280 Days ’til 40: Ebooks – Good or Evil?

17 May

I recently flew between the US and Italy and this was what I saw next to me on that wing of the flight.  Every person in one row reading a book on an electronic device.  I have heard so many people say to me, “But it is NOT the same!  I NEED a BOOK.”

It is an interesting argument, though as my partner has pointed out on more than one occasion, not really an accurate argument!  What is it about the physical form of the book that we are so attached to?  We want the feel and the smell of a “paper” book.  We insist that reading is not the same, that the experience is not the same.  Perhaps it indeed is NOT the same, but does that make it worse???

My partner pointed out to me that the book has not changed.  It is true….. so very true.  When we read the words of Mark Twain or Shakespeare they are the same exact words, whether they are in a printed paper book, on a Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iPad, or whatever other form it may take.  The book has not changed.  The words we read, the emotions the text invokes, the plot, the characters, the climax of the story…. NONE of these things have changed.  Yet, we are so devoted to the form, we sometimes do not realize the aforementioned reality.  We believe that a book is not a book if it is on a Kindle.

I must admit I was one of those people.  I LOVE books.  I have always LOVED books.  Therefore, I could not even begin to fathom why on earth I would want an electronic device to replace my beloved paper books.  I was a hold out.  It was quite a few years before I bought my first eReader.  I was not sure I would like this new thing.  My first eReader was a Nook.  I believe it took me all of about ten minutes to completely bond with it and fall head over heals in love!  All these books at my fingertips, being able to travel without having to choose only one or two books (I could now bring my entire collection!)  The saved bookshelf space – I was in heaven.  Now, a year and a half later, our family owns one Nook, three (Yes, THREE) Kindles, and an iPad.  Now I grumble and groan when the book I am reading is an actual book – it is heavy, awkward, and my hands fall asleep when I hold and read it in bed.

What a difference technological evolution makes…. for good, for bad, and sometimes just for……………….



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134 responses to “280 Days ’til 40: Ebooks – Good or Evil?

  1. msmckibbon

    May 17, 2012 at 00:07

    I love my iPad for any kind of eBook EXCEPT cookbooks. I have never purchased a cookbook as an eBook…there’s something emotional about sitting down and reading a great, beautiful and informative cookbook from cover to cover – which I do with almost all of my cookbooks.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:36

      LOL – I will often cook with my iPad in the kitchen. In fact, they REALLY need to make a waterproof iPad!!!! I cook all the time with reference to websites with recipes and rather than print it all out, I end up just having my iPad next to me in the kitchen…. I hope I do not regret that one day – with my track record (dropped my iPhone in a pot of chili) I may be in trouble!!!

  2. Rebecca Stibrany

    May 17, 2012 at 00:17

    I was like that too, until I got my iPad. I couldn’t just have one but not the other though, I still love a proper book.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:35

      I, sadly, cannot remember the last time I read a paper book – was about to pick one up the other day, but was lazy to hold it in bed and started a different book on my Kindle (pathetic, I know).

  3. Cathy

    May 17, 2012 at 00:19

    I was just the same… I didn’t want one, but was given a Kindle the day before I was flying to the UK for Christmas, and immediately recognized all the advantages! Having several dictionaries and a thesaurus with me wherever I go is just wonderful!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:34

      Great point! The reference part is nice.

  4. charlesmashburn

    May 17, 2012 at 00:21

    Okay, really… who ARE you??? This is like somebody wrote down my thoughts! I feel plagiarized!! Good grief!
    Just kidding. If I had written it, I’d had to have added the part about fearing for my life when I read a Stephen King book. I read every night, and when reading some of the master’s work, I’d risk injury when I fell asleep and dropped it on myself. Sherry suggested a catcher’s mask and chest protector, but then I’d have to wake up to take them off, so…
    I’d also have to mention the 1000 or so books we gave away the last time we moved. We still have some of our favorites. I might also mention that I just recently read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on my Kindle. Many of the classics are free, and I get about one a month just because. I read about a book a week, sometimes more; always have.
    But really! Stop reading my mind! Or, whatever trick it is you’re doing!
    (Another good article! I am really enjoying your “Days Til”!)

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:34

      Yes, you are so correct, the classics are free and we have tons on our readers! My summer project is to clean out and donate tons of our books to our school library – the time has come. If I miss it dearly, I can either get it for my Kindle or check it out from the library!

