Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Real" Books versus E-Books

A short time ago, I read an interesting post at Clarissa Draper's blog Listen to the Voices. The subject was the difference in cost (or lack of) between digital books and printed books. My comment was going to be at least as long as the post, so I decided I'd make it into a regular blog post here.
--------------------------------------------------
I'm writing this post as a consumer who likes to read.
An ebook, while less expensive than the paper version, is in many cases over priced. Add to that fact, newly available and rapidly improving technology and it shouldn't take a genius to see what is about to happen.

Let's face facts. Books cost too much now! Even "used" book stores have jumped on that bandwagon by raising their prices. Still cheaper than new, but not that great of a deal anymore. I'm fortunate to be able to buy what I want, but not everyone is still in that boat. I'm just tired of being gouged.

A question...
What's the difference between Border's and Tower Records? The answer is simple, Tower Records is history! The big box book stores are soon to follow. There is simply no need for them anymore.

It's evolution! Just like music, words can be downloaded. I love holding a real book in my hand just as much as the next guy. I also loved holding an album cover! I got over it.

Unfortunately, technological evolution will soon solve the problem for us. The vast majority of books will soon become unavailable on paper. Unless you are willing to pay a high premium for them.

LP music albums are still available also. I think I'm going to head on down to Tower Records to buy one. Oh yeah, they went out of business. I guess I'll be FORCED to download it.

Pretty soon there isn't going to be a choice. The same things being said about "real" books now, were being said about records in the not too distant past. The major book stores that make their living off of new releases are closing! Soon, they will be gone. It's the way of things! Will we be able to buy "real" books? Yes we will, but it will be at an elevated cost, just like records...
Here is a partial list of music and record stores that have closed. Of course there are hundreds of smaller independant stores that have also closed, but I dont have the room or resources to come up with all the names.

.
kindle, big business, book publishers,

87 comments:

becca said...

i personally perfer i real book i like the feel of holding it and being able to turn actual pages. that's just my opinion

trav4adventures said...

I still LOVE to have a book in my hands. Yes, I know what is coming, too, and I'm NOT happy! There's something about turning the pages of a book...

Budd said...

I know someone who works for Border's Distribution Center right outside of Nashville, TN. They will soon be closing. I imagine the Borders stores are next. Barnes and Nobles can't be too far behind them. Barnes and Nobles is at least ensuring a web pressence with the Nook and their e-store.

Brian said...

That is quite a list...the wonders of technology!!!

Penny said...

I hope that isn't true. I love my books. I don't frequent Borders, I tend to use Half.com or the library.

:(

Bossy Betty said...

You've brought back memories here! I used to love going to the music stores, flipping through records. It was a real outing. I miss that! (Don't take away my book stores. Ever. I won't listen to that kind of talk. I am covering my ears!)

Oilfield Trash said...

I know that some day the paper books will get replaced. But I like the paper books and will likely quit buying books when they no longer make the paper books.

I buy all used books. I like the texture and smell of books as opposed to the cold lifeless feel of one of those eReeaders.

Esther Montgomery said...

Have just bought a Kindle.

Am in trauma now about whether the kind of books I like are yet available to read on it.

This article reminds me of a long explanation I gave to my husband this morning (who couldn't find eBooks he wanted on Amazon either) about how reel-to-reel led to cassettes and that these are the true pre-cursors of CDs (not records, despite their shape) and how there were different kinds of video formats originally and one won over the rest so even if eBooks have yet to develop further . . . we are in at the beginning of something exciting so there are bound to be hiccups and how people don't buy cassette tapes now even though we all used to have them and . . . and . . . bother . . . it's all down to you Pat and your enthusiasm . . .

Aaaaaaaaaaagh!

Esther

m. said...

Rumor has it is Borders in on it's way to file bankruptcy. I haven't jumped on the e-reader bandwagon yet because I LOVE having books. I like the way the smell, feel, and look on my bookshelves. I don't know that I can get used to reading electronic versions of my books. Although, it's surely where we are headed. I really hope printed works don't die out like records did.

Jhon Baker said...

