In the first two posts in my series on the evolution of the novel, I took a look at the different ways we have and can buy our books, and also what the future holds for the option of buying books in print. So now I want to know, how do YOU like to read?
Do you prefer the feeling of a crisp hardcover in your hands, the new book smell still coming from each turn of the page? Are you more of a paperback in one hand type? Or are you among the millions of readers who dropped a couple hundred bucks on the latest Kindle Fire or Nook? Heck, maybe you just downloaded the kindle App to your smart phone and love to read on the go? All these options are available to us for just about any kind of book we could ever want to read. So let’s take a look at why one person chooses one way and someone else may choose another.
In a recent Bookmasters article the staff broke down a few reasons why people prefer one format or the other. The highlights for print include having something tangible to show for your money or to build a collection, the feeling of accomplishment from completing something and seeing the progress until the last page turn, and once again, the smell. For digital the benefits were having the ability to store an entire collection in a cloud server accessible at any time, the ease and increased options to purchase, and of course the fact that digital books are often cheaper than their print counterparts.
Personally I have struggled with this decision myself, and continue to do so. I have always preferred the feeling of a book in my hands. I also am like many others that like the idea of having a collection of books on a shelf to display. However, I have also enjoyed the luxury of being able to pull out my phone and read while waiting in line or during a lunch break. Then there is the cost and practicality factors.
I abandoned my budding movie collection years ago after realizing that the addition of children in my life meant less disposable income to spend on movies and even more important, less time to watch them. Gone were the days of breaking out a Star Wars or Die Hard marathon on a whim or because it was actually cloudy outside for once. While I still find time to read as much as possible, I’m a fiction writer so it’s kind of important to read what you write, the cost of building my collection has started to add up. I have gone the Goodwill or Ebay when buying back editions, but for new releases I usually hit up Costco for about $15 to $16 a piece. Now I can get the Kindle edition usually for $10 or $11. It’s a tough call for me and it usually comes down to which author it is.
My last book purchase was The Stranger by Harlan Coben. After days of debating before the release, I decided to have my wife grab me the hardcover from Costco. Score one for print.