  5. 2 Girls Getting Married

    May 17, 2012 at 00:30

    My mom bought me an e-book a few Christmases ago and I just cannot wrap my head around it. For one thing, I am not willing (ever) to pay full price for a book when I can find a used copy somewhere else. For another, I think it’s ridiculous to not be able to share my book with a friend when I am done with it. I like my friends, but would not lend them my couple-a-hundred-bucks e-reader in hopes that I might get it back.

    Another thing that no one has considered (at least I haven’t seen it) is the class aspect of it all. It takes money to buy an e-reader and to continually load it with books. If we want all our young people to read early and often (and I suspect we all want that), then why would we make it harder for some children to have access to books than others? I know libraries in bigger cities have jumped on board with the e-book rentals, but again, you’re supposing people can afford an e-reader in the first place. And access to a library. Or an internet connection to download the e-books.

    E-readers and e-books feel a bit like Wal-Mart to me. They swoop in and undermine the independent bookstores and eventually the indies go out of business. It makes me sad, especially because my absolute dream is to own a feminist/old lady/crazy lesbian bookstore one day.

    People need paper books. They.Just.Do.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:32

      The interesting thing about the class part that you mention is that publishers are making eBooks more economical. For textbooks, rather than buy a whole set of updates books every 5 years or so, now they are charging for only the upgrades, making them cost the schools less…… and many schools are investing in iPada, ereaders, etc. I know that many HS students have their own laptops, and in fact the school I am at requires all MS and HS students to come to school daily with laptops. Apparently parents what the ereaders because of the chiropractic effect schoolbooks are having on the backs of the students! It is all so very interesting.

      I wonder if there will be a new place for independent writers within the emarket? I think many more people are publishing now because with an eBook you do not have the overhead….. but I agree, it all does seem to feel a bit like 1984 (The Book!) and some sort of higher order global takeover!

    • Geordon

      May 17, 2012 at 21:12

      You have an excellent point about the resale market. You just can’t trade away an ebook once you read it or no longer want it.

      One other thing that I think gets ignored by a lot of people is the fact that a physical book works no matter where you are or what the electricity availability is. My daughter learned this the hard way just the other day. Her iPad ran out of just when she was in the middle of a chapter and she had to stop and plug it in.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think that e-readers are awesome. How else can I carry a dozen novels, 4 text books, a movie, and 3 days worth of music in less then 2 pounds? As long as I’m in civilization and not in a power outage, I’m good to go. I won’t take an e-reader camping, though!

  6. Yvette

    May 17, 2012 at 00:36

    The buying of a Kindle has been a whirlwind circling my head for over two years now…I’m a bookworm, and love the genuine ‘book’ thing…your partner is right, its the same book, the same characters and we can lose ourselves within the frame of a Kindle, but I ‘love’ my bookshelves,, the colour and cozyiness of a readers corner of my room…but…when I travel I know the convienence of a Kindle, iPad etc…would be the first thing I’d pack…where do I stand…sitting on the fence. x

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:19

      Ah, this is the debate in our own home!

  7. kokorimbaud

    May 17, 2012 at 00:41

    I’ve always been amazed about the argument that a book is not “the same” if it’s not on paper. A books sole purpose is to transmit ideas, which are very much non-corporeal, so why in on earth would it make a difference what physical shape the transmitter has?
    That being said, sometimes print on paper does work better – art books, photography books and the like come to mind. So maybe it’s more about finding the appropriate medium for the message, in the end?

  8. lengesinski

    May 17, 2012 at 00:41

    For Me? Neither Good nor Bad-Part of The Now. While I have a Handful of Hardcover Hemingway Classics that I have Read, and I Still Do Enjoy The Feel of a Hardcover and The Smell of Old Books, most of My Poet Friends and Novelists have their Work Available in e-Book form Alone. The Times have Changed…..We Can Either Go Along and Enjoy, or Stubbornly Resist Something that We have No Power Over.
    Excellent Post-Covering a Conversation(and Subsequent Arguments) that I have heard X Amount of Times.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:19

      Good point – we can resist, but what we are resisting is ultimately happening anyhow.

      • lengesinski

        May 18, 2012 at 00:09

        Trying to Swim Against Current, Not Wise. Plus Finding Out that One May Actually Like e-Books if You Could Only Get Over a Personal Bug-a-Boo. Good Piece!!!

  9. Anonymous

    May 17, 2012 at 00:56

    I’m one of those guys who still prefer a real book instead of an ebook…but i was gifted an ebook reader before leaving for Japan for 3months. I love reading and before leaving i used to read a book a month more or less. I was Io trouble when i had to choose what to bring with me!that ebook reader saved my day! I must admit that i still am a bit skeptical about ebook readers now that I’m back home, but if u travel they are definitely worth! At least i think so 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:18

      Yes, one of my favorite parts of travelling with an ereader is not having to choose which book I will read on vacation – I can choose once I am already there!

