Nathan Bransford, Author

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Will you ever buy mostly ebooks? (9th Annual Poll)

Here we are again.

I've been asking this question once a year since 2007, when the Kindle was an inelegant piece of plastic and the iPad was a glimmer in Steve Jobs' eye.

Will you ever buy mostly e-books? Do you already?

Poll below.

Caveats to preempt comments I have heard since 2007. Yes, not a scientific poll, yes, difficult to compare between years, yes, I know you want more poll options because no choice here precisely capture your nuanced opinion and buying habits. Choose the one that is closest enough to your perspective.

Looking forward to seeing what you think!


Michael M. Hughes said...

I read most novels on my iPad, but for nonfiction—especially nonfiction I will use for reference—I still prefer books. And I see no reason to be a partisan for either format. Many readers can, and do, read both.

Nathaniel Hoffelder said...

You're missing an option for those of us who already buy mostly ebooks.

Nathan Bransford said...

Nathaniel- enter I welcome our coming ebook overlords

Ray Robin said...

BEing a tug boat captain, I tired of lugging big sacks of books back and forth. Also the many "borrowed" and not returned, or abused by oily deck hand paws. I went with a nook and never looked back. Now that I am with out a job I even scratched author off of my bucket list and wrote an ebook. Being totally clueless about how to publish a paper book for me it was the way to write.

Janiss said...

I'm at the point now in my reading life where I prefer ebooks - it's so much easier to kick back with my iPhone than handle a big book. Although for research, I still prefer the physical because it's easier to search for specific info. But fiction and narrative nonfiction - I'll finish a book way sooner if I'm reading it in digital format.

For the record, the physical version of the anthology I published this year outsells the digital formats by quite a bit, so not everyone agrees with me!

Weird Workaholic said...

I always loved the smell of old books, and it's easier to just pick up a book and start reading it, rather than wait for my e-reader to recharge.

Amelia said...

I already read and buy mostly ebooks, but will still read novels in hard copy if the ebook is too expensive. I prefer some non-fiction in print, though, especially cookbooks and other practical reference materials.

adan said...

already do, much easier and afforable

Anonymous said...

I buy quite a few ebooks, but I give the ones offered by traditional publishers a pass every time. I would rather have a print copy for (on average) $2 more than buy a $12.99 ebook. I find this situation absurd, but it's great for indie authors!

Senexis said...

I've been buying mostly eBooks for a couple of years now. I read the entire Dresden Files series on eBooks, including all the short stories.

Bring it on!

TerriK said...

I never thought I'd switch to ebooks but I started to run out of physical space to store my books, plus the inevitable dust mites and just plain old wear and tear pushed me towards ebooks. Like others though, if the book is for reference, I still prefer the physical book. I now love ebooks though. I've rediscovered my local library because of them. Nothing like borrowing and returning (no late fees ever, yay!) right from my couch.

Charlotte Grubbs said...

I tried reading/buying mostly ebooks, both on a dedicated ereader and on my iPad. It just didn't work for me, for a few reasons:

1. My reading style. I'm not a linear reader. I'll pick up a book in the middle and read for a while before going back to the beginning. I skip forward so I have an idea of what's coming. If a scene is boring me, I'll check to see how many pages are left, and if I really need to finish it in order to understand the next scene. If a scene is confusing me, I'll back track. You just can't do any of that with an ebook (I find the "location" function on Amazon Kindle books particularly frustrating.) I didn't feel like I was getting the full reading experience when I read an ebook.

2. I just think paper books are more comfortable - to hold, to fall asleep next to, to cradle under your arm. Nothing like trying to cuddle up to a cold, hard tablet to make you miss paper books.

3. In addition to being a reader, I'm a collector. I think books are beautiful pieces of art. I like being able to see my carefully curated collection of books. I like watching friends and family browse my shelves. Can't do that with ebooks.

That said, I do buy a fair number of ebooks, almost all Kindle Daily Deals. I've gotten a lot of trendy books I would otherwise have been unable to afford (or would have been loathe to spend more than a couple of dollars on) that way. Doing this enables me to keep up with the market in the genres I write for (YA and SFF).

But, if I read an ebook and love it, I'll buy a paper copy. It's not enough to just own the ebook. And that's why I'll never be a full ebook convert.

Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Hardcopies might be all well and good for the Americans, where everything up there is Cheap-as.

But in Australia hardcopies are terribly expensive, even those books that are produced here (never you mind anything shipped from the US, which has exorbitant shipping costs associated. $2 book off Amazon plus $25 S&H? No thank you.)

But ebooks? Brilliant. I honestly can't think of a time I bought a hardcopy that wasn't a gift for someone. Ever since I got my Kobo eReader a couple of years ago, all my purchases have been ebooks.

I'm a convert for many reasons.

1. Cheap. Even an overseas bestseller from some Random Penguin at $8.99 is better than the $16+ I'd pay for a paperback... assuming a copy is available, never mind a hardbound book, which could easily run $30+.

2. Quick. A buy a book from the Kobobooks shop from my eReader and it's ready to go as soon as it downloads (in about 20 seconds or so). Yes, I buy books at 3am.

3. Easy on the eyes. I wouldn't read a book on a laptop or a tablet if I can help it because of the emmittive light. My eReader has eInk technology, so it looks like paper--reflective. Am also lucky that my eReader has a lovely built-in light source that illuminates nicely and I can adjust as necessary. Good for reading in bed at 3am without waking the spousal unit.

4. Light. My ebook reader weighs less than a standard paperback. Also, with it's cover-cum-stand, I can prop a book up during breakfast for some nice hands-free reading.

5. Zoomable text. My eyes are getting older and/or I don't like to read with my glasses on.

6. Permafree books. Brilliant marketing tool that has worked on me. I've bought subsequent books from authors I would never have given a second thought to if it wasn't for their permafree series starter. When I go hybrid, I'm gonna do a permafree.

I could go on extolling the virtues. Really I could.

Question for you all: If paperbacks and hardbounds books cost you twice what they do now, would you still prefer them over ebooks?

Ray Robin said...

Price was not a concern when I started reading ebooks but now that I am unemployed it is what keeps me reading. The selection of low priced ebooks is amazing.

Charlotte Grubbs said...

"Question for you all: If paperbacks and hardbounds books cost you twice what they do now, would you still prefer them over ebooks?"

Price doesn't enter into the equation for me when it comes to preference. The relative cheapness of ebooks does not cancel out all the advantages of physical books. I don't mean to say that price is not a concern - I'm unemployed, so of course I can't afford to buy all the books I want, either in paper or ebook form. But that's what the library is for. If the price of hardcovers and paperback books became excessive, I still wouldn't switch over to an all-or-mostly-ebooks reading regimen. I would just use the library more.

Charlotte Grubbs said...

Oh man, I forgot one of the biggest reasons I still by mostly hard copies of books: I have a kickass indie bookstore nearby. They specialize in YA and kidlit (though they have a great adult fiction selection as well), and do lots for the community in terms of bringing well known authors into town, helping to put on a book festival every year, donating books to needy kids, etc. The booksellers there are my friends; they know what I like, and are always happy to give me an ARC or two if something's come in they think I'll enjoy. I don't want them to ever close, so I patronize the store as much as I can afford.

Related Posts with Thumbnails