How Have Your Reading Habits Changed Since Getting an E-reader?

by | Feb 9, 2011 | E-books | 102 comments

This question comes via my former client, and brilliant writer, Jennifer Hubbard.

For those of you who now have an e-reader, how have your book buying habits changed? Did you instantly convert to almost all e-reading? Do you still buy print books? Is it 50/50? Did you give up on the e-reader?

Poll below, if you’re reading in an RSS feed or by e-mail you’ll need to click through to see the poll:


  1. stickynotestories

    The real difference that I've noticed is that I buy fewer books. Without having to go through that line and take the extra time to think about whether I really want the book or not I'm too scared to actually buy any books! I'd spend way too much money if I started (also, the handy "get free sample" button keeps me with plenty to read for free :P)

  2. Lisa Aldin

    I buy almost all e-books now. But I have some print books I haven't read yet so I still read both.

    But since getting my Nook, I find that I read MORE. I read about a book a week now on that thing. Thank goodness for the .99 books!

  3. Susan Kaye Quinn

    I find I buy reference books, writing books, and special friend's books in paper. Everything else (that I can) on e-book.

  4. Amber

    Ever since getting a Kindle for Christmas, my book consumption has increased tenfold. I buy more e-books than print books, and I'm not really risking anything by paying 9.99 versus 17.99 (for a hardback). It isn't that I love print, because I do, but as a college student who only works 14 hours a week, 9.99 is a steal, and 17.99 is a gamble. I also love how self-pubbed authors are on equal footing with traditionally published authors. With my experience on the Kindle, Amazon doesn't care if you're self-pubbed or not. Amazon only cares about how much you sell that determines your placement in genre lists. Right now, Amanda Hocking has been number one for a bit for children's fiction, and even in overall fiction, I think, she's one of the top ten, and she's self-published. Haven't read any of her books, but my Kindle has allowed me to discover self-pubbed author Tess Oliver because of this equal footing.

  5. Cyndy Aleo

    I buy WAY more books, including RE-buying some favorites that I like to have with me (like $5 on Amazon for Water for Elephants so I can re-read it wherever I am). It helps having an iPad instead of a dedicated e-reader, because I can shuffle back and forth depending which store has a better price (or current Groupon).

  6. kellye

    I also still go the "old-fashioned" route….borrowing traditional books from the library. (My e-reader is a kindle, and I haven't looked into whether I can get e-books from the library now that they have the "borrow from a friend if the pub lets you" option.)

  7. Christopher Michael Bell

    I buy everything I can now on my Kindle. The speed with which I read now is massively improved because of the convenience of the device. I take it everywhere in my back pack, and can pop it out and read if I have a few minutes. A book always seemed more cumbersome and more of something I should settle down to read. With the Kindle, I find I'm popping in and out of my current books all the time. I don't know if that makes sense.

  8. Anonymous

    I've actually become stingier in what I buy. I'll consider if my husband is also going to read it, since he doesn't "do" ebooks since he works on a computer all day – if he's interested we'll get a print copy.

    If not and it's only for me, I'll compare ebook prices and then see how many TBR's I have. It's easy to have a stack build up in e-format due to the ease with which you can purchase them.

    I'm willing to bet a *lot* of ebooks never actually get read, especially the cheap ones. They get bought on a whim because they're under a buck or something like that and sit on the reader for weeks.

  9. kellye

    should have said, IN ADDITION to buying e-books and print books…still use the library.

  10. Candice

    I've owned an E-reader (Nook) for almost a year and still haven't purchased one single E-book. I'm working myself up to it. For real.

  11. Stephanie

    Before owning my eReader, I rarely bought books. (not for lack of desire….lack of funds!) I got them from the library. If it was a new release, I'd put in a request and wait a few weeks for it. But now, I buy some ebooks. I do still borrow from my library- my library "lends" ebooks.

  12. Jennifer Davis

    I love print books, but I've compromised for the convenience of e-books by buying books I would ordinarily have bought in paperback in e-book format, while still buying the hardcover editions of those books and series that I want to have in hardcover for my library. In some cases, I have both.

  13. Barbara Kloss

    If anything I read more. Being able to download at will has been so convenient–TOO convenient. I still have my hard copies, and any books that reach 'favorite' status via Kindle, I tend to purchase hardcopies. It's nice spending less for the digital copy, and if you end up wishing you hadn't purchased the book, it's not taking up any room on your shelf!

