Have you traded the printed page for a screen?

The numbers are staggering. Amazon reported a 70% increase in their digital sales last year. As for print books? They’ve increased a paltry 5%, the worst growth rate in 17 years. Surprised? I’m sure you’re not. Show of hands, how many of you have e-readers? I do and I love my trusty Kindle. The instantaneous gratification cannot be beat. The storage? Super duper compared to my shelves full of dusty old tomes. So why, I ask myself, with a world of digital books at my fingertips, ready to be loaded onto my Kindle, do I also possess a teetering stack of books? There’s no sense to it really. Obviously we’ve all embraced the digital generation (which accounts for the 23 million digital products sold via Amazon last year.) My question is…once we’ve tasted the digital Kool Aid, is there any turning back? I speak for myself here when I say I still nurse a craving, deep down, you understand, for the feel of a book in my hands. I long for the smell of an old, musty volume that hasn’t left the bookshelf in decades. Yes, I eagerly click that button on my Kindle and move the percentage finished bar along at a good clip, but sooner or later, I’m going to need my “real” book fix. I realize this is probably a reflection of my advancing age. Youngsters are weaned in front of the screen now, so perhaps this “book craving” is not a part of their psyche.

What about you? Do you read exclusively on a -e-reader? Or do you also hear that siren song of the printed page? Comments get you entered in the March drawing for a Starbuck’s card. Cartoon mom

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linda Ortiz on March 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I had a nook, but I kept going back to my printed books. I still like the feel of books in my hand. Will I get use to the electronic device? I don’t know, I might if I make it a habit to use it. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my printed books. 😀

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  2. I have a nook, and I do use it, especially for travelling, but I really prefer to read on paper. Couldn’t tell you exactly why, but it feels better. Maybe the glare of the screen (I have a tablet, but didn’t really like the grayness of the dedicated e-reader, and do LOVE the web capability) or the size (my aging eyes like a bigger page. I do appreciate being able to enlarge the font). Just an old fogey.
    Will say that I appreciate being able to store my favorite series and not take up shelves and shelves!
    @Jon-Paul, never had any problem (from flight attendants) storing print books under the seat in front of me. And I always have to carry some type of print material on board so I can read during that time that you have to ‘turn off all electronic devices.”

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  3. I have a tablet (Kindle) purchased quite recently and I am loving it, particularly when I am on the road for work and I am on the road a lot. Have you ever tried to carry the complete H.P. Lovecraft from San Francisco, CA to Huntsville, AL through airport security? Let me tell you, trying to fit a book of doorstop proportions into the overhead can be an interesting challenge and, for some reason the flight attendants wont let you put books under the seat in front of you. Not sure what that is about. It also is a great way to carry around and read other stuff like classic comic books and I can bring videos of my kids concerts etc. I guess it’s not so much an e-reader as a tiny computer with somewhat limited functionality, same as most phones but with a bigger screen. Summary: I like e-readers

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  4. I have a tablet, but I definitely prefer print books. I think it’s because I’ve been reading fanfiction on the computer since I was about 12. I’ve come to associate fiction on the computer with fanfiction — aka, not a real book. So when I fire up my tablet and open an ebook, I enjoy the story, sure, but there’s always this nagging thought at the back of my mind that it’s not a REAL book, that I’m missing out on something.

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