I don't think that books are going anywhere - a smaller market yes, but they availability is going to continue. We are seeing a shift in music and book retailers toward a more ma and pa type operation - or indie as they say, Borders is on it's last leg and will be Chapter 11 this year. The remaining stores that the courts allow to open will not be far behind - Barnes will stay around as the competition is then limited and they are going to a broader line while keeping books on the forefront. Books especially will never be out of the fray, it is possible that more people will go to a print on demand platform and possibly have kiosks in the larger markets (target, walmart, barnes...), and things will change but trust in that the tactile book will always be around.
Books are expensive - some far too much, I think there should be tier pricing... cheaper for romance, mystery, fiction, more for lit, history, biography. One of the largest things driving the cost of books though is the paper price, but as the demand goes down, so will prices - until that reverses and all books are generally made nicer, built to last and the price will be premium as the materials are premium.
I have a lot more to say and maybe I will have to make it another post!

Kristy said...

It makes me sad but I see it coming too... where there used to be books there is a giant display of e-readers and accessories... looks like a bomb went off and killed everything.

I love real books. I love to read. I love to browse the shelves at Barnes and Noble. I'm not sure I would love to read on a Nook or a Kindle. I've been boycotting them because I hate what they stand for... the death of the printed book.

TS Hendrik said...

Times change, but I still dream of one day publishing a novel in print. Just something about the smell of the paper and the turn of each page. But you're right, print will soon be gone. Even libraries are starting to make more and more ebooks available.

Pat Tillett said...

becca - I totally agree with you! However, I've had my kindle for about 6 months now and much to my surprise, I'm already getting over the "feel" issues I had with e-readers.

trav4adventures - I agree on all counts!

Budd - I spoke to the manager of a B&N by my house. He said if the electronic trends stay the same or worsen they will close. They are already going to close the music portion of their store.

Brian - I know it sucks, but...

Penny - I hope it isn't true, buy I'm afrraid it is. In addition to the e-readers. Internet sells of books and people using the library more now, instead of buying is also cutting into the sales.

Bossy Betty - I loved doing that. I've gone through it all with music. 4 and 8 track, reel to reel, records, cassettes, and CDs and now..I download...

Oilfield Trash - I was very surprised that I got over "real" paperbacks so quickly. I don't even notice that I'm reading from a kindle instead of a book. It's actually easier, because you only need one hand.

Esther - I know! I haven't found everything I've looked for also. That's gonna change though (or at least that's what they told me.)
I know, I'm no longer worried about it. I really believe that technology is part of our evolution as humans. Thanks for commenting!

m. - I heard that about Borders also. The Borders I've used for years, that was always fairly crowded, is usually almost empty now...Sad!

Jhon - I hear you and agree with that. Records are still available, but they are scarce and very expensive. Unfortunately, I don't trust that new books will always be avaiable (here anyway). The exact things were said about music and music stores. They are now ALL gone! Here's something I didn't say in my post. Don't look for the big business end of book publishing to help us out on this. I'm sure by watching the music industry, they've already figured out that they stand to make a lot more money by NOT printing books and controling the electronic end of the deal.

Miss Nikki said...

What I love most of my iPod and my Kindle is the same: less stuff.

I do however think this new technology has changed how I evaluate each purchase: I'm cheaper.

When I loved a song I'd head out to the music store and buy the album then slowly fall in love with the remainder of the music. Now I zip through iTunes 30 seconds per song to see if I like the rest and buy only the songs I know I like.

And books? Well, it used tobe an ideal day off from work was spent in a book store going through my favorite authors and discovering new authors... I'd leave the store with a bag of new books which once read stayed in my bookshelves in case I'd want to read it again or pass it on to a friend. My Kindle purchases are based mostly on the book's price. Unless I know for sure I want it (after reading the free sample of course) and feel the need to finish reading it. I find my quality of reading has dropped. I'm also not reading in French anymore due to lack of availability (only the classics and most times they've been translated).

But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lighter baggage it provides! Less is more.

Nice discussion provoking post!

Miss Nikki said...

Oh and by the way, my last iTunes purchase (Mumford and Sons) I went ahead and purchased the ENTIRE album although I only knew 1 song. So as I progress with my music purchases, I know I will with my literary choices...

KarenG said...

I agree with you. Whenever I go past a bookstore I think oh how sad, your days are numbered. Think of all the video rental stores that were around a decade ago, and how many do we see now? A lot of redboxes but no retail rental stores.

diane rene said...