  14. Nicholas

    I'm in the received-a-Kindle-for-Christmas club, and I've found that it's only changed my book-acquiring habits in one meaningful way: if a book is available in the public domain, I am now more likely to get a Kindle copy free off Gutenberg than to buy it in a brick-and-mortar store. (It's certainly helped alleviate the Shelving Problem.)

    In some cases, however, I still intend to purchase out-of-copyright classics the old-fashioned way for the quality of the editions, commentaries, and notes.

  15. Joseph L. Selby

    Since buying my nook, I have purchased only two paper books. They are by my two favorite authors and were both a part of series where the previous volumes were also paper.

  16. A. Lockwood

    I'm a bit OC when it comes to books in a series. I like having them all in the same format. So even though I have an e-reader now, I'll buy physical books if I've already got the first books in the series. Eventually (once I've completed all my current series books) I'll probably buy exclusively e-books.

  17. Donna

    I just got an iPad and I am plowing through my paychecks buying books. I live overseas, in Jordan, so it used to be that I had to order through amazon and waiiiiit forever. So I hardly bought anything until I flew back to the States. I've had the ipad for less than a month and I've been buying at the rate of a book a week. I've also bought several for my kids, figuring the novelty would get them reading (it has).

  18. Rachel Menard

    Most of the physical books I buy are discount books or ones I want for the cover art, like Zombies vs. Unicorns. Otherwise, I go digital.

  19. Matt Uhrich

    For the past several months, I've done most of my reading on my iPhone. I love having my books with me wherever I go.

    I have come to the point where I get annoyed if a book has not been released in one of the ebook formats, and I have even decided not to buy a couple of books for that reason.

  20. Nazarea

    I usually buy books on the nook, but there are favorite authors I'll still buy in print version so I have it on my library shelves.

  21. Ez


    I wasn't expecting it, but it was like giving a mainline to a druggie.

    I still get most of my books from the library, the difference is, now I do my library checking out from my computer straight to my Nook.

    Pre e-reader I found time for one book a week.

    Post e-reader I average a book every 2-3 days.

  22. Iliadfan

    I've always read a lot, but taking my Kindle everywhere means I'm finishing 2-3 books a week. And I can hide the true extent of my book-buying addiction from my husband. πŸ˜‰

  23. Jessica

    Since getting my Kobo in December, I've found that I borrow more from my library; e-book lending is wonderful. I can see as I move forward that I'll be more likely to buy novels that I don't want signed or to keep for posterity in e-book format, while special novels and reference books & those I'll want to take notes on will be purchased in print.

  24. Keetha

    I have the Kindle app on my iPhone. I have two books on it: one was a free download, the other a novel I bought.

    I've read little of the novel. I don't like looking at a screen when I'm reading for fun.

  25. Steve Fuller

    As others have said, convenience is key. We have a Kindle, but my wife uses that. I use the Kindle App on my phone. I never used to take books with me (unless I knew I was going to a coffee shop to read), but having an e-reader means I always have a book with me. It's easy to read a chapter here and there.

    Psychologically, it feels like I read e-books faster. Maybe because the pages are so short, it feels like I'm making better progress, so I want to keep going.

    Either way, I read more now. I get "into" stories just as much. And there's just something about having almost a million books at my fingertips that I love.

    I can't ever imagine buying another paper book unless it's a classic novel I want to display as "art."

  26. Devaki

    I don't have an e-reader, but I use the e-reading apps from Adobe, Palm and Amazon. I've been using these for the last 15 months or so, and yes, I do buy e-books where possible. At the same time, when the e-book edition is not available for India, I buy the print version online.

  27. Kiki

    I joined the e-revolution at Christmas but I just don't "get it". I read one book on it and went back to paper. I can't put my finger on what it was I didn't like but it's not for me. I'll just have to hope paper books don't disappear any time soon.

  28. L. Shanna

    Maybe it's the combination of a new Nook with a new baby whom I rock to sleep at all hours of the night… but I'm on my 7th book on my Nook and I've only had it three weeks. LOVE it.

  29. Liana

    when it comes to books I buy I def prefer e-books because you can get them instantly! But not all books are e-books so I buy those paper. But I still check a lot of paper books out the library

  30. Diana Horner

    Reading much more, combination of free and paid for ebooks. Have stockpiled books from boot fairs etc, but finding I am reading more on my Kindle-can read at nights more easily with large font size!

  31. Sommer Leigh

    I read a lot more on my Kindle than I do paper books, mostly because reading on my Kindle while working out at the gym is WAY easier than taking a book to the gym. No pages to hold back!

    Right now I'm only buying print books with gorgeous covers I absolutely must have. I love book covers.

