Nathan Bransford, Author

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Will you ever buy mostly ebooks? (10th annual poll)

Well by golly we made it to ten years of this poll.

I have been asking this question every year since 2007, when the Kindle was brand new and the iPad did not yet exist.

So. Do you think you'll ever buy mostly ebooks? Do you already?

Caveats, because even ten years in I still get these:
  • Yes, I understand this isn't a scientific poll 
  • Yes, it's further unscientific to compare between years when my blog readership may have changed
  • Yes, I know you want more poll options because no option here precisely captures your view. Choose the one that's closest.
Poll below. You'll need to click through if you're an email subscriber. (And if you're not an email subscriber, subscribe now!)


Abigail Goben said...

You know, it's interesting taking the poll each year. I certainly buy more ebooks than I did when I started answering a few years ago. That said--I still (a) buy a lot in print (b) prefer print for a lot of my leisure reading and a fair amount of my work reading and (c) LOVE the library ebook option. :D

David Wilder said...

I've been taking this poll for roughly the last eight years, and this is the first year that I chose the "e-books" option. Although for many years I was a print book fanatic, the reasons I have finally decided to favor e-books over print books are:

1) A desire to decrease the amount of physical possessions, which include all forms of physical media (I have sold/donated 177 physical books this year alone, and will continue to decrease the amount of physical books that I own).
2) I purchased a Kindle Paperwhite this year and love it. In fact, the reading experience is so good on the Kindle now that I may even prefer it to reading physical books. (Gasp!)
3) I am attempting to lessen my negative impacts to our environment as much as possible. I had already sold/donated all of my DVDs and CDs in previous years, so this was the first year that I started to focus on my book collection.

I do realize that there are some downsides to moving toward e-books, but unless something changes, you can count me in the "e-book lovers" category from this point forward!

David Kazzie said...

I have begun to drift away from reading ebooks - from about 2010-2014 that's about all I read but that has definitely changed.

After I clear out my ebook backlog I'm not sure I'll buy anymore, and go back to print

Cheryl said...

I think I've taken this poll every year and my preferences have stabilized as:

Is it light and fluffy or something with little re-read value (romance, mystery, memoir, gimmick books like Horrorstor)? E-book

Will it take more concentration or be something I'll read more than once (hard SF, political fantasy, a trusted author)? Paper

There are, of course, exceptions for e-book only writers whose work I love and read many times.

Janiss Garza said...

At this point the only physical books I consistently buy are how-to type books because it's still easier for me to flip through them for the info I need. I'm sure that'll change one day. For fiction, bios and memoirs, I prefer ebooks because I can just pick up my phone where ever I am and continue where I left off.

That said, I have a room devoted to my library, and it's totally full of books. Plus another bookcase in the entry. Maybe that's why I'm so pro-ebook now - I really don't have room for more books! And the ones I DO have, you won't be able to pry away from me. I love my library.

Wendy said...

No way. You can pry my paper books out of my cold dead hands.

Roberta said...

I would say 90 percent of my book purchases are paper. If it's a new writer and I'm not sure if I want to make a large monetary investment, I'll buy an ebook first and, if I like the writer, I'll buy paper editions. I read and write horror, and, unfortunately, my horror purchases are primarily ebooks because the quality of the writing isn't good enough for me to shell out money for a paper edition.

Overall, I prefer paper and have more than 5,000 volumes in my collection. I ran out of space long ago and now have piles of books taking up floor space. I find that I forget about my ebooks and turn to my paper books when I'm looking for reading material.

Twas will be a sad day if paper books are ever eliminated.

Anonymous said...

I tried ebooks for a while, but much prefer paper. I haven't looked at an ebook in quite some time, and will only buy them if it's something I'm dying to read and is unavailable in paper.

Nathaniel Hoffelder said...

Where's the option for "I already do buy only ebooks"?

Most of my book costs go for digital, not paper, books.

Norma Beishir said...

I no longer buy paper books at all. I have very poor eyesight, and ebooks are easier to read. When I can't get a book on digital audio, it's always going to be an ebook.

Richard B. said...

I find that I can split my time between e-books and Print -- but print will always (as of this writing at least) be my first and foremost choice in reading preference.

Chris Bailey said...

I've changed more than I expected over the years. I buy almost all e-books! But it *hurt* to welcome the e-book overlords. I prefer books on paper, especially for reference. Reviewing key bits is so much easier with a real book. However, cost and limited shelf space have pushed me to the e-reader for light entertainment. I'm so grateful for libraries.

Oldy said...

I like paper books. They have page numbers, and you can easily deconstruct them (hey, here's the 25% mark, here's 50% etc) and they look nice on my bookshelf.

But I can't carry a complete series of 15 books away on holidays with me (and yes, I may read all of them), let alone a few hundred that I can quickly reference (or get lost in again and just read)

So most of my purchases, and most of my reading, perhaps 90%, is ebooks. I was at a writer's conference in October and during one of the workshops, bought four of the presenter's books while he was speaking. Can't do that with paper.

But I do like physical books.

Collectonian said...

Been voting in this one for years and my answer still hasn't changed :-)

You can still pry my paper out of my cold, dead hands.

I have "bought" a few more eBooks than I did maybe 5 years ago, but I also bought more paper because more spending money in general. 95-99% of my book buying and reading is still paper and I doubt that will ever change unless eBooks literally become the only option.

Christina Baglivi Tinglof said...

I doubt I'll ever completely switch. Some books are better in print; others more convenient on my reader. But I have completely given up reading a physical newspaper--I subscribe to two newspapers and read them entirely online.

Miriam Joy said...

I buy a ton of second-hand paper books, and those are generally cheaper than ebooks.

But I also buy a lot of ebooks, because as a university student I live in two places and it's easier to have them on Kindle as I know I won't ever find I want to read something but it's at home/uni and I'm at uni/home.

I read a lot of library books, and their selection of ebooks is generally limited, so this is almost always paper books.

But I also read a lot of eARCs that I get for free in return for reviewing them on my blog (Miriam Joy Reads). Because of this, I've drifted into reading a lot more ebooks than I did before, and I've got used to it, so I think that's influenced my buying habits a bit. I like being able to see how long it'll take me to read things, and I suffer from chronic pain, so sometimes big heavy books aren't an option and I need them to be on kindle to be possible to read them.

Will I ever buy more ebooks than paper books? Probably not. Will I ever READ more ebooks than paper books? Now that's a whole different question...

Guido le Wombat said...

Hi Nathan,

you didn't even give me an answer that I could click with total honesty! I have read a few e books and I am not too keen! My plain straightforward answer would have been NO! (Perhaps I should add that I am 74 and therefore set in my ways!)

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