I Don’t Mean To Say I Told You So…

But I did…

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I always suspected that eBooks were evil and now it looks like I might be right and they could end civilisation as we know it. (Ok my tongue is a little in cheek at the last bit!) Thought it was interesting it’s made headline news, although with a picture below of mickey mouse in a portaloo it might just be a quite day!

What are your thoughts on eBooks?

30 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts

30 responses to “I Don’t Mean To Say I Told You So…

  1. Christine C

    Hi there,

    I know this is a bit of a touchy subject and I may be branded a traitor 😉 but I have had a Kindle since September last year, I never have it out of my hand. The change over from print to… well eprint was tricky at first but I wouldn’t be without it.

    Now I know this sounds really silly what with music and video piracy but I really have never thought of ebook priacy. I purchase all my books at the Amazon Kindle store, some at a reduced price but if it’s a book I have been really wanting I will pay the full hardback price without the hardback weight – genius.

    I still have my huge TBR book pile but at the mo I have tons of books on my Kindle that I am slowly making my way through.

    I can see how easy it is to download ebooks and I might be a bit odd but I don’t think I could download these books, I think it’s hard enough for Authors without them being diddled. I can see it being a problem though, I just won’t add to it 😉

    That might just be me though 😉

    • Great response Christine and while I might once have been tempted to brand you as a traitor, haha, I wouldn’t now because lets face it e-readers are here and they arent really going to go anywhere.

      That said I dont think they are the threat to the real book I thought they once were, apart from in the sense of this piracy.

  2. I hope this sort of thing stops. I have a Kindle, as you know, and am devoted to it but it sits alongside my love of real books. They can co-exist. Not sure I could do without my Kindle now – recently have just read and posted about Unbearable Bassington by Saki a gem of a book and then went hunting for more by this author. Able to download shed loads free so it opens up a huge swathe of reading for htose of us who though well I might like to try but did not have the money, or more importantly, the shelf space!

    • They can indeed co-exist, I have chilled out about them a lot more than I thought I ever would. I have also seen from several bloggers that while they love them they can combine reading, and lets face it they are encouraging people to read more which is no bad thing.

  3. I received a Kindle for my birthday and I absolutely adore it – don’t know how I managed without it! It has revolutionised the way I read but, like Elaine, it will never replace my love for print books and they happily co-exist. Space and cost are huge factors.

    Piracy was always going to be an issue and working for a publisher, it is a huge concern; however, I’m more imminently worried about Cameron’s proposed copyright/intellectual property plans, which are as, if not potentially more so, damaging.

    • You see when people say I dont know how I managed without one I just think… ‘really?’ Because we all have until the last year or so hahahahaha. Thats not meant snarky by the way.

      I like the fact they can co-exist and have been pleased to see many people taking them under their wing and carrying on with the normal print books too.

      I would need to go and look up the Cameron plan, when I see his name I sort of switch off so purposefully miss a lot of the news, sad but true.

  4. eBooks are a blessing if you live in a country where it is difficult to obtain certain authors or if the price of a hardback/paperback is prohibitive. There’s also the instant gratification element going for it… and it saves trees. I don’t think that you have to choose between paper and digital as each has its own merits. I won’t stop buying paper books but it’s nice to be able to access more books digitally when you want to.

    • I can totally see what you mean about them being a blessing in countries where certain books are hard to read. I can also imagine they are good for the visually impaired etc. It does also save trees, something I hadnt thought about but then most publishers do have a replanting policy and recycled paper policy on the whole.

  5. Perhaps I’m being naive, but I don’t see how pirating ebooks does any more damage to the publishing industry than buying second hand copies of ‘real’ books does. In neither case do the publisher or author get any benefit, but I certainly don’t feel guilty about buying used books. So as an almost exlusively second hand buying reader I’m theoretically as detrimental to publishing as ebook pirates (I wish there were another term; piracy makes it sound so very exciting).

    The article did talk about a pirated version of the new Jeffrey Archer book being available before the book itself has been released, but that’s a problem with the honesty of someone in the team connected to the book, not with the format in which it’s published.

    • There is of course that fact with second hand books so that is a very valid point and one that I can’t really respond to as I havent thought about it. I guess with second hand books at least the charity is getting something out of it, or the lovely second hand bookshop a living from it. Plus you might find a cheap gem and by the latest hardback… maybe?

