I recently read a dogs life by Oliver Tidy (I know he gets mentioned here a lot by I like supporting indie authors) and in it there is a debate about vanity publishing and ebooks versus paper books, I know this is an ongoing argument but I thought I’d blog about my opinions on the matter.
I have a really bad reading obsession and I do own a kindle, it was gifted to me by my brother when he upgraded his, and ostensibly it should be an excellent choice for me. I read 300 books a year so some free or very cheap books are an excellent idea.
But heres the thing I’m a bibliophile and like good old Inspector Romney I don’t think anything can replace printed books, they never run out of battery half way through for the start. This in a kindle can be especially frustrating when you get to a good bit then have to go and plug the machine in before you can continue.
The other thing I prefer about paper books is Bookstores I love to explore new genres and find interesting new authors, just the feeling and smell of books can be relaxing and inspiring. I find online stores much harder to browse and rarely find new authors this way.
I am also an unremitting geek and love to read graphic novels and Manga especially interesting and independently published ones and the few I’ve read of these in ebook form mostly from Netgalley just don’t really work, you can’t see the artwork in detail and it often results in the text already inside smaller text bubbles being extremely difficult to read. This may explain why comic stores are still doing well despite the hit taken to other bookstores from the Ebook phenomenon.
I will also admit to a bias, my hubby (or my better half as some may call him) owns a secondhand bookstore online and does sell on some of my books as well as ones sourced independently. So I would never make the switch to sole use of ebooks for that reason alone even if I did prefer them which I don’t for the reasons described above.
However I have nothing against Kindle users, I do however think you lose some of the joy of gifting books to people if they own kindles, I know you can gift things electronically but it’s not the same. The one thing however that I do love about the kindle is that all our devices in my family are registered to the same amazon account my Dads (excellent because he buys the books for all of us) and so when a new book by one of our favourite authors comes out we can all read it at the same time and discuss it together, this is probably bad for the authors though as there is only one purchase for the three of us (but then we would share books and have in the past).
Unless you share devices in this way however you do miss out on the joy of lending out books or forcing other people to read something you get really excited about, I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ebooks result in you missing out on a lot of the social aspects of books, although they do let you store lots of books easily and buy them for ridiculously cheap prices.
I am going to stick with Inspector Romney though on the ebook/paper debate especially as one of my other favourite things to do is to see authors and hear them talk about there works and get the especial treasure of a signed copy of their books and yes I know there are esignatures but they are not the same, some of my signed books (especially my signed charlaine harris one) are amongst my most treasured possessions, I feel the same about signed comics too.
Let me know what you think about the Ebook/paper debate in the comments below.