Print or Digital? How Do You Read?

Do you read print books or ebooks or listen to audio books? (See Pew Research Center chart at the bottom of the post.)

I have admitted to being a tech addict. I LOVE technology gadgets and was an early adopter of the ebook reader. Nook. iPad. Kindle. 

Why digital?

First reason was that it was new technology. Second, I no longer woke in the middle of the night with the lights on.

After about 6 months, I moved from the iPad to the Kindle Paperwhite because the I was afraid the iPad would break my nose when I fell asleep reading and dropped it on my face.

Now as my eyes get older, I truly appreciate a back-lit-reader and the ability to increase the size of the font!

I SO appreciate having a dictionary and the internet at the tap of a finger while I’m reading. I quickly check definitions or an historic reference or search for additional information as soon as I encounter it in my reading. When reading print books, I do not get up to find the dictionary or go to the computer to research while in the middle of a story. I don’t hesitate with an e-book. The information is just a tap away. I’m usually back to my story in less than a minute. (Unless I get absorbed in research.)

I can highlight passages and make notes that are organized under a tab for easy reference. No more flipping through a book looking for yellow highlights of writing notes on stickies and losing them before I’ve even finished the book.

My Kindle Paperwhite does not stream video, but my iPad does. So true multi media books are on the iPad. These are a treat! How exciting it is to have specialty reference books and tutorials with built-in audio and video!

Some studies indicate the 40-60% of e-books that are purchased are never opened! (Yes, Big Brother can and does check on what we read.) E-books that are most likely to be read are plot driven genre books

That fits my profile. I read fiction, especially mysteries on my Kindle. I admit to having about 100 unread books on my Kindle at any given time.(another 3-400 in the Cloud) Many were free downloads (public domain classics) or self published books. I have discovered many enjoyable authors of self published series books that are not available in print. Many of these books tend to be short and perfect bedtime reading. 

I used to lug 4-5 books for vacation reading. Boy, do they get heavy when running to catch a plane. The Kindle weighs the same with 1 book or 1000 books. If I’m traveling someplace that may not have a regular internet access, I am sure to download the books I want to read at home.

I do love print books.

I still have plenty of print books. Some from my childhood. Some professional reading. Poetry. Nonfiction. Some new. Many old favorites. If it is a book that I will want to read frequently, it is print.

Poetry. Art books. Travel guides. History. The classics. Those are the print books on my shelves. I go back to them frequently. They hold special meaning. And there are always a couple of them sitting in my landing spots around the house.

I carefully select which print books I purchase today. No more impulse buys based on a beautiful cover and the heft of a volume. My decisions are generally based on space and time.

I have downsized my living space and do not want to be overwhelmed by books. I could add one more bookcase in the future, but I would rather not.

My last move was made much easier by the lack of a huge physical library. My friends really appreciated that.

My books in the Cloud just float with me.

If I want a book immediately, it is digital. I can download and read it within a minute. I do not have to wait for a bookstore to open or Amazon to deliver. (Even 24 hours can seem an eternity when I want to read something.)

For years, my favorite pastime was visiting bookstores. I found wonderful multi-floor emporiums in large cities and tiny gems in small towns. Nirvana was the bookstore with a coffee shop! But these magical kingdoms are few and far between these days. I have adapted. I sit in coffee shops browsing online. Some of the mystery is lost but the quality of the coffee has improved. And I read more than ever.

Women, Young Adults, Those With Higher Education and Income More Likely to Have Read a Book

3 thoughts on “Print or Digital? How Do You Read?

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1 parent" id="comment-172">
    Kate Casparius

    I was one of the folks that resisted e-books, not because I was not tech savvy, it had more to do with the relationship I had with the physical books. I love looking at book covers, I love the feel of a book in my hand, the smoothing down of the first few pages, the weight of book as I close the cover, finishing the book, reflecting on the story and either releasing it to others, or having it join my coveted favorites on my bookshelf. That being said, I finally did buy myself a Kindle. Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you the rush and joy I felt the first time I saw a review, jumped on Amazon, bought the kindle version and was reading within minutes. INSTANT Gratification. No more waiting for the book to arrive in the mailbox, or spending hours wandering around bookstores. There is a line in one of my favorite books, that basically says…”you don’t find books, books find you”. For me this could not be more true. And how wonderful that I live in a time that I can enjoy both the physical book and the e book…and each meets different needs of my wildly eclectic reading habits. Now if I can figure out how to have someone pay me to read, my life would be complete.

      li class="comment byuser comment-author-tameralg bypostauthor odd alt depth-2" id="comment-173">

      OMG, Kate! What a fantasy job to be paid to read books!

    li class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-171">
    JenGen

    I’ve read only a couple books e-style – I really prefer printed books still. I love the smell, the feel, the textured pages. Also I find after working 8+hours digitally my eyes are ready for no screen time.

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