I am sad to hear Borders will be closing. I prefer them over B&N :( I still use the book stores for older titles and new titles that my kindle doesn't have yet. If I can wait, I prefer to order books from Amazon since they are usually cheaper, but I think you are right - eventually, they will be gone.

I'm okay with it really ... I no longer miss my 45s that my brother used as frisbies. going to music stores was fun, but I'm over that as well. I actually like change!

I have loved to read for as long as I can remember and while I do love the feel of a book in my hands, I was much more excited about being able to carry hundreds of books with me every where I go! my kindle is now a year and a half old and it has been used daily and with much love. my 11 year old daughter got one for her birthday and every day she is downloading samples to browse. the beauty of this is, I don't have to wait for a store to open, or be out when they close. I shop for my books in the middle of the night from the comfort of my bed.

the idea of it all being gone is sad, but I know I will get over it and move on with the times. it's not like we can really fight it, right?

faye said...

I love hard copies of books and I will always keep my collection of favorites. But Ipad and Ipod have
free Kindle,Nook and I Book apps.
so it is easy to always have with
me a favorite book. Just traded up
to the color Nook and I love it...
now I carry my 20 or so absolute
must reads . I will miss the big
book stores, but you have to go with
the evolution .

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Books are extortionate up here in Canada these days. A new paperback usually is around $22-$25 which is outrageous. I'm pretty sure in the States I never used to pay anything like that. I'm all for things like the Kindle though, where you can get stuff a bit cheaper and you don't clutter up your place with books that gather dust. I realize purists hiss at this point of view and love books but I have no actual attraction to physical books unless they're of the coffee table photo variety and think e-books are a great idea.

Cake Betch said...

Aww Pat, it makes me sick to think that I won't be able to go to the bookstore and browse for hours and add to my collection. I've always dreamed of having a 'library' when I get older and can afford a house. :-(

LovkynÄ› said...

i still buy cds. sure, i have to order them online, since stores don't sell new music, but they're still actual physical cds. i'm hoping i'll be able to continue buying books as well. maybe it's better for the environment if we elimate the need for physical objects, but i'm a selfish prick.

Marlene said...

I prefer a real book, myself. Just haven't gotten into the whole idea of e-reading, I guess. Agree, though....the prices of books is high.

I recently found a great used book store in my area. LOTS of selection and so well organized. Everything is under $5. Every single book.

Ashley King said...

the adhd effect on marriage by melissa orlov needs to be available on the kindle stat. hahahahha.

*waving my wine glass around in the air* HAAAAAA!!!!! just kidding.... mom will get the joke.

Ashley King said...

the adhd effect on marriage by melissa orlov needs to be available on the kindle stat. hahahahha.

*waving my wine glass around in the air* HAAAAAA!!!!! just kidding.... mom will get the joke.

Entre Nous said...

Though I do love the book-in-my-hands reality, the e-reader the kids gave me for Christmas is working out nicely. Once I clear out everything but my first editions I won't have so many books to move around, as it appears I am becoming a nomad.

The really, really good thing about the whole deal is place like my most favorite (The Boook Barn in Nianti, Ct. I once ran into Dominic Dunne there) will be thriving. Its an enormous four story barn full of used books, reasonably priced, with several out buildings, such as a Haunted House for scary books, places to sit, fountains in dark corners, and of course a zillion stray cats they have taken in waundering around. Yuh, I know, I remain hopeless, anyway my point being it will be great for small cottage industries, which is good considering the economy. The owner of The Book Barn was a friend of mine who actually owned a bookstore. When the powers that be decided to remodel the mall, he got out rather than go bankrupt from lack of foot traffic. Myabe we are at a point where we can take back the way we shop, thats not a bad thing. I miss the family owned corner bookstore!

California Girl said...

I was astonished when I learned Tower Records would be gone. The Hollywood store and the NYC store were musts. I still miss rooting through the record bins looking for my favorites, particularly old albums I could not find elsewhere. What you have to say is startling and it makes sense and this depresses me. I love book stores; always thought I'd own one. Will we be relegated to libraries? Will everything we cherish disappear and become available only to the very rich who will hoard and hide them?

There's a scene in "Soylent Green" when Charlton Heston brings Edward G. Robinson a bottle of booze, a steak and some books. Robinson is amazed as he's not seen these things in so long. He cries. It's so poignant.

You're scaring me.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love everything about books: the smell, the feel, bookshelves filled with them.