  10. ammiblog

    May 17, 2012 at 00:58

    I just flew Austin to Boston and back again. When I came home, I had two books my daughter-in-law had given me. Thick trade paperbacks. . .and a gift book . . .and of course the one I brought with me and the one slim volume of poetry. Good lord it was exhausting, my bones ache (way over 40) My daughter in law is a librarian and when she had their son, she asked for a Kindle. . . and loves it. Many serious readers do. One reason she loved it is that she could nurse and read at night without waking my son. I will always have paper books for they feel good in my hands and I love the scent of paper. . .but I want a reader!

  11. Gail L Palmer

    May 17, 2012 at 00:58

    I recently heard of someone who was traveling – on a cruise specifically – and swapped kindles with a friend before going. It was an opportunity to thumb through the shelves of a dear friend and explore all kinds of new books – all with one device.

    Personally – I adore a real book but have to admit to be a kindle addict against my will. They are just so convenient and portable and light weight and universal and… need I go on?

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:16

      Yes, I agree with you completely – I feel the same way – I love the way you put it… addict against your will… so very true!

  12. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    May 17, 2012 at 01:02

    It was so nice to read a book of my choice in the waiting room today when all I brought with me was my smartphone, which would have been with me anyway! That works so I haven’t been able to get my frugal self to buy an ereader.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:16

      Yes, great point! I also will read books on my phone!

  13. tonyakerrigan

    May 17, 2012 at 01:21

    I don’t have an e-reader, Kindle, iPad, or anything else. I like my books. I guess it’s because I foresee books becoming a rarity someday and I would much rather have the actual book. It’s not so much that I’m against the ebooks or anything. I have read them, but again, I want the actual book to hold. In fact, I’m currently building up my personal library just for this reason. Will I be able to buy my favorite books as actual books in 20 years? Probably not.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:15

      Wow, interesting take – I am clearing out my library because I need the space and the Kindle is more convenient – but I wonder if I would do the same as you if I had a big enough house…….

  14. Alicea Jones

    May 17, 2012 at 01:26

    Yes, an interesting conversation. Books; we purists love the touch of them. As we turn the page, the story advances and in we are drawn. But I too have found my Kindle an indispensible travel companion. I stilll read books and probably always will. But when I travel, that skinny, light weight electronic reader is what you’ll find in my carry on. Perhaps books will go the way of the typewriter. I can’t (don’t want to) imagine it.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:15

      I do not want to imagine it either, but have a very strong suspicion that you are indeed correct.

  15. Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

    May 17, 2012 at 01:27

    I have created E-books for sale on Amazon. I have downloaded other peoples E-books to my Kindle. You are absolutely correct. They are not “BOOKS.” They have no “feel” and you can not keep a thumb or a post-it note where you want one without giving it way too much thought; my own books included. I have pulled four of my six books and are now blogging them by chapter for people to enjoy them in bits and pieces; OR NOT, without cost.

  16. Kate

    May 17, 2012 at 01:30

    I love the convenience my Kindle offers. Not only are there ways to save money by reading e-books, I now have access to authors who self-publish or only publish an ebook version of their work.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:13

      Yes! I find, though, it opens up the doors to so many more books that sometimes I spend MORE money as a result of having it!

  17. Oh Sew Tempting

    May 17, 2012 at 01:40

    One great thing about an ereader is you can enlarge the print.This is particularly useful when eyesight is deteriorating 😀

  18. jensine

    May 17, 2012 at 01:42

    i don’t have a kindle or something like it yet … I love books and yes it is about the feel and the smell etc but i do understand that for travel electronic things are practical, but as a print girl I want paper and ink

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:11

      I don’t blame you! I just worry about the day when paper and ink will barely exist anymore.

  19. writerwannabe763

    May 17, 2012 at 01:52

    While I think that I too will buy someday an electronic book….I think there is a case for reading actual books and I’m sure you’ll agree…Some cannot afford to buy one and others like to go to libraries for books and other things…there is always the danger that libraries will be closed and that would be a shame..It has already started in the big city that is nearby us. To save money the cities are considering libraries not as necessary they were once…Diane

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:10

      Yes, it is so true – libraries are being cut and slowing disappearing! However, now many libraries let you check out books for your Nook/ Kindle online. Also, there are tons of free books online that you can download for ereaders – more than I could read!