  32. See Elle Oh

    I've only had a Kindle since Christmas, but I already feel a difference. I'm much more reluctant to buy new print books (I've always had an affinity for used ones). I'm also borrowing more books from my library.

  33. Anonymous

    "I've owned an E-reader (Nook) for almost a year and still haven't purchased one single E-book. I'm working myself up to it. For real."

    I'm doing the exact same thing. Which makes me wonder sometimes, in spite of all the hype about change and digital books, whether or not people will fully embrace e-readers.

    All predictions indicate the transition from print to digital. And we're all hyped up about buying e-readers. The only problem is I'm not fond of using the e-reader, to the point that it's been on my kitchen counter for months just staring at me. I dust it, look it over once in a while, and then put it down and pick up a book. It almost reminds me of those digital read-outs in cars back in the l980's, and when cars starting talking to the driver, giving basic, but annoying, instructions. That didn't last long.

    Mabye it's generational, my absolute dislike for my e-reader. I find it absolutely annoying. But wouldn't it be interesting if the e-reader really did turn out to be the hoola hoop (or talking car) of the decade?

  34. MBee

    I am almost exclusively buying e-books because my current living situation does not allow me anymore room for print books πŸ™

  35. Ender

    I find myself being somewhat selective in how and what I purchase. I love reading on my nook, but I also love the heft of a good book. Also, I was inundated with loaned paper books right after I got my nook, so I felt obligated to read those paper versions first, mainly as cost avoidance. Even if I start buying mostly e-books, there are a few authors whose books I want to have in hardback. I look forward to the option to buy a physical book and get a e-book included, for, say, $5 more. I'm all in on that!

  36. Anonymous

    I find that if I read an e-book that I really love, I HAVE to have it on my shelves in print form. It's just not enough to have that electronic version.


  37. Doug Pardee

    Got my NOOK almost a year ago, and haven't bought a print book since. I've got two print novels that have been sitting, waiting to be read, since before I got my NOOK.

    If I need to buy a technical reference book, that'll be paper. But for fiction, it's 100% e-book.

  38. lotusgirl

    I love my Kindle, but I still love a real book. I still buy more print books than e, because I love holding and reading a book, and my daughter (who reads a lot of the same books I do) won't read ebooks. She's very attached to her print books. This surprised me so much since she's in the cyber generation, but she absolutely refuses to touch them. At 16, I would think she's a big exception. I often buy ebooks when I can't get to the store and have a deadline (like for book club) or can't find the book at the store or sometimes when the book is big and heavy. It's just more convenient to read on Kindle because the weight never changes and my hands don't get tired trying to wrangle an enormous tome.

  39. cwsherwoodedits

    Since getting a Kindle in September, I'm buying about triple the number of books I used to (and was a heavy consumer anyway. It's easily quadrupled since my 5th grader got a Kindle for Christmas. We're both buying about 80 percent e-books. When I fall in love with something and know I'll want to keep it forever, I'll buy a hardcover copy too. I haven't dared total up my book bill with two Kindles in the house.

    But one thing I love is that I'm also reading more–middle of the night insomnia now means I read at least an hour more a day, thanks to the lighted Kindle cover. Book lights never really worked well before and this has been a Godsend.

  40. MJR

    I'm glad I have the ereader and it comes in handy, but I prefer reading printed books. Because the bookstore in my town closed, I now go to the library more. The problem with the ereader is that it's hard to browse and I've ordered some lousy books that I wouldn't have bought if I had flipped through them first at the bookstore or library–and so I've wasted a lot of money. I also enjoy the feel of books, I like being able to flip back and forth through the pages etc. After a while pushing buttons on a little gizmo over and over gets old and I like reading books to be something different and special–not another screen to look it.

    Sometimes, though, the estore has $5 deals–that why I read the Stieg Larson books, which I never would have read (and I actually really enjoyed them).

  41. D.G. Hudson

    It's added to my reading material. Many of the books that came with the e-reader were ones we had never got around to reading – English classics, old mysteries by A. Christie, French classics, etc. We're enjoying being able to read those without hauling those tomes around.

    For the time being, we're 50/50 in purchases. I pick up the e-reader when hubby isn't using it. I haven't given up on real physical books, and probably never will. I think there's room for both with hardcovers likely to become the extinct species.