However, here are the reasons I buy only e-books now:

(a) In Mexico, there are no English bookstores.
(b) I don't have to drive two hours to the nearest American bookstore.
(c) Kindle books download instantly. Did I say INSTANTLY?
(d) They're cheaper... for now.

Ree said...

I love browsing book stores, large and small, so it saddens me greatly to think of them no more. But I guess you're right about them becoming dinosaurs soon.

From your list was Peaches - oh my goodness! Hadn't thought of Peaches in a long time, fond memories of browsing albums while listening to loud music there. Thanks!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Once in a while, I'll order an actual CD from a store online - but usually I download it from iTunes. (That said, when it's a favorite band and I just can't wait, I'll hit our local Target - they usually have new releases for the same price as a download.)
Big record labels rely on radio time to promote their artists - I wonder what the big publishers intend to do when the bookstores are gone?

M. D. Jackson said...

I started with a comment but after several hours it became a blog post of its own:


http://michaeldeanjackson.blogspot.com/2011/01/real-books-vs-e-books.html

Nat said...

I'd really miss bookshops...the old, musty second hand book ones and the new, glossy ones too. The smells, the atmosphere, the feel of the books... hope they don't disappear too soon :-(

Pat Tillett said...

Kristy - I agree! Real books are amazing. If there is anybody to blame, we have to blame ourselves. This thing (computer) we are using at this very moment is the cause... thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Tim - I TOTALLY agree! I want to see books that I've written in bookstores! Libraries are part of it also, not only because they have ebooks, but also because cities now say that they are too expensive to maintain, and really, once EVERYTHING is digitized, what's the point? All the classics are available already and they are free on Kindle.

Miss Nikki - You are so right! I have to admit that I'm starting to like the fact that I'm not hoarding more and more books. I also like the fact that I can carry thousands of books in my back pocket! Thanks! Less is really more when you live on a boat...

KarenG - I started to include video and movie stores, but my post was getting much too large, so I deleted that part. Pretty soon we'll never leave the house!
It's sad...

diane rene - I totally agree about the ability to have your entire library on you at all times! It's safer also. If your kindle burns up, Amazon will replace EVERYTHING for free! It is sad, but it's coming...

faye - I will miss the stores also. I can spend hours in a book store...

TVA - I think I've pretty much already adapted. I've already donated almost all my books. Some I will replace on Kindle, but not most. technology is like a flood. Once it starts, there is no stopping it.

Cake Betch - You'll still be able to browse at used book stores! I've had the "library" and now I don't. I really don't miss it...

Lovkyne - It's always hard to let go of the things we love. I had such a hard time giving books away. I have no idea how many I gave up, but it was a ton.

Ashley - LOL...Now if I could just sit down and read it. I usually read two or three books at a time. Talk about A.D.D...

Entre Nous - I kept most of my first editions, but I even unloaded some of those! The Book Barn, that sounds like an amazing place! I wish it was close to me. I also miss small business or all types.

California Girl - Looking at what happened to movies and music, we know exactly how it's all going to come down for books. Because we grow attached in an emotional sense to books, I think they'll always around, but it will cost a lot to get them. Or it could go the other way, old paperbacks may become worthless or very cheap. Really, used CDs and albums are so very cheap now...Well soon find out!

Clarissa - I really do like the fact that download instantly. You are right about them being cheper "for now." Once our options are limited, the prices will rise. There will be no reason for it, but they will.

Ree - It is a sad thing... I really miss music stores. Not the ones with CDs though. I miss albums.

Alex - Target is being smart about it. They don't designate a huge amount of space to music, but what they do designate, is full of the music that sells. Plus they have good freshly popped corn! I'll bet you that book trailers on TV and radio are going to become common place.

MD - Wow! That's what happened to me! I'll check it out.

Nat - It will be a sad day, that's for sure!

Kal said...

I feel the same way you do. You have to adapt to the technology. I love holding a comic book in my hands but at 4 dollars each, it's impractical to buy the hard copies when I can download everything that comes out in a given week in minutes. I have learned to enjoy my comics online. Until the providers of music, TV, movies, literature get with the program and design a model that works for the new ways that people consume these products they are only going to go out of business. Someone, however, will always be there to provide these things to me digitally - they will not just disappear. I for one am glad that I don't have to buy a whole album worth of crap just to listen to two songs I like. We HAVE been gouged and cheated for too long. I have no sympathy for record companies or rock stars. As for comic book companies, I don't really need TEN different Batman titles a month. Instead of trying to trap me as a completist, maybe you should concentrate on ONE good story a month. You did this to yourselves by creating EVENTS that priced your fans out of the ability to follow the whole story because they didn't want to spend 100 dollars to do so.