  20. Kinenchen

    May 17, 2012 at 01:58

    I love both. I have some books that are so necessary that I have them in hard copy and an army on my Kindle. There will never be anything like the smell and feel of a real book but the Kindle is too convenient.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:09

      I also still have the balance of both…. though I am thinning out my shelves!

  21. Karen Berthine

    May 17, 2012 at 02:28

    As you noted, I think the discussion over e vs. “real” books goes (to borrow from Nietzsche) beyond good evil. It, simply, is. 🙂

  22. John Jonelis

    May 17, 2012 at 02:45

    My wife is a librarian. When the Kindle first came out, she went for it in a big way. I thought she was nuts. A year later, she gave me one and I got hooked instantly. Then my publisher put my novel in that format. For proof, see So I have to say, I agree with everything you said.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:08

      Thanks, and thanks for the link to your novel!!! 🙂

  23. sahbinahvioletflynn

    May 17, 2012 at 03:41

    So many good points…if the eBooks/eReaders get more people to read, then I will champion them to the end. Still, I love how the library and the bookstore smells of printed pages and delights the eye with colorful covers and book jackets, like wrapping paper on a gift.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:08

      Yes, I agree… the sad thing is that bookstores, for the most part, will be obsolete (at least in their current form) soon – Borders is a good example.

  24. Melissa Gastorf

    May 17, 2012 at 04:18

    I so agree with you. I just got my second kindle for my birthday, and I also have an iPad, and the kindle app on my iPhone.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:07

      Me too – in fact, now that I have my ipad, I rarely use my Nook anymore, as my iPad has both my Nook and Kindle books on it…. I LOVE it!

  25. buckwheatsrisk

    May 17, 2012 at 04:51

    i have never had any of these devices you talk of but now you have my attention!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:06

      Once you make the switch, it is hard to go back!

      • buckwheatsrisk

        May 17, 2012 at 08:23

        the switch is calling…lol

  26. jeandayfriday

    May 17, 2012 at 05:20

    I love real books, but my Kindle is just easy, light and has so many book options. Great post! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:06

      Yes, and if you look for the sales, you can do well with them too!

  27. lang922

    May 17, 2012 at 05:20

    Writers used to freak out about ebooks, like all of a sudden everyone would pirate everything. That hasn’t happened! I also was reluctant about them as a reader, but now I can’t see any reason to bother with paper books. Although it is really neat to see my own work physically in print . . .

    I think everyone gets their hackles up about it before they actually use one, but nobody could really justify it once they see how much better it is. I love how everyone mentions the smell of old books. I always found it to be rank. I think people will always be able to find old books to sniff, so why bother wasting space in your apartment?

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:06

      Yes, I agree with you! This summer I am working on cleaning out my old books and donating them to the school library. If I love them enough to want it again, I will get the ebook or check it out from the library. I will keep the cookbooks and sentimental ones, but no need for anything else anymore.

  28. The Wanderlust Gene

    May 17, 2012 at 06:02

    Oh yea, for travel, particularly, an eBook is a MUST!!! Think of all the extra shopping one can do with the space/weight that used to be allocated to one’s books:) I have to say too, that living ‘abroad’ it’s always a bit hit and miss which English books are available in the shops. Now, I simply hit the ‘buy’ button and the book of choice is automatically downloaded to my iPad, no matter where I am in the world. So I can shop for books sitting on a park bench in Paris, at a canal-side restaurant in Venice, or from my own home here in Sri Lanka – it matters not: the whole world’s a bookshop (at my fingertips):)

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:05

      That is exactly what I think about! My suitcase weight used to be books in English since I also spend much of my time abroad – now I can use it for other stuff! And, now I do not have to wait until I am in the USA or UK, etc. to purchase English books, also a plus!!! 🙂

      • John Jonelis

        May 18, 2012 at 10:43

        I carry several hundred books around with me. Can’t even lose ’em. If I lose my Kindle, all my books are stored on Amazons servers.

  29. Louise Behiel

    May 17, 2012 at 07:07

    I am so with you. i debated about buying a kindle but got one for christmas a couple of years ago. now i read on my phone, laptop and tablet. L OL like you, I read a book the other week and hated it – it’s heavy and bulky and now i’ve got to find a way to get rid of it and i can’t prop it up in bed or at dinner or…yuck.

    i had an epiphany that i buy stories – the medium of delivery is irrelevant to me.

