Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Books vs. E-books

I was reading a post over at “Blue Batting Helmet” about using his Kindle Fire for the first time and he said he would stick with traditional books for now but could see using it more in the future.  It got me to thinking about when I started reading on my Kindle app on my phone.  I started thinking of the positives and negatives of both and thought that I would spill my feelings about it here.

First, some reading background.  I read a lot in school.  I’m one of the kids who used to set up his textbook in front of his book so he could read in class.  I remember as far back as elementary school where I was into the Hardy Boys books but I would read 2 a week so I flew through the ones I could find in the library.  As I got older I got into Stephen King books and read all of them.  If the library didn’t have it, I went out and bought the paperback.  I also got into the staples of reading with Dean Koontz, Robert Grisham and James Patterson.

Once I got out of high school, I got out of reading,  I went years without picking up a book.  I missed it but I didn’t want to take away time from something else to take the time to read.  About 13 years ago, I started working where I am now.  I was originally on 3rd shift  for 8 hours.  I got a 45 minute break, the first 15 minutes were spent eating   Then I would half an hour of nothing.  Being on 3rd shift I would fall asleep and then I wouldn’t be able to sleep when I got home.  So I started to bring in books and I got back into reading again.  And now that we’ve gone to 12 hour days, I’m even reading more.
Financial strains have curved what I’m reading because you can get all kinds of free or discounted books for the Kindle so I’ve been reading a lot of those lately.  There are a couple of series out there that I’ve started and would like to finish.  One of those has 14 or 15 books and I’ve only read the first few.  But our finances are getting better so I’m hoping to start purchasing novels for the Kindle again.
Which gets me to the first positive, I know it was a long road but we’re here.  Purchasing books.  Compare going to a book store, searching for the book you want, buying it and bringing it home.  Or sit on your couch, click a few buttons and it’s delivered within a matter of minutes.  Advantage – Kindle.
And when your talking about purchasing, you have to talk about price.  I’ve already mentioned that you can get free and or cheap ($.99) books, but those are usually small books or books that are older.  If you can find a bargain book store, you can get cheap books there but those stores are getting harder and harder to find.  So those are push so let’s look at new releases.  I’m going to google a new release and check the price differences.
Books- Zoo - The Official James Patterson Website

I chose James Patterson’s new book Zoo.  It was just released yesterday (Sep. 3rd).  The pic to the left is from the James Patterson website.  The list price is $27.99 for a Hardcover.  Which is the first problem with buying a newly released book.  You have to buy a hardcover and they are way more expensive then a paperback, which by the way, isn’t being released until May of 2013.  But this is modern times and if you pay the price over there, then you don’t know how to use the internet.  Let’s take a look at Amazon.com prices.
Amazon.com- Zoo (9780316097444)- James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge- Books(1)
You can buy the Hardcover for $16.79 which is a lot better.  But that doesn’t include the $3.99 for shipping.  So your still looking at $20.78.  You can also see the Kindle Edition price up there.  I can get it sent to my Kindle Fire for $14.99 delivered.  You can wait a few weeks and get a hardcover used cheaper or you can wait 8 months and buy the paperback.  So there is definitely alternative routes, it just depends on your preference.  In my book, advantage – Kindle.
Now if you’re a book collector, then obviously you want a book in hand.  They look better on a shelf together.  Whether it’s a paperback or hardcover, a collector always wants a book in hand.  Advantage – Book.
Carry a book, carry a Kindle, more or less the same thing. – Advantage – Push.
You have to keep your Kindle charged and/or bring a charger with you.  Advantage – Book.
For me, this is where the biggest advantage to the Kindle is.  While I don’t take my Kindle everywhere, for the most part, just work and back, I do take my phone everywhere.  And my phone has the Kindle app which syncs with my Fire.  So if I really get into a book, and don’t want to play Coin Dozer while I’m in the bathroom.  I can read.  Or I get stuck in a line somewhere, I can read.  So now I have a “book” with me at all times.  Which to me, is the reason I would choose a Kindle over a book.  In my mind, the positive of a book, is if you actually keep them around and collect them when your done.
Agree? Disagree? Positives or negatives I forgot? Let me know in the comments.

I do have a GoodReads account.  You can see what I’ve read recently and what I am currently reading.  I’ve been trying to update it when I start a new book.  I just opened the account a few months ago so a lot of the books listed as read are books I could remember reading.  I have also decided to tweet my progress on the days I read so you can follow me on Twitter as well.


  1. Awesome post.

    I love actual books, but for price and ease, I mostly use my Kindle.

    For the longest time I was anti-ereader, but once I used one, it was all over. I also love what they've done for writers.

    1. Yeah! I didn't even get into that. There's a girl that I went to school with that self published that way. It's opened up a whole new world in that sense.