Kal said...

I would like to see libraries becoming more and more important as one of the sources of hard cover books for those who want them. A community will invest in them and that can only be a good thing.

Copyboy said...

I'm amazed with technology, but you're right the effects of it are sad. I remember going to the closing at Tower Records. FYI...comic book stores are close behind.

Chuck said...

Pat, I too like the the feel of a book, being able to dog-ear a page, or underline a passage. I have a nasty tree-killing habit of printing things like e-books rather than reading them on the screen. This is probably the "feel" you say you have adjusted too.

BTW, I have a few albums left that I hold and read the covers periodically.

Good post.

Jimmy said...

So true my friend, the changes will happen whether we agree or not, just remember when those new cassette tapes came along and replaced the 8 tracks, just where are the cassettes now? Gone like all the music stores you mentioned.

I like the feel of a good book but also like the option of carrying my whole library on vacation, I am enjoying my Kindle so far.

Baby Sister said...

And Hollywood Video. I don't know if that is outside of Utah, but either way, but all of the stores in Utah are gone.
That being said, I really hope that real books stay in the world for a good while longer...I have dreams of building an amazing library and that does NOT include ebooks. I like the smell of the pages, I like holding the book in my hands, I like the reality of it. I'm not 100% against ebooks, I am just sad at the future that I can see for real books.

Carmi said...

I published an article in the Toronto Star earlier this month on this very topic. My question: have e-books reached the tipping point? We may already be there in man respects.

I just go an iPad, and I firmly believe the future of publishing lies in flexible, online distribution. Books, newspapers, magazines...all in trouble, just like the record stores, if they fail to adapt. They CAN, but they need to pull their heads out of the sand.

passionofthemom said...

Yeppers. Printed books are going the way of VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and photographs on PAPER instead of a memory stick. I really LOVE reading books, but I think the eReaders will be a lot easier to deal with...no more lost pages when you go to adjust your position and the book closes up on you. No more required shelf space to keep the books from taking over your dwelling. Don't get me wrong -- I'm sad that paper books are going to be a relic before too long! I'm a very heavy reader, and books have been my lifesavers! I've learned to deal with the coming loss of printed books in much the same way as the "loss" of 35mm and Polaroid photos in this new age of digital photography, mostly because it's just so damn CONVENIENT!! To be able to see the shot you took, without having to wait for some developer to charge you an arm and a bunghole to make it too dark to see is (to me) the greatest technological advance in the last 2 decades!! =) I figure I will feel mostly the same about eBooks, given enough time. I never cared for CD's, really, so the age of the mP3 was a godsend for me! =) I just really, REALLLLY hope that Netflix doesn't do away with tangible media as far as DVD's and Blu-rays go. I'm not much for the whole streaming thing, other than its convenience. (And it's barely that.) I just wonder if the day isn't coming (and right soon) when we're going to lament all that we've allowed ourselves to lose.

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

I loved this post!
I prefer a real book, too.
I like the feel of holding it and smelling the paper of the book.
Thank you for bringing back memories to me.
Great topic!

Betty

boycottamericanwomen said...

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American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

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BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

Cotton Blossom said...

Oh, this post makes me so sad. My friend Gwen is a book reviewer, she said ebooks are even having a negative effect on her business.

When I first heard of ebooks, silly me thought they would be cheap. ha ha ha!

Joe Cap said...

I don't think printed books will be going away anytime soon, but ebooks are definately on the rise.
Like you, I will be getting a Kindle very soon, and have already purchased a lot of ebooks for it.
I love having real books, but I also love the idea of having all my favorites in one place to carry with me. Luckily, I have found that the vast majority of my favorites are available...but not all.

Margaret Benbow said...

I've just got to have my books...the real ones...and will start seriously stocking up on favorites. If it's true that books will no longer be available in print...it's almost like a non-violent but still chilling version of that sci-fi movie, Fahrenheit 451.

Pat Tillett said...

