And it shouldn’t be that big of a deal because e-readers are doing pretty great in the market. They’re a popular device and it’s becoming a more contagious way to read. There’s always been a book in my bag for as long as I can remember, but my GOD a Kindle is so much lighter! It’s probably my favourite thing about it! I mean the touch screen is great, as is the adjustable lighting… but my bag has enough junk stashed in there without a book.
So why do I feel so guilty for succumbing?
When e-readers first came out I swore against them. Nup. No way. You can’t compare them to a tangible book. The feel of the paper between your fingers and that bookish smell can’t ever be replaced by a digital version. And shame on you if you buy one, you’ll send the book publishers out of business.
But then I had to buy a second bookshelf. And then that bookshelf suddenly got filled up. I needed help.
So here I am in a moral conundrum as the proud owner of a device that’s supposedly going to ravage the book market.
eBooks are roughly 30% cheaper than the RRP of the paperback of a book (at least in Australia anywho). That’s still pretty expensive but when you don’t have a physical copy to hold in your hands and show off on your bookshelf. But the convenience factor seems to outweigh the price factor for a lot of people. It’s funny but, browsing through Amazon and the Book Depository today (Amazon owns Book Depository now so it’s basically the same thing, except now Book Depository has hiked up its prices) the paperback copy can actually be cheaper than the digital version at times! Saying this, however, Amazon versus the book publishers is an entirely different issue so discussion on that is best reserved for another post.
Then I began interning at a publishing company. Like any other market, obstacles come and clever businesses need to find ways not to jump that hurdle but to find ways to use it to their advantage. Digital copies of books aren’t destroying the industry. Copyright infringements may be… but opting to purchase a digital version of a book over a hard copy is not going to hurt the publisher’s feelings. They sell this version of a book for a reason by adapting to their market. Go them!
For me, a tangible book is my favourite way to read. If it’s freezing outside and I’m cuddled up in bed under a stash of blankets, it’s a paperback I turn to. My Kindle is perfect for when I’m on the go. For SOME books you can even download the digital copy when you purchase a hard copy. It’s a win-win there. I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying hard copies of books. But space-wise and convenience-wise, my Kindle has forged a newfound love on my bookshelf.