News:

SCBWI members — be sure to login regularly to SCBWI's main site to take full advantage of your membership. https://www.scbwi.org/

Main Menu
SCBWI welcomes you to their "new" Discussion Boards. Everyone interested in children's literature is encouraged to join and participate in ongoing discussions. Play nice, have fun, and enjoy sharing with your peers from around the world.

NEED HELP POSTING? Go here! https://www.scbwidiscussionboards.org/index.php?topic=80554.msg1011631#msg1011631

reading ebook vs physical book

Started by JFriday, May 19, 2023, 01:33 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JFriday

I've been thinking about something since Vijaya said she liked the cover of my paperback in the water cooler Welcome thread. I'm wondering if others feel the same way I do about the experience of reading an ebook vs. the physical book.

I have a Kindle because I published ebooks along with my paperbacks and hardbacks. I figured I really should be able to read my ebooks if I have them. Although I've downloaded other books, I find I rarely reach for my Kindle to read a book. I would much rather hold a book in my hands and turn the pages. Even if it costs more.

One of the things that drives me nuts is I don't see the cover as I'm reading through an ebook. With a physical book, I see the cover every time I pick up the book (or notice it lying around and think oh, I can't wait till I have the time to read that). When I open an ebook, the cover disappears. When I'm done reading, it just goes back to a flat Kindle.  I really like seeing covers, some of them are beautiful. I feel cheated.

I've also noticed when I read an ebook, I tend to forget it quickly. That goes for both fiction and non-fiction. It's just gone. Does that happen to anyone else? With a physical book, not only do I get the pleasure of repeatedly seeing the cover, but I can feel the weight of the book in my hands, physically turn the pages and hear the paper, easily re-read passages I like, fan the pages as I read (am I the only one who does that?), underline or highlight (I know I can do it on an ebook, but it's not the same), and then see the book, even if it's only the spine on my bookshelf, and remember it. It's more of a reading experience - touching, smelling, seeing, hearing. So I remember it much longer.

Has anyone else thought about this? Does anyone else miss having a physical book when reading on a Kindle or tablet? I've even bought several paperback books after reading them as an ebook. Have I totally missed the train or am I not alone?
THE FAIRY TALE SERIES:
My Sister, My Soul
The Plans of Morgiana
Forbidden Key

Vijaya

JFriday, you are writing how I feel. I will always have a preference for physical books--yes they take up space and are costlier to produce but they will never go out of style. Esp. with nonfiction--where I'm going back and forth to understand a point. I also mark up my books and now that I buy a lot more used books, really enjoy other people's notes in the margins as well. There's a connection to the previous owner. I've also bought physical copies of books I first read on my kindle.

I appreciate ebooks because I don't have great vision and it's so nice to be able to choose a bigger font. I also like being able to read in bed without disturbing my husband. Btw, I have a paperwhite and it's so great when one of the books I'm reading is a tome!
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

Debbie Vilardi

Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

AnnH

JFriday, I feel much as  you do regarding ebook vs. print, and yet I buy a lot of ebooks. They are less expensive, the Kindle is easy to take with me when I know I will be spending time waiting for an appointment or whatever. But I think the big reason I like ebooks is that if I finish one book and am ready for another, in a couple of minutes, any time of day or night, I can buy and download another ebook.

JFriday

Debbie, thanks for the links. I read several of the articles. I guess I'm of the generation that grew up with and still prefers print over ebook. But it was interesting to see that there have been studies which show retention is better with physical books. And I had forgotten to add that we don't own an ebook. That was mentioned, too. I believe we actually lease them, which is why we can't lend them out like we can a paperback or hardback.

Ann, you bring up good points.  I get some of my books at a local used bookstore, though, and those are cheaper than ebooks. But it is more convenient to slip a Kindle in a purse or a bag when we're going somewhere.  And Vijaya mentioned making the font bigger which is a nice plus.
THE FAIRY TALE SERIES:
My Sister, My Soul
The Plans of Morgiana
Forbidden Key

Laura D

I definitely prefer print over digital. Still love the feel (and smell) of a physical book.

:bunny2

Debbie Vilardi

The retention part of this is huge from an educational perspective, where it matters what we remember of the books we read.
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Vijaya

Makes sense. The more neurons that are fired during reading, the more connections you make, the more you retain. Perhaps we should all be making marginalia. Even doodling :)
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

olmue

I definitely prefer print over digital. And out of sight, out of mind. If it's just in pixels, I tend to forget about it quickly once it's done. But I also appreciate the option for digital--it means I can always have a book on me if I get stuck waiting on someone.

andracill

I'm a voracious reader (200+ books a year), and I use ebooks for the convenience -- BUT until recently (probably this past year), I would've have definitely said I prefer print books. I still like many things about them (all have been mentioned so far), but my Kindle is so easy to use (and adjust the font and the light and download a new book, etc), and I can carry 1000s of books with me at any time. That's pretty hard to beat. When we travel, I always take books along, and even five years ago, I would have a box of books for any trip of 2+ days. Now, I just need my tiny Kindle, and I'm set. So yeah, I like so many things about printed books (and I often read a combination of printed and digital), but I'm thankful for the technology that has made it easier for me to read as much as I want. ;)
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/

clare-shoup

I prefer the experience of reading a physical book. The smell especially is important. I love the different smells of old and new books!