Kal - What bugs me even more is that the publishers will hang on to, or try to improve their profit margin, even though the new ebooks are cheaper for them to provide. We're still gonna get screwed, just on a different platform. I totaly agree about libraries. I love them!

Copyboy - I hope that the comics and illustration heavy books are always around. I'm sure regular books will also be around, but at a premium.

Chuck - I also LOVE books! Have you priced any new record albums? They VERY expensive... Oh yeah, you can "dog-ear" a page and underline a passage with ereaders. You can also make notes on a page.

Jimmy - I'm with you, it's a mixed bag! Both good and bad sides...

Baby Sister - They used to be here in the Malls. I'm hoping there is room for both. Technology is a double edged sword, that's for sure.

Carmi - I'm amazed by how many people I know already have e-readers and love them. I have an Ipad also, but for me, it's too bulky for reading books. I can put the Kindle in my back pocket. I hope there is plenty of room for everyone to get what they want. But I'm afraid that the decision is already made by the publishers.

passionofthemom - Your're right! We didn't get here by accident! We develop the technology that in turn develops us. I totally agree about digital photography. I fought it, but finally gave in. I'm so glad I did...

Betty - Thanks Betty! I love those things also. Just like I loved holding, smelling and arranging my record albums.

boycottamericanwomen - spamming bastard...

Cotton - It's going to have a negative impact on a lot of folks. You can be sure that the publishers aren't going to miss their payday!

Joe - I agree that not ALL printed books will go away. If you like to read the Classics, they are avaialable on Kindle...for free!

Margaret - I'm with you! But only to a point. I have books that I'll never get rid of and I have books that are like food, I'd rather have a digital version of them.

Chris Phillips said...

I hated the jump from vhs to dvd when it was happening, now i feel a little stupid about it. i went to see an illustrator last week who said publishing isn't going to ever go away, but that the transition was more difficult then for movies or music because they transition every 10-30 years and publishing hasn't for 530.

Pat Tillett said...

Chris - I hope he is right, but based on what's happened to music, movies, paper mail, newspapers, magazines, etc....I'm not sure that he is...

Leovi said...

For 7 years I listen to digital books only transcribed in mp3, and it is wonderful and comfortable.

John McElveen said...

GREAT POST! My wife has a terrible neck problem, and this will FREE her up to reading again. Yes, just the position of holding a Book aggravated and increased her pain. The LIGHT new E-reader will allow her to turn on her side, read on trips, etc.

Just another tidbit in case no one mentioned it in comments!

John

James said...

I haven't read a lot of books lately but when I do it's usually from the public library. I wonder how long before they will be E-libraries? I hope not soon because I've never read an e-book and I don't really want to. Come to think of it I don't download music either. I guess I'm old fashioned.

tapirgal said...

We're in a fast-changing era, that's for sure. I enjoyed reading the many comments here. I can relate to so much of it. How we found new songs on albums, how we love the old books. The big box book stores effectively eliminated many small bookstores, what has become of the favorite rainy-day used bookstore, etc. I'm just glad I've had the opportunity to know these things and also the opportunity to become excited about the new.

Megan said...

I can adapt to a reader if I must. My only fear is for the stuff that may not get digitized - I mean, who's going to tell the folks that are marketing these things what to make available? You know? I hate to think of any book being lost because "not enough people will buy it." That's a road straight down into disaster, if you ask me...

SquirrelQueen said...

I haven't bought a CD in years, I download all my music, and all my photos are in digital format. I don't own a Kindle yet but I downloaded it to my laptop and have a couple of books on there so far. Before ereaders became so popular I downloaded ebooks to my Palm.

I would be perfectly happy reading books and newspapers in digital format. The trees could grow and the air would be a little cleaner.

What would make me even happier is if the publishers would get a grip and realize that digital media should cost less. I suspect they are trying to prevent the demise of printed books.

Arlee Bird said...

This is a sad post because it's about a sad truth. I used to love to drop in a record store and spend an hour or two just browsing. Now I can do the same online, but it's not the same as picking up an album and holding it while looking at the cover. Online shopping has a lot of advangtages, but the feel of being in the store and carrying out the purchase makes it more memorable and personal.

I think it's dangerous to make everything "e". No more passing down tangible products to kids or buying them at yard sales. Some books and music will be lost.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Tracy said...