  42. Nicole MacDonald

    Books in NZ are really expensive ($35-$40 on average for a new paperback) so even though I only have Kindle for PC at the moment it's preferable πŸ™‚

    The Arrival, only .99c on Amazon

  43. Joanne

    I'm buying more books, but spending the same amount of money (maybe a little more – impulse buys are a bit easier). I'm still buying print books when they're not available on kindle (which is often, since I read a lot of small press poetry), and when I have the opportunity to meet the author and get the book signed.

  44. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

    Since getting my Kindle last year, I prefer to buy e-books. I like the convenience of reading samples and buying books instantly, plus I think e-ink is easier to read. I even read Locus, the SF/F news magazine, on my Kindle. I only buy paper books if I can't find them on Kindle.

  45. terryd

    I buy print books when I want signed/inscribed copies, or when I visit bookstores to talk about my own book. Otherwise, I'm an e-consumer, and buying more books than ever.

  46. Nancy Kelley

    I bought a Kindle due to space constraints–I'm moving overseas soon, and the cost of shipping books gives me nightmares. If a book is available in the Kindle store, I buy it there. If not, I consider seriously how much I need it, if it's something I can get from the library, and if it's something I'll want to take with me when I go. If the answers line up, I'll buy the hard copy. Otherwise, I wait.

  47. daniel t. radke

    I just got my wife a Nook Color for Christmas and it's awesome. It's like being at the bookstore. Just the other day I read a cool review on Griftopia by Matt Taibbi, downloaded a sample, loved it and bought it. And I'm pretty sure I did all of that while lying in bed.

  48. Anonymous

    I didn't vote. No e-reader. Waiting for price to go down, color, and technical improvements, specifically, that I won't lose my book when the technology changes (like I lost my software, computer usability, music, etc.)

    But when that is to my satisfaction, probably will buy all but collector editions and books with Great Cover Art. (I have heard that vinyl is coming back due, in part, to the Great Album Art).

  49. Anonymous

    Hey Nathan,
    Is your Great Gatsby on e-book or is it real?

  50. Amy Lynn

    I read most of my classic literature on my e-reader, and depending on the price, I sometimes buy a book released in hardcover as an e-book, and buy the paperback when it comes out the next year.

    If Borders does go bankrupt, I expect my small town location will close. If that happens, I will probably start buying more e-books, instead of driving over an hour to the next closest bookstore!


    Novels = eBooks

    Self-help/discussion = paper books
    …hand written notes, underline quotations, and skipping and back tracking, and the passing on.


  52. Laraine Herring

    I read so much more after buying my Kindle. If the book isn't available that way, I have to really want it to buy it in print. I'm not anti-print, I just have a hard time seeing type anymore, and the Kindle lets me increase the size. I had missed reading so much, and the e-reader has given me that back.

  53. Mira

    E-books only. I love e-books. I love the back-lit screen and that I can carry multiple books everywhere.

    My purchasing has gone way, way up. I counted, and I buy approximately three books weekly now, when I used to buy 3-4 books monthly.

    I think that's partly impluse buying. I read alot of series, and I love the fact that when I finish one book in the series, I can have the next in my hot little hands within three minutes.

    Sometimes I find a book that I can't buy on Kindle, and it makes me mad.

    I go to Amazon's main site, and I click on the "tell the publisher you want this book available in Kindle" button. Then I notice who the publisher is and send irritated thoughts their way, like 'don't you want my money? I would have bought all 12 books in the series, you doofus!' and things like that.

    But I won't buy the print version – I don't want to carry books around anymore. So, I stick with the tons of books I can buy on e-books.

  54. Lisa Yarde

    I buy mostly ebooks; sorry, I'm one of those instant gratification people, but for favorite authors, I still buy the paperback edition.

  55. Zoe

    I got my first ebook reader two years ago (my first reader was a Sony, and now I use a Nook); since then I've switched almost entirely to ebooks. The only books I buy on paper are reference books, how-to books, humor books that it's better to flip through than read in one sitting (like the Anguished English books), and books that aren't available as ebooks. I like having all my books in one place, I love being able to change the font and adjust the size, I love having a search function, and the convenience is great – no need to wait for Amazon shipping, or to drive half an hour to the bookstore only to find out they don't have the book I want.

    The main downside is the price – before ebooks I bought paperbacks, not hardcovers, so a $9.99 ebook is more expensive than the $7.99 I'm used to for a paperback.

  56. J. Rosemary Moss

    I read much more since I got my Kindle! It's easier to buy books now, and they're often less expensive than they would be in a bookstore.

    And even before my Kindle, I read many niche-market e-books. Now I can buy those more easily as well.

  57. reader

    Slightly OT:

    Hey, Nathan, can you do a question about what type of e-reader people are using at some point?

