Thursday, 2 November 2017

Chuckles Chat #41 Ebook v Physical

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

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This week I'm looking at Ebooks v Physical books.

When the ebook arrived, experts declared that this was going to spell an end to the release of the physical book but happily, this prediction proved to be false. In fact recently, printed book sales rose for the first time in four years while ebook sales declined. This is great for the long term future of the physical book, independent bookshops and libraries. The biggest hardback seller was the Girl on the Train, biggest paperback seller was Grey, selling over a million copies.

I am a great believer that BOTH versions are great for the ordinary book reader and both have a place in our book world. Yes, each of us will have a personal preference, but both are very good to have around.

EBOOKS:
The advantages here are obvious. It is a lot easier to take an ereader on holiday than to fill your suitcase with paperbacks! I used to take Stephen King's 'It' with me in paperback as it was likely to last most of a week's holiday and that solved the weight problem! Taking the ereader means you have a lot more to choose from, which is vital if you are a mood reader. Storage on the ereader allows you to take a massive pile of books anywhere you go and it hardly weights anything. Perfect to slip in your hand luggage! The same can be said for book storage issues. One ereader takes up a lot less space on a shelf than the entire collection of Stephen King...

If you were to buy a really long book like the Game of Thrones set, The Stand, It etc, holding the thing in your hands without damaging the cover, breaking the spine or dropping the bugger can be an issue. Balancing a 1000 page book even in paperback form can be tricky, especially when you go to turn the page. Flicking the ereader screen is a lot easier and doesn't give you chronic fatigue up your arm and shoulder! Also, you don't really have a firm idea of just how many you have on ereaders, so you can pretend not to notice a growing TBR...

For me, the biggest draw for ebooks is the price. You can try a new-to-me author at 99p/$1 or sometimes free, rather than buying something at full paperback price and finding you don't like it. I use this cheap/free service to try new authors and series especially those I might not be fully convinced I'll like. There is also the option of free samples of books being delivered from Amazon to your ereader to let you get an idea of the book before you commit to buy. This gives you an idea of the author style, the way they write the characters and give you an idea of what it is like. I've found most samples useful for deciding whether or not to go ahead and buy, or remove from wishlist. If you are on a limited budget, ebooks can be great!

The down side is that if your ereader packs in, you have no access to your book collection. If you forget to charge it or leave the charger at home, you are going to run out of power at some point and that isn't good. Transferring all your books back onto a new ereader is a time consuming giant pain in the bum! There are no shiny colour covers to look at either! No smell  and no rustle of pages! I don't like the % done graphic as I like to know how many pages I have left and it is harder to move around the book pages on an ereader. There can also be issues with the quality of the file-some pdfs are so small and faint that you get a headache reading it or there are huge format gaps and poor editing!

PHYSICAL BOOKS: 
When you buy a new book, it is such a great feeling to either unpack it from your shopping bag or rip open that Amazon package that has just been delivered. Look at the beautiful shiny coloured cover! Sniff that warm and welcoming new book smell! Feel the soft pages and hear the comforting rustle of pages! It's book porn!!! I love feasting my eyes on writing that isn't too small and that I can buzz through at decent speed. 

I can easily check how far it is to the end of the chapter or end of the book without having to mess about with it and if I need to refresh my mind on something early in the book, I can flick through nice and easy! I hate trying to do these things on an ereader. I also find it easier to read an anthology in physical form-if I DNF the book I just flick through to find the start of the next story. I find that very awkward and time consuming on the ereader and if the index bit isn't working, I end up having to flick through every page of the DNFed story to get to the next one which drives me batty!.

I also love seeing the books displayed in all their glory on the shelves in my bedroom with all the different colours on display. There is something satisfying and comfy about seeing yourself surrounded by books and being able to browse at will! Your entire collection is there at your fingertips and is not affected by forgetting to charge it, power cuts and other electrical issues. And you don't have to worry about access when an ereader breaks down as it is all there for you to see and grab in your home, on your shelves. You can have therapy fun rearranging the bookshelves in your house...not as satisfying on the ereader! 