Pat,
I find it really sad that a part of our Americana is disappearing regarding music records. I really love touching and feeling a book and leafing through the pages and highlighting and so many people have said they love them but I'm not totally convinced...we'll see!

Pat Tillett said...

Leovi - It's also cheaper that way because you can buy only the songs you want.

John - That's true! The readers are very light and thin. Thanks John!

James - That's funny James! I'm sure when most of the changes happen, we won't remember who we are...

tapirgal - Yep! It's really fast! I agree that progress isn't always a good thing...

Megan - I think the publishers are the folks behind it. No product to ship everywhere and a greatly reduced work force. Their profit margin increases! Plus, did you know that the major book stores get to/must return all the new books that aren't sold? The publishers totally control them.

SQ - You are so right about the cost. It's stupid that books are so expensive now. I'm sure they will gouge us with the digital versions as well.

Arlee - Me too! One giant magnetic pulse from a solar flare or something and we are in BIG trouble.

Tracy - I know, I hate to lose those things. I hope it happens slower with books than it did with music.

Sarah said...

I've heard a lot on this issue...and all I can say is that I love love love "real books" so much! I will never buy a Kindle!

Also, I've blog awarded you :) I know you've gotten a lot of awards, but you deserve them!

Kato said...

Ugh....I feel you may be right about the fate of books. But I am going to pretend like it isnt happening until I am forced to start a revolution.... :)

Pat Tillett said...

Sarah - "I'll never buy a Kindle!" that's what I said also. Well, I never did, I got it as a gift. Now I LOVE IT... thanks so much for the award! I just left your blog.

Kato - the B&N manager I spoke to, told me it's already happening!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I like the feel of a book too much. I like to feel flipping to the next page. My eyes would bug out if I had to read from the ebook. Damn technology ruining things for us that don't want it.

Sarah said...

I love reading and I love just having a book in hands--like you said. I'm not a fan of those e-books and I really hope that real ones are going to survive! I can't imagine that something that's been around for so long (forever it seems) is going to disappear completely! I don't want to imagine it :P

Jerry said...

When our library stops offering paper books, I figure it is time for me to die. I've played with a Kindle from a colleague...and I have to say, I want my paper books.

Pat Tillett said...

PTM - I'm already over the feel (of paperbacks). I can only speak for the Kindle, but it is MUCH easier on the eyes than print on paper. I understand though...

Sarah - I'm sure there will always be printed books always, but at what cost?

Jerry - Viva la Difference

Icy BC said...

I like real books too, but haven't bought any in a few years because like you said, they are expensive, so I use the library system to get what I want to read. As for eBook, I don't see the need for them.

Pat Tillett said...

Icy BC - It's interesting because it's the publishers that set the high prices and it's going to be them that controls the digital versions. I may be wrong, but I think they are pushing the industry right where they want it...to digital!

Stephen Tremp said...

That's quite a list. Thanks for taking the time and putting it together for us. I agree books are too much. I can't believe what I spent over the years on books. Now I go to the library or as the library to order books if they don't have them. And an eReader is definately in our future.

Pat Tillett said...

Stephen - They are too much! I don't think it's an accident either! I probably would have been one of the last people to buy a Kindle, but I received one as a gift. I'm LOVING it...

Harold said...

The publishers know that people loan their books to others and with ebooks they won't be able to! So now they will make even more money.

Harold said...

The publishers know that people loan their books to others and with ebooks they won't be able to! So now they will make even more money.

Pat Tillett said...

Harold - you are probably right about that.

Francisca said...

One reason "real" books will increase in price is that as demand for them goes down, smaller production runs will cost more. I agree ebooks are over-priced. Consider buying ebooks from self-publishers who sell well below the big publisher prices.

Pat Tillett said...

Francisca - Oh yeah! just like records. They will always get their money...

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

As a pro book reviewer, ebooks have their ups and downs for me. I will always be a tree book person, but I must say, it is really nice not to have my coffee table and every shelf in the house stacked like a Jenga game.

And most people think that an ebook is less expensive to produce than a tree book, it really isn't. Yes, the lack of distribution is likely better for our environment, but it still takes a boat load of workers to actually create that file that is whisked to you via Amazon's whispernet, not to mention all of the new tech people that are needed to make sure delivery runs just as smoothly to you through the air as it did when it was delivered on a truck.

