I’m reading. It was really different but over the months, I slowly learned to accept that e-books are my destiny.

    Right now, I love it the same as I love my physical copies. And well, reading e-books are more efficient because they’re portable meaning I can bring them to malls, hair salon, grocery and banks. And whenever there’s a line, I can always entertain myself by reading on my e-reader or my phone. That way, I wouldn’t even feel the burden of having to wait for 2-3 hours. Plus, I am an environmentalist. Whenever I read e-books, I always think that I am saving a lot of trees by not buying a physical book. ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Lol!! Oh crap, we had a BGDC topic this week? I totally missed posting. I couldn’t remember if we had picked a topic, and of course I haven’t been commenting much during the week so I totally missed your post. I suck. This was a great topic too!!

  31. Leigh

    Yeah I feel like I read faster with my e-reader (Nook) too for some reason. Hmm this is a tough choice. While I do love being able to hold a book, sniff it, pet it, turn the page, etc. I also like e-books because my e-reader is lighter and it’s easy for me to get into my reading position when it’s an e-reader I am using. When I read physical books, it takes me like 10 min. to settle in my reading spot b/c I have to find lighting, etc.