  6. Louise

    I don’t have a kindle or anything of the sort,i’ve never used one,i have thought about it,but i just can’t do it.. i would rather spend that money on real books, that i can hold in my hands, turn the pages of and breathe in that bookish smell 😉

    i know the e-reader would save me so much space,and yet again i need more new bookcases,but i love looking at my books,sat so nicely on my shelves,my house wouldn’t be home without them!

  7. I want to echo what Old English Rose said about buying books secondhand. I rarely buy books but if I do I prefer to get them at a discount. So does that hurt the publishing industry too? I’m sure the electronic format would make it easier for people to get books for free but I’m sure there’s some way companies can prevent this through the use of some other technology.

    As far as eBooks in general, I can’t say that I’ve ever read one on an eReader so I don’t have much of an opinion. I’m not totally against them as I can see their purposes. I used to live abroad in a country where it was hard to find good books in English and eBooks would have been really nice to have even though I do prefer actual books. Maybe if I get an eReader my opinion will change but right now, given the choice, I’d rather visit my local library or bookshop.

    • I get what you mean about second hand books, see my reply to Old English Rose for a detailed response, but I think things like supermarket offers dont help the author either, unless it turns into buying the back catalogue. Its great for a publisher not neccesarily the author.

  8. Ebook piracy is not that much of a threat, for most authors. Print publishers and a lot of writers seem unsure what to do with the new format option, and some of them are panicking. Nevertheless, most avid readers I’ve met are willing to pay for content provided it’s not priced unreasonably high. And those who are unwilling to pay for content wouldn’t have bought the print version, either, so it really isn’t a lost sale.

    I bought a Nook about a year ago, and I love it. I still sometimes read paper books, and I still even sometimes buy them, though most of the physical books I read these days are from the library. My house is too cluttered already, and I don’t need to bring more stuff into it. I also love the immediacy of being able to pick something out and be reading it a few minutes later. I like having lots of reading material with me, without having to drag around multiple books. I like the access it gives me to small or niche publishers I wouldn’t be able to buy in a brick and mortar bookstore, and I like access to a lot of material that isn’t even available in print.

    I still shop in physical bookstores, however, as it’s a good way to browse and find new material. I take my Nook with me to Barnes & Noble, and when I find a book that interests me I check to see if it’s available as an ebook, and how the price compares. And over time, probably only about half the books I buy when I’m at Barnes & Noble are physical books. It’s still a sale for them, though.

    • I’m amazed how people can see books as clutter. I mean I understand their is a limit (though at 600 books I havent reached mine hahaha) I do like the fact you use the library too though. Not that I was judging, ha it sounded like I was but I wasnt.

      I think for travelling the e-reader is probably great, and maybe when I eventually do some big old travelling I will cave in.

  9. Jo

    I have a Kindle and love it, and have had the opportunity to read some stuff I would not normally and also try out some books I would not normally have picked up. I always buy from reputable sites and even the free books that I have are the same and come from reputable sites. I cannot bring myself to do anything illegal! I have just recently read a book on my kindle that is not being published in hard copy because the author has been dropped by her publisher. That is a shame because it is an excellent book.

    I am very dubious of the adverts on ebay offering 4000 books for £4.99 all on a disc that can go on your kindle. That makes me suspicious, because how have they got them in the first place, some of the books they were advertising were very recent books.

    I agree with previous posts, about secondhand bookshops and charity shops where I get a number of books from, and where I donate far more to, as well as passing them amongst friends. Surely the publishers do not like that either.

    I love actual books, I love all the books tumbling off my shelves and I love bookshops but I also love my kindle. They are going to live side by side quite happily in my flat and I think the ebook versus real book debate will just run and run and run.

    • You see I like this fact that you ‘have had the opportunity to read some stuff I would not normally and also try out some books I would not normally have picked up’ that to me is a huge bonus.

      I also love the fact you ‘love all the books tumbling off my shelves and I love bookshops but I also love my kindle’. Jo you are the perfect example of the coexistance of the two.

  10. I used to buy physical books until very recently. I think if you read a lot, buying physical books is bound to present a problem at some point unless you live in a house with a hundred rooms and as much libraries to match! Ebooks are great: saves space, you get them instantly and in my case I read much faster for some reason I’m yet to figure out. Piracy is definitely a problem but publishers and distribution outlets would just have to come up with technology to prevent this or at least reduce it considerably. It’s just plain wrong to take someone’s property and not pay for it. Those caught should be dealt with accordingly within the remits of the law.