My worry is that years from now, I will be looking for a copy of a slightly obscure novel from say, the 80's and no one will have it available. E-books are technology and if there is anything I have learned about technology, it is that it just doesn't have the permanence that our old school ways do. (That is unless it is the nitrate film they used on the old silents. That was a bad idea!)

Pat Tillett said...

I also love "tree" books but was driven mad by how many of them I had. I guess that is why I've switched (for the most part).

Publishers themselves are the ones who are saying that it is so expensive to produce and distribute ebooks. That way they can justify the inflated prices. Think about it, the distribution process is already totally in place...It's the internet!

When the entire process of production and distribution is combined it is much cheaper to produce and distribute ebooks. A lot of that cost comes after the production and distrution process. It's relative to the cost of waste.

Most people don't know that if a store doesn't sell all of it's new books or magazines that they are returned to the distributor and destroyed. They call that waste. The stores never really own the books, they take them in on sort of a consignment agreement. If there are none, or a small amount of paper books, then there is a small amount of no "waste." Either way, a large amount of their cost simply goes away...

Also, when a store discounts a book, it comes out their cut, not the publishers.

Having said all that I hope you are right. But I'm afraid it's now part of our evolution.

Andy said...

How do you get your favorite ebook signed by the author? I also like book shelves full books physically like, newer doesn't always mean better.

Pat Tillett said...

Andy - I totally understand and agree. People (including me) used to love looking at record albums all neatly lined up in their shelves. Many kids today have no idea what a "record album" is. I hope it never becomes that extreme, but it is going in that direction for sure.

Andy said...

Hi Pat,

I also love vinyl! Bought a turntable in 2009 after getting rid of my last one in around 1994, the sound quality of vinyl beats the hell out of mp3's as well as the aesthetics of it (sleeve art and the physicality of vinyl). Bought quite a few records off ebay and amazon for great prices. I love computers and digital stuff but don't want to look at, listen to and read 100% of everything off computer screens. I actually found a book in my wardrobe the other day with a lovely message on it from an ex girlfriend, digital doesn't allow that personal touch. Great blog btw.

Pat Tillett said...

Andy - I was thinking of buying one myself. I know I'd like to get a USB turntable for sure to get my albums on my Ipod, but I'd also like to be able to listen to them with a regular turntable. Thanks so much for commenting!

Darrin.. said...

As a lifetime reader, I just can't buy into the notion of an e-reader yet. Not sure why. Maybe I'm just too retro, I dunno. I do love "flipping through a book". I also love being able to walk up to my bookshelf, and then quickly pluck one from my collection to read!

Pat Tillett said...

Darrin - I love the same things. On the other hand, I like the idea of being able to carry 3500 books in my pocket and the flipping of pages is quickly replaced by thumbing a bar on either side of the reader.

Andy said...

Hi Pat,

I bought a Sony PS-LX300USB which is a regular turntable that you connect to an amp but it also has a usb cable and software for converting vinyl to mp3's, it cost 130 euro in Dublin so I'd say its much cheaper in the US, I only use it for listening to vinyl and have no interest in converting it to mp3's, it was the cheapest brand name turntable I could find I wasn't interested in the usb capabilities, anyway the sound is great on it.

DumbFunnery said...

Yowzers. You made a great point which I hadn't really thought about:

"It's evolution! Just like music, words can be downloaded. I love holding a real book in my hand just as much as the next guy. I also loved holding an album cover! I got over it."

With each coming generation the expectations with an experience change. The only records I've bought are from half-price bookstores (Steve Martin's 4 comedy albums) and it's just for wall-art. Soon books will be decorations and not for reading.

Pat Tillett said...

Andy - Wow! Thanks so much for the tech info on that turntable. I'm going to check it out for sure!

Brad - Yep, it's all about technology. Once that snowball starts rolling, there is no stopping it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, that’s exactly what I was scanning for! You just spared me alot of searching around

Steve D. said...

I like the written word and always will. I guess I am more resistant than most people about Kindle's and eBooks. We are becoming too dependent on computers for everything. It doesn't mean that something diabolical or evil will necessarily happen from this truth. However, it does frighten me that whenever convenience is offered at a lower cost, we always bow down to it with little or no resistance. Neil Postman is an author who has written about how we do not question whether or not we need a new technological advancement. Ebooks, sorry. I'm not convinced yet.

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