    I'm hoping to get one this summer, but don't know if I should do Kindle or Nook, and would rather listen to first hand experience than the advertisements.

  58. J=C

    I was worried when I bought my Kindle that I'd miss the physicality of the dead wood medium, but that has not proven to be the case at all. Most of what I read now is in electronic format with occasional exceptions for new books where the e-book is priced at Hardcover levels or where publishers haven't sorted out electronic editions yet.
    I bought the Hardcover of 'Way of Kings' last year and I found dealing with the size and weight of it to be infuriating.
    Whilst I would not commit to never buying print editions again, my preference has swung completely around, much to the relief of my poor overworked bookshelves.

  59. Steve

    I've bought about a dozen self-published books on the Kindle. Never bought a self-published book in my life before this. Haven't liked any of them, but it's no big deal since they were not expensive.


    There isn't the choice in the UK unless you have a kindle.

    I often look for an ePub version of a book first – can't find one and go for print. Or the ebook version is a couple of pounds more than the print version.

    I have filled up on books from project Guttenberg – lots of HG Wells and Jules Verne.

  61. Marilyn Peake

    At this point in time, I buy mostly e-books but some print books too.

    Speaking of e-books, have you seen this article? – Authors catch fire with self-published e-books. I find that fascinating!

    LOL. Word Verification is "restedit". Is "rest edit" when a writer or editor takes a break from editing?

  62. Cab Sav

    Buy the same amount of paper books as I did before I got my eReader, but now I buy eBooks as well, and more than the paper books, because they're more affordable. So I've more than doubled my reading.

    Buy a lot more from boutique publishers. Still buy a paper version if I like the book well enough as an eRead.

  63. Elizabeth

    I buy a lot more non-fiction in ebook format, but stick with paper books for fiction. I found out early on that I didn't enjoy reading as much when I was reading on an e-reader. No clue why, but I couldn't connect with stories the same way.

  64. Karla

    I got an e-reader and an iPhone about a year ago. Since then, I've bought over 60 e-books, but my print book purchases haven't gone down at all. I love the convenience and ease of e-books (both buying and reading them) but I still adore shopping for paperbacks.

  65. Beatriz Kim

    I've been resisting the ebooks phenomenon, but now I feel convinced that buying one may just be more convenient than carrying a several books everywhere I go.

    Thanks for the post.

  66. veela-valoom

    I'm planning to almost 100% switch to ebooks, though in reality it may be 90% due to preferring to have complete sets of series & trilogies.

    I'm reading more classics because they are free and actually I think I'm buying more books. I tend to be a library-user due to the convenience. Before I go to the local library I can check online and see what books they have, where they are shelved, even request the book at the closest branch. At bookstores you never know what they're going to have and as far as ordering online I really don't like paying shipping.

    So maybe this means I'm lazy (or I just don't like waiting for books). But so far I've bought books that either my library didn't have or where the previous book left me on a cliffhanger. I foresee buying more books but almost all electronically.

    I still use the library but when I need immediate gratification I turn to my Kindle.

  67. christine zoe palau

    For classics the Kindle is awesome. It's also nice for books whose authors I don't have a thing for. But for writers I love, I always buy the hardcover as soon as it comes out.

  68. Donna

    Love E-reading because I can easily size the print to however well my eyes are working, how light it is, etc. Very easy to read in bed-main disadvantage is that twice I have dropped my Kindle on my nose. As I need to give things away rather than accumulate more, I like to not own books except for my lifeline tomes. I love books and never thought I would like e-reading, but I was given one as a gift…and that has made all the difference. Donna

  69. Kristin Laughtin

    I buy mostly e-, but still buy and borrow some print. The one changeI have noticed is that I read much faster on my Kindle. It could be the percentage at the bottom of the screen spurring me on, or perhaps I just like the lack of page numbers. It makes it harder to say, "I'll stop in ten more pages."

  70. Anonymous

    I went to a reading recently by a poet who was a teacher of mine, and as we chatted he mentioned how much he enjoys his Kindle…while he was signing my paper book on the table in front of him. So this is one question I have for the gung-ho e-reader crew: what happens at author events? Do they e-signature your digital copy? Graffiti your Nook? The signed books I own are treasures to me, repositories of memories as well as words, and maybe worth a penny or more to my descendants, one day. Will the time come when they trot out paper books just for author events, making them even more valuable, and therefore unattainable by the masses? I hate to see that happen. Books have been a unifying force and a conduit for ideas in that almost everyone can afford one, if not new, then second-hand. I don't want them to become such a valuable commodity that they become rare or out of reach. I really, really don't.