  30. narf77

    May 17, 2012 at 07:13

    Nothing at all wrong with ebooks…apart from when the power goes down…or you forgot to charge your Ipad…I still prefer the ownership of a book. You can pass it down, you can share it, you are giving something of yourself when you share your literary taste. Nothing like the smell of old books and book shops to make you feel somewhat more intelligent and the thrill of finding an out of print book in a thrift shop is tangable. Besides…where else would I hide my spare $50 bills?!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:04

      Minor technicality, right??? Ah, but with the longer charges they hold the power would have to go out for days to be a problem! (Unless, of course, the power went out on the day you wanted to charge it!!!!) 🙂

  31. Laura

    May 17, 2012 at 07:13

    Oh dear. I don’t own a Nook, a Kindle or an iPad. Talk about a holdout. LOL!

  32. cubbyholes

    May 17, 2012 at 08:02

    For me it’s about longevity. The books I read over and over are getting so worn and tattered. Bindings start to give out. To replace them is a real feat since usually they are out of print by then. good luck getting them again. Also, I had boxes of books destroyed by water during some flooding. No matter how hard I tried to salvage them, they were in baaaad shape and inevitably mildew would set in, which I’m allergic to. I had to toss them all. For me, getting them on one of my readers is an ideal situation. I can always burn them to a CD or whatever storage form I want to use, plus they are kept server side as well. (Well, the name of them and the fact that I paid for them meaning i can redownload them again anytime I want). I understand your feeling. I love books, too, but for me ereaders give me a level of protection I don’t have with paper books.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 08:03

      I have thought the same.

    • John Jonelis

      May 17, 2012 at 17:55

      Longevity–yes! You’ve hit on an important point. For many years publishers have been churning out paperback books that just don’t stand the test of time. I love a hardbound with a proper spine and acid-free paper but the eBook will eventually make the paperback obsolete.

    • 2 Girls Getting Married

      May 17, 2012 at 18:11

      I totally understand the wearing down of a good book. I will say however that my absolute favorite book ever (Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy fyi) is duct taped together and my second favorite (She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb) has mildew on the pages from when it was left in the back of my truck for a year or two. I just love real books. Nothing like the,, but I certainly understand the necessity of e-readers in certain situations like yours.

  33. Anonymous

    May 17, 2012 at 08:45

    I’m still love picking up a book, no matter where I am. I can see the benefits of ebooks and why people buy them. There’s room for both.

  34. cav12

    May 17, 2012 at 08:47

    I love books and take them wherever I go. I can see the benefits of ebooks and why people buy them. There is room for both.

  35. Gilraen

    May 17, 2012 at 09:51

    I love the ability to take my whole book case with me and still do get a backache. I love the fact that I can make the letters larger when I forget my glasses. I am now at a point where I prefer not to read old-style books anymore. Too cumbersome. I make an exception for cookbooks 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 10:12

      Me too – funny how quickly we fall in love!

  36. benbinbenben

    May 17, 2012 at 10:16

    i may convert soon, i wish they had solar chargers on them to offset the rare metal damage, it is time that we we stoppped falling for the ‘renewable forest ‘ crap for pulp making and grew mature woods instead. hopefully ebooks made of primarily recycled materials, and with a solar panel will come out soon ( i can dream). also as we can now download most things illegally i wonder what they will do to improve this situation for the sake of writers. lastly, there may be room for a new kind of shop, where we can pop into and download new titles from a virtual wall, and publishers could produce kindle covers in your favourite book jacket, likle a classic orange penguin or an ‘everyman’ generic cover. there are always new angles……..

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 22:02

      Yes, a more eco-friendly reader would be amazing! I am guessing that one day they will definitely have solar chargers, if they are not solar powered altogether like calculators….. that would be so nice.

  37. irishsignora

    May 17, 2012 at 13:22

    As much as I love my Kindle, it still doesn’t beat the sensory parts of reading a book — the sound of the pages turning, the smell of fresh ink (or of the flower I pressed into the cover thirty years ago), the crisp feel of the pages on my fingertips, the little thumbnail marks carved into page edges to show passages I want to re-read or research. Yeah, yeah, I know my e-reader has all the same functionality, and I love the convenience of being able to carry 1500 books with me wherever I go, but . . . it’s just not the same overall experience as curling up under a tree with a Slurpee, trying to squeeze in one more page before the light fades 🙂 I’m such a Luddite sometimes. Cheers! — Kelly

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 22:00

      You are correct, it isn’t the same and I have so many childhood memories of curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book as the rain poured down outside…… but I am quickly adapting to curling up with my coffee and ipad!!!!

