Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Will You Ever Buy Mostly E-books?

It's that time of year again! Time to put on your prognosticator hats and click through to vote on a poll about you and e-books and the future. Nothing less than AN UNSCIENTIFIC READING OF THE PULSE OF THE WORLD is at stake.

This is a question I've now asked three years running. Here is 2007 and 2008 (okay it was technically early 2009 because I forgot at the end of 2008).

Will you ever buy mostly e-books? Can you imagine a future where you mainly by e-books and either don't buy paper books or only buy them once in a while? Is this indeed already your reality?







218 comments:

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Vacuum Queen said...

I LOVES me some iPhone and all things digital, but I still enjoy staring at real books at the store. And there's a great kids' store where I love love buying a book and matching puzzle or toy for gifts. One of my favorite shopping therapies would be gone if we were all eBook.
I suppose it'll happen someday, and if it does...let's hope it helps my kids in college. You know, less lugging around of texts, etc. I know someone who's in a Kindle trial of texts at the UofWashington and she likes it. I'm hoping that all the kinks will be worked out in a few more years.

Anonymous said...

I think the results may be inaccurate because the average person participating in the votes are better read (at least i would think so)than the reading community as a whole. And we all know how absurdly attached people can get as far as habits go (baby blankets as well:), thus the votes for "Never. You can pry my paper books from my cold dead hands" are bound to be higher. But it the purpose of the polls is to determine the rise in popularity of ebooks over time, well, then that's a different story :)

Gay said...

I'm out of shelf space. Since I don't want to move, buying a new paper book means bumping a book I already own out of pride-of-place. I read avidly and "audition" new ones on my Kindle. I do buy new paper copies, but those who make the grade (this year, only three: The Help, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and No Time to Wave Goodbye) I also own in an electronic version and you can bet I've hounded my friends until they've purchased copies, too.

pinky said...

I am 42 years old. My house will be full of books if I don't buy them all ebooks.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone use the library? I order tons of books through my library's online catalog, which is connected to libraries across the state. It's extremely efficient and fast. I get an email when the book has arrived and walk three blocks to get it. So all this talk about running out of space in your house makes no sense to me. USE THE LIBRARY! IT'S FREE! You don't even have to buy a superfluous e-reader to take advantage of it!

Henri said...

So far I have purchased zero and downloaded two or three over the internet in PDF form. The content of the e-book was fine but I did not fine reading one over the computer screen to be a worthwhile activity. Perhaps an e-reader would help, but I have bought one yet and have no plans to do so in the future.

Anonymous said...

My library is full of older books and art books.
E-books would be nice for novels, paperback,s Big Heavy books, and because I am out of room.
I still am uncertain whether or not they are stable though -or will remain so. I am not big on investing in the next soon-to-be 8 track cartridge player sort of thing.

But my REAL question is:
does Nathan have a cat or a dog?

Anonymous said...

Like Henri, the ones I downloaded on my computer, I never read all the way.

Carol Piasente said...

There was an interesting interview on NPR yesterday with a musician who was talking about vinyl records and how as a buyer of records, he felt one was more involved with the artist. The point was that to buy a record, take it from the sleeve, take care in playing it so as not to leave scratches, etc., created a "relationship" that is not the same as downloading files to an MP3 player. I think the same holds true for books vs. e-books. The relationship with the book and the author will change.

Backfence said...

None of the above. The operative word is "mostly." The answer to your question as worded is no - not mostly. I can see myself making use of all available sources of reading material. I could see maybe 50/50 at some point, but I'll always have book shelves full of paper books, esp. reference books.

Carol B

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have a Tablet-like thing that can do eBooks but also regular computer stuff, too. About the same size, maybe costs a little more, but does so much more. I don't wanna carry around a laptop AND a phone AND an eReader. UGH!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:07 AM -

The poll results might also be affected by the present economy. The big stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, are practically giving away paper books for free right now. In some cases, they're actually giving them away for free by offering you free merchandise when you purchase a paper book.

Anonymous said...

The eBooks strongest suit is reference books. Now you can lose the shelves of cumbersome reference volumes and have them digitally instead. Great for field researchers especially.

Use your precious shelf real estate for works of fiction and rare books.

Also agree with the Tablet anon above on lack of multi-funciton for eReaders. It is a bummer to have 1 more gadget to lug around.

Nevine said...

But then you'd never be able to tell what other people are reading..or strike up a conversation with someone reading a book that looks fascinating..or pick up a book read years ago and remember who gave it to you and exactly where and when you read it...I'm trying to love my Sony Reader (a gift) but obviously failing miserably. I love my bookshelves and only feel comfortable falling asleep with a tower of books balanced on my night table. An e-reader plugged into the wall just isn't the same.

Alena Thomas said...

I wrote a blog
on this just the other day. I think I will always buy paper books as long as they are being sold. I love them too much...the smell, the feel. But I have already ordered my Kindle and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Keep moving forward, right?

Uncle Gus said...

My wife bought me a 1st gen Kindle last year for Christmas (about a month before Kindle 2 was released, of course), and I fell instantly and madly in love with it.

Some may call me a sell-out. Some may call me a trend-follower. Others may even call me a sucker. Well, I don't care. I'm a huge gadget guy, and the Kindle fits me to a T.

I do still buy hardcover new releases by my favorite authors, though, for my library. And yes, if I shell out $30-40 on a new book, you can bet your A$$ I'm actually gonna read it.

But I think e-books will eventually overtake real ones in the main stream, although I doubt they'll actually replace them. I don't necessarily like that thought, but it is what it is. I absolutely loved rotary phones when I was a kid.

Chamomile Cottage Natural Bath, Spa & Body Care said...

I love to hold the book and turn the pages. I have a difficult time forcing myself to work on computers all day, then read books on the monitors. I want to lay down to read my books, or louge on a chair. I don't want to read a tiny screen from my iPhone to find out what happens in the next chapter of my book. My 13-year old son is also an avid reader. I had to STOP buying books because he reads them sooo fast. He chooses 5 400+ page books from the local library and returns them each week for more books. I love that he can do that. I don't want his eye sight or posture to become worse by hunching or bending over the small device to read books, too!

roger sakowski said...

I published From an Otherwise Comfortable Room recently. I made it available in eBook PDF format. I bought a Sony Reader. and loaded my book. Looked great until I increased the font size and everything went to hell. I released it in Kindle format but I don't have a Kindle. I have no idea how it looks. So I now know that not only the reader is important, but the format is as well.

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