  71. Anonymous

    Over the last several years, I slowed my book-buying considerably. The reason is multi-fold: I've gotten into a bad habit of skimming and skipping and not reading the whole book; space constraints and the lack of remotely lucrative used book market made buying books I'd only half read, then have as clutter forever, impractical; and I've shifted to preferring shorter work over novel-length work.

    As a result of my reduced book-buying, I was reading less and spending less money on books. I'd buy from digital publishers instead and read novellas at my computer. Now? I've had an e-reader for almost a month and I decided to start a reading journal because I was flying through books. I've bought and read 20 titles since January 12 – possibly already meeting my 2010 totals.

    My Nook Color hasn't exactly changed my life but it's changed my reading and buying.

  72. Bryan Russell (Ink)

    Interesting. A quarter of the respondents buy almost entirely e-books, a quarter still buy mostly or almost entirely paper books, and the bulk of the respondents are in the middle, with a mix of formats.

    Multiplicity is the way of the future?

  73. Anonymous

    My mother used to devour at least 2-4 books in a week, but in the last couple of years she would be lucky to read a book a fortnight as her sight and arthritis has made it almost impossible to read the small print and turn the pages. She is over the moon now that turning pages is a synch, and I have set the kindle to a larger font and line spacing. The kids love it too 

  74. Mr. Wesley Allison

    I don't almost entirely buy ebooks now. I buy only ebooks now.

  75. Michael Offutt

    I live in a small apartment complex so the ereader is totally the way to go for me. Books just collect dust, get old, and as they get old…they look awful.

    Oh and what really prompted me to post was that this is post 77–1977 was the year Star Wars came out and forever changed the world. πŸ™‚ I'm so nerdy.

  76. J. T. Shea

    No. Oh, wait. I don't have an E-reader. Except two laptops. In the four years I've had broadband I've bought very few e-books, downloaded a vast number of free e-texts, including free (legal) e-books, and bought even more paper books than before.

    But, like some commenters, I'm a rebuyer, with hardcover and softcover editions of important books. I COULD become a big buyer of e-books, particularly if bundled with paper editions.

    Devaki's opinion is interesting, coming from a country with more English speakers than all the English speaking countries (excluding only USA) combined.

  77. Eden

    I marked "Still buy almost entirely print books," but that's not totally accurate. Since I got a Nook on Nov 1st of last year, I have bought zero ebooks. Of the 28 books I have read since I got a Nook, 23 were print books (the 5 ebooks I read were from the library). The 50 or so books I've bought since then have all been print books.

    I think I still have an aversion to paying good money for something I can't hold in my hands, for books that may not be constantly available because of their digital existence and subsequent dependence on technology. Ebooks seem too insubstantial to pay for.

    I think e-readers are invaluable for travelers. I got mine for a 10-day trip that involved two 7-hour flights. It was totally worth it (I was able to read five books that I didn't have to find room for in my luggage), but I haven't even picked up my Nook in the three months since I got home.

    So while I love the convenience of my e-reader in certain situations, I don't foresee ever doing more than 15% of my reading on one or buying the ebooks I do read.

  78. Steve Bradley

    Since getting a Kindle for Christmas, I've found that I still prefer actual books. So far the only thing I've used the Kindle for to any extent has been to take advantage of the free classics with expired copyrights. The day after Christmas I downloaded Jane Austen's entire catalog and it didn't cost me a dime. So far this year, I've read 3 e-books and 7 physical books, so I'm far from making the switch.

    Of course, this is all coming from someone who still shoots 35mm film. I guess I'm just an analog guy in a digital world.

  79. Erin

    I buy more ebooks than I ever did paper books. However, I buy primarily independently-published books, and rarely ever pay more than 4$ for a book. I find lots of books for free, and even more right around $2.99, since that's where the 70% royalty sets in for indies.

  80. Erin

    (adding a note to my previous comment…)
    I've been ebook-only for 3 years now, so I don't think this is just a fad for me)

  81. crazybaroness

    so many great comments that I agree with. 1.)I haven't bought a book since I rcvd my kindle. 2.)PRICE: My first book was Ken Follet's 400,000 word Pillars of the Earth that I have wanted to read and couldn't buy for less than 17.99 as a book that was too heavy to cart around. I bought it for 6.99. 3.)However, I find it very disturbing the E-crap that is being touted as a book. Yes, all those authors as suggested above are reaping in mega bucks based on volume. (70% of 1.99 is a lot of money if one hundred thousand insomniacs down load your troll love story in the middle of the night.) However, I have yet to find a e-published book really worth reading. It's like reading an unedited version of a high school English paper. There is a consensus in this blog and the consensus is price. Why would I download a book for 9.99 when you can buy it second hand on Amazon for less? I still enjoy an A-list edited read and I will pay more for it, but it is no wonder the publishing industry is up against the wall. Sooner or later the e-published books will find a way to self regulate themselves and reading a book that cost 17.99 will be a thing of the past.