  38. handustry

    May 17, 2012 at 13:29

    What kept me from switching to any ebook device is the device itself. “Oh, no I’d always told myself. I am not to carry a phone, a camera, an MP3 player, a this, a that AND an ebook reader!” So I just tossed the idea away. It was never about reading on another support than paper, but resistance due to the amount of electro-gadgets we *need* to carry* around knowing that technology was ready but no one had brought it all together. I just recently discovered that Kindle is available for PC and Android phones, so I gave it a try and… I now do most of my leisure reading on my phone.

    How can I do that? It’s so tiny ? It took me about 10 minutes to get used to the format. Because you are right, its not the support, its the words that matter.

    Of course some art books would never fit in this tiny format, for example one of my favourites is a condensed reprint of the famous “Encyclopédie de Diderot et d’Alembert”, the world’s first encyclopedia if I’m not mistaking. The engravings are an absolute delight to examine. Due to its original large format it would just not fit it in a phone.

    Since I now can read lightweight, I can read everywhere, whenever I want. I think I have never read literature that much in my whole life 🙂

    Also a very big plus is that my library can grow without taking any space, books are less expensive because all the print overhead and transportation gets eliminated.

    Although it may appear expensive at first, purchasing a multifunctional device (phone or tablet) becomes economical on the long run, which may help propagate cultural content to less fortunate people.

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:59

      Yes, I agree with you completely! I literally needed a new camera, MP3, diary (aka Palm or handheld) and a new phone… I got an iPhone and from day one I have been in love – so great to have it all on one device!

  39. sunfishyoga

    May 17, 2012 at 14:10

    I am still holding on to my ‘real’ books for now, but do have a few stored on my Kindle app on both my computer and my phone! Definitely room for both!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:57

      I am curious how long it will take for me to have more books on my Kindle than on my bookshelves!

  40. Spider42

    May 17, 2012 at 14:34

    Personally, I have loved, do love and always will love a good old book. Period.

    Apart from the fact that the book is less straining to my eyes and I can read for longer than with a digital reader, it might be heavy and I might need to adjust my position and any such thing, it feels real and adds something to the experience.
    But as you said, that is not a good enough reason to be rabid about it, which I’m not. I own an ipad and have both books and comics on it and enjoy using it quite a bit.

    The biggest thing for me on this? I can’t really own it. I mean you can buy a copy and have it on itunes or your ibook library or a cloud somewhere… but it’s just a digital file. As opposed to a really amazing old book I found in a second-hand store that was autographed by the author with a personal text to what I presume was the previous owner. Or a couple of others I have that are similarly so – or one that has a loving message from my sister when she got it for me at a particular point in my life. There is even something to be said for owning different editions of a book, print-runs showing the popularity of it.
    Not to mention the fact that the bottom line is that I OWN a PHYSICAL copy of it that I can just pack in my bag and take with me whenever and wherever and except in the dark of night with not even a candle, I can enjoy comfortably. And I can gift it to someone – how would you gift them an ebook?

    The book is the anti-thesis of the easy and uber-modern. It is simple and does nothing but guide your imagination and creativity. There is good reason to love the good old book. There is a romanticism inherent in it that will be around for a long time to come.

    What I think though, is that print books will essentially reduce in number and be a prestige item or a collectors thing – many I suspect will take on a print-on-demand nature as well and perhaps we will find alternative materials to paper to print them on – but they will be there nonetheless. Easy or not, maybe it’s a taste thing, maybe it’s purely personal and undefinable but to me either you inherently have an unquantifiable love for books or you don’t – and this doesn’t necessarily reflect your reading habits (just so it’s said), just medium of choice.

    I’ve actually been working on a post/essay about this, going to copy this whole text and use some of what I stream-of-consciousness-ed here adapted there if you don’t mind! 🙂

    Bottom line? So long as people read more and watch crap and waste brain capacity less, I don’t care how you do it because both will be around for a while yet to come and foolish is the man or woman who thinks either is going anywhere anytime soon.


    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:54

      I LOVE this comment and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on this issue. I agree with everything you said (for better and for worse, it is where we are headed!)….. And your last comment is indeed the most important… ultimately, who does care what someone reads on as long as they are reading and not letting their minds waste away. Thanks for the great insight! If you do post on this topic, please leave a link here on my blog so the readers can all find their way back to your post!

      • John Jonelis

        May 18, 2012 at 10:20

        Regarding the eBook being harder on the eyes. That’s only true if you use a backlit screen after working on a computer all day. Try the inexpensive ink screen readers. The contrast is better than a real book and you can make the font bigger when your eyes get tired. Hey, I’m 60 and I never have a problem with eye fatigue on my Kindle.