The down side of these books is twofold-the cost and the space. Paperbacks are pricey if you buy them new, and of course if you buy them second hand, you might get a less than perfect looking copy, missing pages, mystery stains etc. Indie books in particular can be up to £15 each and there is pressure to buy it in case it goes out of print. There is also the issue of where you are going to keep them. I have a pile of bookcases but now even they are overflowing and it is putting pressure on me to get the things read and out the house. There can be an issue if the print size is too small as that can slow a fast reader like me. You can also have a longer wait to get your hands on a book with ebook versions coming out first. 

What is your favourite? What do you like/dislike about each format? Do you find it easier to ignore your TBR if most of it is in digital form?

14 comments:

  1. I agree with a lot of things that you pointed out for both formats. Print copies will always be my favorite. But the eReader is handy and has much to offer too. And yes, I find it easier to ignore my TBR mountain in digital form. LOL That has it's drawbacks in forgetting to read an ARC or review book on time. Yikes!

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    1. Darn those pesky book piles! E-readers do help to feed the addiction don't they! It is comforting to have a nice handy pile in your pocket or bag...Could be awkward not meeting those deadlines though!

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  2. I like physical books. I like looking at the covers, and I like trading them at used bookstores. I acquire pretty much all of my books through trading. If I ever start traveling more, I’ll probably read more ebooks. Dragging paperbacks around isn’t fun.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It certainly is a handy gadget for anyone doing travel reading. I'm mostly at home though so I like being surrounded by my huge book collection!

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  3. I completely agree with your pros and cons here. I have an equal collection of both. I am a sucker for picking up favorites and series in physical copies because I adore seeing them on my shelves and nothing beats the smell and feel of a real book.

    However, as you know, I have a multitude of health problems and this affects my eyesight at times. The biggest pro to ebook for me is that I can easily adjust font and brightness or switch to audio depending on my symptoms. Ebooks are my best friend at times (and as mentioned, more affordable).

    But in my heart, I will always favor a physical copy :)

    -Danielle (Books, Vertigo and Tea). Google is showing anonymous on my end?

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    1. I'm glad you put your name on the message as it is showing as anonymous here as well, which is strange! I haven't had that with any message you left before. Oh well, I'll keep an eye on that!

      Ebooks are great for being able to adjust things like that for easier reading. There are plenty good points to them and I like using them but like you, I love a nice book in my hands!

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  4. Wow, you thought of everything! Great job. I love them both and will always have both. Physical books have such pretty covers and I collect some series and books in that form - especially King where I have to have hardbacks. However, ebooks are great for price and convenience. But man, I do hate to have to charge the things. I've pretty much stayed with Amazon ereaders so the books followed when I bought a new version. Plus, ebooks have allowed me to access Netgalley and easily review other privately sent arcs so that's been a great plus.

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    1. I tend to charge mine at the computer as I blog so I can just forget about it until it is done! That works out nicely! I haven't had to replace my ereaders yet. I do find the Kobo hard to use sometimes-slow to load and it sticks a lot which drives me mad. I'm not sure I'd replace it...maybe just stick to Kindle in future...

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  5. I think both are great...but I prefer to read real books. I like being able to flip to the end of the chapter, flip back to reread something I missed, and flip to the end to see if the book is even worth finishing. ;D

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    1. There's nothing like real books is there! It's so easy to flick back and forward in a book...doing it on an ereader drives me mad at times!

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  6. once upon a time I only read ebooks! :) I think it was when they came out and I was like "OMG I CAN CARRY ALL MY LIBRARY WITH ME" LOL because as a professional DNFer I read at least 5 books at the same time :) and I didn't even think of that advantage you mentioned about the huge books! so true!
    but now I love physical books again! I can't read ebooks now. My favs? Audio Books! NO READING AT ALL! lol Don't unfriend me plz even though I'm such a heretical bookworm! :-P

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    1. I love that you are a professional dnfer! *laughs* Oh I think I can forgive you for the audiobooks! If the audio cds were cheaper I'd buy all my favourites! I just can't sit still enough to listen to one at the moment!

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  7. I will always prefer a physical copy. I like to touch them, to arrange them, simply to have them around. I also like to trade them, to resell them and give them away randomly through bookcrossing or a Little Free Library. Ebooks just don't give me that same warm-fuzzy feeling. The only plus for ebooks is the fact that I am able to adjust the font. My eyes aren't what they used to be, even with my glasses on!

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    1. There's nothing like the feeling of Smug you get from a lovely physical book collection! I love to look at them all and feel Smug! I'm starting a few bags for the charity shop and hope to part with a pile over the next month.

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