  82. crazybaroness

    ps. Jen Hubbard, I bought your book. The hand held kind. It was the bomb. Thank you Nathan whose blog exposed me to it and to several other of my best reads to date.


  83. sharonedge

    I love picture books, and I will probably buy them in print as long as they are available. I buy some reference books in hard copy, even after reading the Kindle version, because I like making pencil notes in the margins. For everything else, I love my Kindle.

    The biggest change in my reading habits since I got my e-reader is that I often several books going at once, especially nonfiction books. What has remained the same is the number of books in the virtual stack waiting to be read.

  84. Gabriela Pereira

    My answer wasn't listed in the poll–Can we add a category? πŸ˜‰ See, I still buy and read the same amount of print books as before but now with my Kindle, I also buy eBooks on top of that. And then you throw in all those free eBooks on Amazon and Project Gutenberg… I'll have enough reading material to last me years!

  85. min

    As much as I love to look at cover art and feel a book…I don't believe I'll buy anything but e-books again. Reason is, I have lots of anxiety when reading with how many pages are left and I imagine it'll take me forever. I give up easily.
    On my iPad…no clue as to how far I am from finishing aside from percentage and you just keep turning and turning and turning until you're suddenly done with the book. It was freeing and the most wonderful reading experience EVER! I think it could've changed my childhood. Seriously. A great cure for ADD readers out there.

  86. min

    Oh, I forgot to mention how much I LOVE that I can whip out my iPhone whenever I have a spare few minutes and continue to read since it picks up where I left off on the iPad at home. Both are easy to read from. The iPhone is surprisingly lovely for reading.

    iPad is a tad heavy at times. Still love it.

  87. Buy Exchange

    i still buy print books as for me nothing can beat the pleasure of reading something in a hard copy. Probably i sound a bit conventional but that is how it is for me!

  88. Jan

    I got a Nook because I can download ebooks from the library and that's how I use it. But if I pay real money for a book, I want a real physical book that I can pass on as a real physical object when I'm done with it — I don't want to pay hardcover money to rent a digital copy of a book from the bookstore, subject to their control.

  89. Kathryn Tuccelli

    I recently got a new Nook Classic and I love it! I was initially resistant to having an e-Reader, as I didn't like the thought of not having a physical book in my hands. Then, I realized that I was always bringing a heavy, cumbersome backpack with me when I traveled, so that I would have my favorite -and choice of- books to read.

    Now that I have my Nook, I can have hundreds of books with me, and I can read any of them at the touch of a button! I didn't realize how nice it would be to read a big book, like Atlas Shrugged, until I had the Nook. One-hand page turning!

    However, I will never stop buying print books (or CD's and DVD's), as I always like to have "hard copies" of my favorite things.

    I do think e-Books and e-Readers are where the industry is headed, and, while others may disagree, I don't think that's a bad thing!

  90. Donna

    I bought a Nook a little over a year ago and used it daily for a month, while it was still a novelty, reading some books and the Daybook every day. But I've found the reading experience to be unsatisfactory over the long run. The ease of moving backward to review a page is gone. If I'm reading a challenging nonfiction book, I won't touch it on an e-reader. I buy it or borrow it from the library. I buy a book or two for the reader each month, novels that my library doesn't have.

    I use my reader for (1) easy, quick reading; (2) whatever I can't get in print; (3) two magazines that I subscribe to via the Nook; and the B&N Daybook, which I really enjoy.

    By the way, the quality of ebooks that are not new — backlist titles — is appalling. Full of scanning errors, missing lines, and garbled, randomly interpolated footnotes. Ugh.

  91. Margo Berendsen

    I'm surprised by the results in the poll! I would have that print books would have still been higher.

    As a writer, I love e-books because I can mark them up to my heart's content and go back and find my marks so easily to see those great sentences again.

    But there's just no substitute for holding a real book in your hands.