  41. rachturner

    May 17, 2012 at 15:29

    I was not an avid reader before I got a Kindle, just reading books here and there. Since I got my Kindle, I can’t stop reading. I don’t know what makes the difference for me, but I love it. I especially love being able to “get” a book anytime, anywhere without having to go to a store or buy it on Amazon and wait for it to be delivered. Guess the impatient side of me likes immediate gratification. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:51

      I have always been an avid reader, but my Kindle makes it more fun! 🙂

  42. The Quiet Borderline

    May 17, 2012 at 15:50

    Yep, you can’t beat the smell and feel of a new book. Ban e-books!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:51

      🙂 Ah, but you also can’t beat being able to travel with half your collection and no extra weight! ;P

  43. silverbells2012

    May 17, 2012 at 17:07

    I have never tried reading from a kindle etc so I can’t compare them with a book. I do like books though – being able to look at my selves with my favourites lined up. But no doubt I will one day try out the more modern way of reading and fall in love with it, too!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:50

      Yes, it happens to the best of us! 🙂

  44. artblablablablog

    May 17, 2012 at 19:12

    So true! I love my kindle. I think people confuse loving books and reading with loving a bound paper thing. I read so much more on my kindle plus I can make the type any size I want. I love technology. I’m actually working on making an ebook out of my father’s book he wrote before he died. His dream was to publish it so I am going to do that for him. Great post!

    • 400daystil40

      May 17, 2012 at 21:50

      Thanks! Yes, I agree with you completely… people do confuse their emotional connection with bound paper with the actual book content, which does not change on an electronic device!

  45. becca3416

    May 17, 2012 at 23:41

    I’ll have to add one to my birthday list! I’d really love an Ipad.

    • 400daystil40

      May 18, 2012 at 12:48

      Yea! Definitely a great birthday wish list item!

  46. cubbyholes

    May 18, 2012 at 02:13

    The other thing to consider are the writers of books. Getting a real publisher to publish your book had the same odds as buying a lottery ticket. Then you had all the money that went to everyone and their bother besides you the author. Printing costs added to it all. Then there was vanity publishing which, quite honestly, was not really considered very much by the publishing community.
    Now with ebooks, you have far less expense which means it is in eveyrone’s reach, means you can charge what you want for it, you aren’t paying 50 other people before you see a dime. Yes, it can still be considered vanity publishing, BUT with the popularity of it, the biggest authors on the planet now publish ebooks as well. JK Rowling who hates ebooks even finally gave in and made her books available. You can actually find your books on the same page as your fav authors and that makes a difference when it comes to representing yourself.

    • 400daystil40

      May 18, 2012 at 12:42

      Yes, I agree completely and have often thought the same!!!

  47. John Jonelis

    May 18, 2012 at 10:45

    I can’t tell you how many times somebody told me about a good book and I fired up my Kindle on the spot and bought it. Free internet link. How can you beat that?

    • 400daystil40

      May 18, 2012 at 12:37

      Yes, the instant gratification is wonderful (and scary, at times) but wonderful!!! 🙂

      • John Jonelis

        May 19, 2012 at 03:58

        It hadn’t occured to me to be scared. Perhaps i should be.

  48. John Jonelis

    May 18, 2012 at 10:48

    For those comments about charging the device–my ink screen Kindle only needs charging every week or two or three–that is if I simply turn off the internet feature.

  49. edwardonbebop

    May 18, 2012 at 14:51

    I love books ! Paper books. I love the touch, the cover picture, the smell.

    I bought an eReader for a simple reason: indie authors very often need to publish their work in an electronic format. I like and I want to support indie authors.

    This is the main reason why I bought a Kindle and I really like it. It makes me free to read “mainstream” books or independent books. That is a good thing in my humble opinion. Some writers could not be read otherwise.

    • 400daystil40

      May 18, 2012 at 22:43

      Great point, I agree! There are many authors I would never be able to read without my Kindle!

  50. saymber

    May 18, 2012 at 16:25

    I’ve always been an avid reader myself and when I saw the E-readers arrive on the scene I was terrified about what would happen to books but once I actually got a Kindle but was still able to go to my local library for the “hard copy fix” all was well. Much like LP’s, cassettes and CD’s and a myriad of other inventions that get superceded, books aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been here for thousands of years and I don’t think that’s going to ever change. I like the Kindle for waiting rooms and travel purposes. A lot lighter to carry than a book.