    • Hahaha I have to say your comment made me laugh Adura as I have learnt the pitfalls of too many books having to relocate across England. However it was worth all the packing and the pain to do it because I love them. A good cull was needed though.

      Do you read faster because you can change the size and font do you think? Its the one thing that makes me think I want an e-reader you see.

  11. It’s interesting that a couple of commenters brought up the issue of second hand book stores and what publishers or authors think of them. Here are the recent thoughts of one author on the subject of books for free:
    http://www.amandacraig.com/pages/blog_01/blog_item.asp?Blog_01ID=259#comments

    I have so far resisted the lure of the ebook, but every so often an appealing title comes along that is only available in the electronic format, such as Linda Gillard’s House of Silence which has featured prominently on a number of books blogs of late. I suspect, therefore, it is only a matter of time before I succumb. Fifteen years ago we probably did not think that nearly everyone in the western world (and many in Africa for that matter) would be roaming around with mobile phones, but the non-adopters of that technology now seem to be in a distinct minority. Paper books will survive, not least for anyone who grew up with them, but it will be interesting to see just how much of a luxury item they have become a couple of decades from now.

    • Thanks for that link David I shall have to pop and check it out as I do always wonder what authors etc think of the charity thing, I guess its just become the norm now?

      I only recently noticed a book that was doing the blog rounds, the name escapes me now, which was an e-read only and I admit for the first time I did feel some slight jealousy I hadnt read it. I wonder if this will continue?

  12. Chelsea

    As a fellow owner of a Kindle, and coming from a similar mind as those above, I don’t know where this almost emnity between e-readers and paper books came from. In my opinion, the two can and do live harmoniously together. In fact, perhaps the two have a beneficial joint relationship, much like the library and bookstores do in that, I know many many readers who read their book in e-form because it’s usually a cheaper version and then, for those books they really love, they go on to buy hard copy versions. Maybe it’s a little silly to spend the money twice, but if you love the book I’m guessing that won’t stop you. I also think it’s great the e-readers are allowing more and more people to carry books with them at all times. My mother, for instance, is devishly opposed to sweating of any kind, and feels bogged down by carrying a book in her purse. Plus, then she’d have to carry a bigger purse. But, thanks to the Kindle, she’s able to keep her small purse AND hundreds of titles on hand at the same time. And she loves it.

    On the general issue of piracy in general, I have to say that I agree with Gail that, like movie and music pirating, the actual costs to the artists and authors themselves is minimal. The amount of downloaded copies hardly surpasses the amount of sold hard copies to a great enough extent to threaten profit margins. I, personally, see pirating to be the next form of the library. Yes, its dubious and illegal. And for that I’m apologize. But when it comes to paying $10, $15, $20 or more for a book (even when I buy second hand, we’re still looking at bigger amounts, because I feel much more free to buy in greater quantity) or movie or CD, why not pirate it first, make sure it’s worth it, and then pay for those things I alreayd know I really want? Call it moral ambiguity, if you will, but I say Viva Le Kindle Revolucion (as long as you don’t stop buying real books, either)!

    • I think it was the way they were marketed in all honesty Chelsea, and probably the media announcing ‘the death of the book’ I think that might have helped the rot set in with me a bit. I know, I know I shouldnt believe the press especially as I am one of them myself and know the rules of the game.

      I like that people are carrying more books, as it were, with them and encourages reading, yes thats lovely.

      Oooh that is a bit ambiguous morally isnt it that last part of your comment lol!!

  13. this is a told them so moment simon ,piracy rife for music e books going be same ,all the best stu

    • I have to say with music and film I am not so bothered Stu, people make masses out of their careers with advertsing in movies, less so with unsigned artists or debuts. Its the book piracy that really does bother me.

  14. I will never, ever have an eReader.
    There. I said it.

  15. I have the large-format Kindle DX which allows me to read scientific papers (approximately A4 format usually) a page at a time. For this it is absolutely fantastic and I wouldn’t want to do without it for that and for similar pdf (or mobi format) files that are work related. I’ve got a couple of free (out of copyright) novels from Amazon (Dracula and Frankenstein) and it’s certainly fine for reading these but I have yet to buy an e-book. On the otherhand I don’t buy “physical” books anymore either so that is at least consistent of me!

    • I didnt know there was a Kindle DX, is it like a sporty version or something… that will be the next thing, coloured ones and ones with external this that and the other. I’m glad it works for you.

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