    My humble opinion, I think that e-readers are here to stay, but they are a bit of a fad now. I think e-book sales will drop in another year or two before they find equilibrium. That's just a gut feeling. Unless… unless libraries start distributing e-books. That could change everything. Do you know if this is a growing trend in libraries? I live in a little town where our library offers lots of e-audiobooks but so far no e-books.

  92. Doug Pardee

    Margo: according to a survey last summer by Library Journal, 72% of US public libraries offered e-books. I suspect the percentage has grown some since then, because another 9% expected to be offering e-books within a year.

    Survey result executive summary for public libraries, in PDF, here.

    I think the real hazard is that libraries aren't permitted to lend e-books from some publishers. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster are the most notable hold-outs. If other publishers decide to withdraw lending approval, that could be a mess.

    There's also a hazard to libraries' continued lending of printed books, related to US court decisions undermining the First Sale doctrine, but that's a different topic.

  93. Pamala Owldreamer

    I recently moved back to Texas after living four years in Alaska.It is a very costly move and to keep down expenses I replaced as many of my books with e-books as I could. Kept books not available as e-books and collectors editions of rare books and gave many of my beloved hard copies to the local library.I kept sneaking well worn copies out of the boxes and bags until my daughter got wise and locked the bags and boxes in her car. Then I panicked,what if Sony went out of business and I could no longer access my books.What if I dropped my e-reader in and broke it and all of my books were"gasp"GONE.My daughter ,who is not as technology challenged as I am reassured me she could help me access and replace my books.Being a skeptic,I wasn't so sure,but trusted her.
    Major moment of panic,grief and sadness when she loaded up her car and drove headed to the tiny local library.I wanted to jump in my car and drive through through ten inches of fresh snow,wind and a near whiteout conditions and bring my babies back home.Damn the expense,none of my books would be left behind,but I did not.
    I'm back in Texas now and have replaced some of my books with hard copies of new books and new e-books. I'm purchasing more hard copies than I am e-books.I love my Sony e-reader,but I trust the books I can hold in my hand.
    I realize I have probably spent more on replacing books than I would have shipping all of my old books back home.

  94. Jennifer R. Hubbard

    Thanks for the poll–I found it very interesting!

    And thank you, crazybaroness/mbb. πŸ™‚

  95. steveb

    I borrowed a friend's Nook to see how it works and only read about 10 "pages" before giving up. I didn't like having to "turn the page" every two paragraphs. Maybe it's something you get used to, but I'll be waiting until a) the screens get bigger or I can afford an iPad and c) they have built-in word translation dictionaries (Japanese to English).

    I'm willing to switch and E books are certainly inevitable, I just think they need a little more maturing before I'm ready to plug in.

    Anyone else have similar wants or expectations for e-readers?

  96. Dara

    It's 50/50 for me. I mostly use my Nook for library books and the free ones on B&N's website. One of the conditions that my husband and I came up with before I got an eReader was to make sure I didn't go overboard with buying books. So far I've only bought 2 and that's about how many print books I've bought too.

    I love that I can use the library with it; I only hope more books are available through the library over time because I'm still getting more actual print books from there than on the Nook.

  97. sabrina

    I read even more now that I've gotten my Kindle–I have to budget for my reading, which is something I never thought much about before. When I was buying print only, I would buy stacks of books every few months, but now I can buy something every day if I'm not careful. I still buy print versions of books by authors that I love, but the majority of my buying is electronic. The joy of instant gratification overrides the smell of books.

  98. Michael

    When I got the e-reader, I thought I'd only buy "disposable" books on it–Star Wars novels (I can't seem to stop reading them!), books I was only sort of interested in, stuff like that.

    However, I find that I almost entirely buy e-books now. For academic books (I'm a HS English teacher and Literature Grad student in addition to wannabe writer), I still buy print versions; the Kindle's notes functionality isn't useful to me. I also buy books in print that my wife will read as well, because she's not really interested in her own e-reader, and I refuse to loan her mine as it goes everywhere with me. So Jim Butcher's Dresden series I still get in hardcopy, and a few others. Mostly, though, I'm on the Kindle.

  99. Kate

    I live overseas right now, and am trying to reduce the bulk of possessions I'll have to send home at the end of my contract. If/when I live in the US again I'll probably buy a few more print books.

    Actually, what I notice most is that high-priced Kindle books– the ones that cost more than any of the print editions– usually just make me resolve to get the book in question from the library instead.


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Hi, I’m Nathan.Β I’m the author ofΒ How to Write a NovelΒ and theΒ Jacob WonderbarΒ series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams.Β Let me help you with your book!

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