    • 400daystil40

      May 18, 2012 at 22:44

      Yes, I think it is all about balance… using it when it works and then going back to the paper books when that works! 🙂

  51. canbebitter

    May 21, 2012 at 14:42

    Yep, I’m converted! I still feel guilty about it though…

    • 400daystil40

      May 21, 2012 at 14:53

      Me too – though the instant gratification of the immediate new book I want usually washes away those guilty feelings!!! 😉

  52. simon7banksS

    May 31, 2012 at 11:31

    They’re clearly very convenient and will play a major role in rescuing books as well as solo short stories, poems and so on. As has been pointed out, they’re vulnerable, though, in ways hard copy books aren’t, and the effect long-term on the eyes may be more uncomfortable, with less casting around. Light and small equals small screen.

  53. Steven L. Campbell

    June 3, 2012 at 18:11

    I was slow to accept my Kindle (a gift) and I still like reading paper books – both hard and soft cover. But when I was vacationing, I discovered my e-reader is a library of my favorite reads. Now I don’t leave home without it (though I still take along a paperback)!

  54. Imangryatnews

    June 3, 2012 at 19:53

    Thanks for checking out my blog, I dig yours and am now following yours.. Feel free to do the same 🙂 and for the record I prefer real books to ebooks.

    • 400daystil40

      June 4, 2012 at 07:47

      Thank you!!!!! I have found that after two years with an ereader I think I actually like ebooks better (gasp!) The good thing is I am still reading!

  55. Jody and Ken

    June 4, 2012 at 17:31

    As a writer and AVID reader I was the kind of kind of guy who never travelled without a knapsack of books and when I saw Jeff Bezos demo the first Kindle on the Charlie Rose show the day of their release I ordered one the next morning. I’ve since had three–gifts, and one forgotten one flying off the roof of the car at 60 mph–and I recently purchased an iPad. I bought the latter because I wanted to be able to use it for cookbooks–I write about food, my wife is a chef/restaurateur and we have THOUSANDS of cookbooks. In some ways the Kindle is still my preferred device for simple reading–lightweight, easy to read in sunlight–but the iPad wins for anything with pictures, including daily newsfeeds. Ken

    • 400daystil40

      June 4, 2012 at 23:03

      Yes, I agree with you completely! I prefer the Nook for reading (same reasons as you) but when I want to cook or knit I much prefer my iPad and I feel very spoiled that I have both!

  56. A Dog Trainer's Guide To Human Happiness

    June 4, 2012 at 21:57

    I don’t even have an “official” e-reader. I downloaded a free Kindle app onto my i-phone. I thought it would be too small, but, it has turned out to be the best part of having a phone with me. I’m a minimalist – I am a woman who doesn’t carry a purse full of stuff. I have a wallet and my cell phone fits snuggly into it (where the paper money is supposed to go – of which I have very little). I find that holding that device in just the palm of my hand is awesome! I don’t think I’ll ever need a larger device. Perhaps, scrolling pages happens more frequenly on such a small device, but I can do it with one hand. Loved the photo associated with this blog.

    • 400daystil40

      June 4, 2012 at 22:56

      Wow, I am so impressed that you read on your iPhone…. our house has a few kindles, a nook and an iPad… I also have an iPhone, but I have found that I really struggle to read on that small screen… maybe now I will need to give it another try!!! 🙂

  57. Jerry

    June 4, 2012 at 22:56

    My wife got a Kindle as a gift, and although she loves using it she has two big complaints. The first is that, although it might say you are 10% into the book, you don’t have a good feel for what that means. With a book, you can tell at a glance about how long it will take you to finish it.

    A bigger problem is that it is hard to find something that you want to re-read. You might get a few chapters into a book and want to refer back to something you read earlier. With a corporeal book you would probably remember roughly where it was; but with an e-book it can be a devil to find.

    • 400daystil40

      June 4, 2012 at 23:26

      Yes, you make two very important and true points. My nook gives me a page number, which I prefer to the percentage of the book… but the flipping back and forth can’t be done and so far my making notes digitally is just not the same….

  58. iknead2knit

    June 10, 2012 at 21:45

    Don’t know how I got along pre-Nook. Thanks for reading.

  59. Steve Vernon

    June 10, 2012 at 22:01

    Just a year or two ago I couldn’t understand why anyone would think an e-book was a good idea. I thought they were a fad that might appeal to a few cyber-geeks but would run its course. Now I’ve got nearly a dozen e-books of my own in “print” and I’m counting the days until August when I have promised myself an e-reader for my birthday gift.

  60. Anonymous

    June 11, 2012 at 01:45

    Interesting how so many of us holdouts were nearly instant converts. Count me in that group, too.


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