Decline of the E-Book Empire

ebookslaptopEveryone who has ever mentioned their new appreciation for e-books, knows my attitude: negative. No one has yet to convince me that an e-book is better than paper. For now, I can say it is not going to happen in my lifetime.

I do and have read magazines and  newspapers on both a tablet and on my phone daily. However to read a full book, nope! It is not going to happen.

The argument that you can carry hundreds of e-books in a reader that is as heavy as one paperback does not hold water for me. When I have a book in hand, I have made a pledge to that book to read it for better or worse until the last pages do we part. It goes with me on the metro, trams, planes, buses, and for long walks in case I stop for a coffee or a park bench. No one has ever tried to pry a book out of my hands as in trying to steal it. Many have tried prying books from my hands to get my attention. There have been cases of Kindle snatching in public places.

It seems to me that having the availability of so many books to choose from at one time is a symptom of attention deficit. There is no commitment to read one book as it is just as easy to skim, scan, and read others jumping from one to the other in the device. More time is lost looking than reading.

Cost is not a valid factor either. There are plenty of e-books priced just as expensively as paperbacks. Though I loathe getting rid of any book, when I do I almost need to perform some sacred ritual to cut the cord that bound us, before saying good-bye. “Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper.” (See article below)

That said, I do subscribe to Book Bub and receive a daily newsletter displaying e-book titles within my chosen categories. I only download free ones, but only when they are of particular interest. Others that speak to me in some way, I do follow the link to Amazon and if it is really of interest, it goes into my Wish List as a paperback. The freebies give me a chance to delve into the writing to determine if it is something worthy of a paperback purchase. It also is good exposure to titles that may have otherwise been missed.

Good-byes to books only occur when one goes to live in a new home. They are given to friends, B & B guests, donated to libraries, sold to book stores, but never are they ever discarded like a cigarette butt in a bin. E-books reside on your reader. They have limited movement if any movement at all. Some readers allow sharing within a network of similar users. Libraries take advantage of this. Paper books are free. They are universally limitless.

When discovering the NY Times article “The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead” the word overjoyed  describing my reaction, was an understatement.

“Now, there are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers, who juggle devices and paper. E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers.“

The author did mention “On Amazon, the paperback editions of some popular titles, like The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, are several dollars cheaper than their digital counterparts.”

Well Amazon must have read the article too. The price when I went to look was different. The Kindle edition is $8.94 and paperback goes for $10.77 a mere difference of $1.83. Better yet, you don’t need to buy the $10.77 paperback version because there are 56 used paperbacks starting as low as $4.29. To reiterated, all paperbacks come with a bonus. After you have read them, you can give them to anyone you want anywhere in the world without any concerns (other than maybe shipping charges).

Three cheers for the BiblioGod. I knew you existed and now you are providing proof! Long live books in published on paper.

After completing my Ed.D., the frustration of finding a teaching position where I was willing to live, led to Ron and I leaving the country. We intended to travel for a year before settling somewhere in MA or RI. We left the US without any credit card debt, no car payments and our house mortgage paid by renters. We had $10,000 in the bank to make our way through a year.