But I also have several disabilities and I've recently discovered a few disability related benefits to ebooks. For some reason they don't trigger migraines as quickly as reading physical print. It's easier to switch back and forth between different activities. I'm autistic and have trouble transitioning, but I also have ADHD, so sometimes I have a short attention span. So it's easier to switch back and forth between reading books, doing internet research, and writing and editing when they're all on my laptop.

I also have a reading disability. Depending on the particular accessibility of the ebook, I can get the computer to read out long passages of text which helps with comprehension.

Mrs. Jones

Chiming in to say that I really love the experience of reading a physical book the best. For sure! But when traveling, it's nice to have access to ebooks and audio books, especially through the library/Libby app.

Also, just something I've noticed in the difference between my middle grade books that came out in 2015 and 2016 and the one that's out now, is that ebook sales and borrowing are still seriously lagging in that age group (as compared to print books). HOWEVER, audio books in the MG market are doing much better these days. They're selling AND getting checked out of libraries. Which leads me to: I don't know why kids are choosing them, but for myself, I prefer the audio book to the ebook.
http://twitter.com/EnaJones
http://www.enajones.com

SIX FEET BELOW ZERO
Holiday House 2021 & 2023

CLAYTON STONE SERIES
Holiday House, 2015, 2016

Abdul Qader

I definitely prefer physical books, however, one thing I don't like about physical books is knowing how close to the ending I am getting. For some books, I don't want to know that. I have never read an ebook, so I don't know if it is also as obvious when reading an ebook how close to the end you are reaching, or if there is a way to obscure that.

Meggan Walsh

Hi there!

So for me I prefer physical books because more often than not my e-reader gets outdated too fast, overheats or simply gets taken over by kiddos to the point I have to deep dive into their rooms/playrooms to even find it. However having said that I do have one ( outdated and barely used these days) and what I did like about it was unless you were paying attention you didn't really know how far you were into the book aside from page numbers. Another benefit to them is you can program them for lowlight to read in bed vs a book light which can be pretty cool.
A little touch of Whimsy does the whole soul good, and goes great with coffee.

Lill

Most new books I buy are in digital form. I can read on my Kindle or use the Kindle app on my iPad, desktop computer, or phone.

Due to a chronic visual impairment, it is sometimes difficult and uncomfortable to read a traditional print book -- and that's with all the reading glasses, magnifiers, etc. as aids. With digital books, I can easily adjust the font size. My condition cannot be improved through surgery or corrective lenses.

So yes, I'm all for Kindle! Just a different perspective. I recently checked out a book from the library, but the small print seriously slowed down my reading. I returned the book and bought the ebook version. So, yay for ebooks!  :pickle
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

Abdul Qader

Hadn't even considered that benefit that Ebooks have over paper books (being able to increase the size and brightness for visual impairment). That must be a game changer.

JulieM

I have used a kindle in the past when confined to bed due to an injury. It's light and easy to download new, cheaper books - I was reading a lot as there was little else I could do. What I didn't like was that it was difficult to flick back to earlier passages when wanted, and I couldn't get a clear sense of how thick the book was on beginning. Also, as you said, it's nice to refer back to the cover as the story fills out. I prefer physical books, but kindle has also been good when traveling because you can carry so many books in one small space.
Cheer Up, Blobfish! (Affirm Press, 2024) - https://rb.gy/9adkmb
www.juliemurphybooks.com

Debbie Vilardi

I like to see how close I'm getting to the end. It makes me feel I've accomplished something with the time.

Not being able to flip back to find a passage easily ifs one of the things that's kept me from trying ebooks. I often want to reread how the author set something up. This is part of my learning process as a writer.
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Vijaya

If I'm studying from an ebook, I take notes. This is one of the reasons why it's much easier for me to read fiction on my kindle than nonfiction. Having a navigable TOC helps and it's what I did for my own fiction when formatting it for the ebook--and not just with chapter numbers, but also chapter titles. But I'll always have a preference for physical books.
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

Vonna

In the past year or so, I have come to prefer ebooks. I read most books on my laptop but I also have my books on my phone so I can read wherever I go. One feature of Kindle I have really started using is Notes and Highlights. It's easy to make notes as I read and I can color code the notes for such things as dialogue, setting, character arc, etc. When I finish the book, I can export the notes into one document. This is especially helpful if I want to write a review.

Having trouble registering? Does something on the board not work correctly? If so, use the Contact button at the top of the page and we will get back to you. Note: questions about writing, publishing, or "how to post" are NOT answered through the Contact button. If you are registered, scroll the Home page to find categories where you can post. Only registered members can post.