The shapeshifting book

January 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm (General)

reader-options2Do you read eBooks?  Do you read them on your computer or do you have a fancy schmancy eBook reader?  What do you think about this shift in shapes books have taken over the past decade or so?  eBooks are everywhere  And they’re not going away.

I first investigated ePublishing in 1998.  I’ve had a toe in that format of publishing ever since.  But I’ve never actually read eBooks until very recently.  My excuse was that I didn’t want to read a book on the computer (for pleasure) because I spent enough time as it was writing on the computer.  I didn’t want to be chained to the monitor when it came to a relaxing pastime!

But yay!  As ePublishing has evolved so have methods to read them and eReaders.  Now it’s virtually like reading a paper book, except you’re holding a small electronic device that simulates the printed page.  I got myself a Kindle in October and absolutely love it.  I use it for research books (you can highlight sentences then later print them out in one handy-dandy document), newspapers (just finished a two week free trial of the Irish Times), and yes I read fiction and nonfiction as well.  And you know, I don’t even miss the paper. 

I do have some exceptions that will see me in a bookstore as opposed to surfing the web for electronic books.  I like coffee table books; those must be hardcover.  I also like any book with diagrams and colored pictures to be in actual paper book form as well.  I have a few favorite authors who have a current series going, and since I have five or six of their books already, I want to continue to get the rest in paper format.  But new authors, and those books without a must-have cover, I’m perfectly happy reading in eFormat now.

And I thought I’d never come around to reading eBooks.  You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks.  🙂  

So what about you?  Have you tried eBooks?  Do you read them exclusively, or a mix of both electronic and paper?  If you needed to convince someone to give eBooks a try, what is the one point you would use to win them over?  If you haven’t tried an eBook yet, why?

kmdsmallHere’s an early warning: On January 29th, Harlequin will start giving away 16 full-length electronic books.  One book to represent each of their series lines.  The giveaway lasts through all of 2009, so I’ll probably remind you all more than once.  And guess what?  My Nocturne, KISS ME DEADLY, has been chosen to represent that line.  So if you haven’t read it yet, wait—then pick it up for free.  Find the website, and a signup reminder page at:




  1. Colleen said,

    Last year, I started getting into e-books. The only problem is I read them from my computer and do not find it relaxing. I still prefer to relax with a good ole fashioned book in my fav spot! Maybe one day I will have an e-reader, then I can try that too! 😀

  2. Award Season | Literary Escapism said,

    […] Romance has an interesting discussion of the changling looks of books.  It’s a question all book readers are going to have to […]

  3. MarnieColette said,

    I actually have been reading e-books for about 2 years ( on my computer), I just got a PRS -505 (Sony in red) e-reader, wasn’t a fan of the last model. I just don’t like the looks of the Kindle, hopefully 2nd Gen will be more atheistically pleasing. I like to read e-books but I still love a paperback, especially since I have collections. I prefer to use my e-reader to try out new authors, I don’t feel guilty when I don’t like it (I haven’t killed a tree.) I also like e-books because they open up so many authors that haven’t been print published yet. My sister and I both have one and we trade ours back and forth like books.

  4. Karin said,

    I only started reading ebooks last January. Currently I read them on my laptop, which can be a bit of a pain, but I may possibly be able to afford an ereader some time this year. But, like Colleen, I still prefer a regular print book to relax with. That may change, though, once I’m able to actually try an ereader.

  5. michelehauf said,

    I love the idea of trading the eReaders to get a complete library to choose from!
    I see Kindle is coming out with a new version some time this year. It’ll be more streamlined, and probably do away with the annoying next page buttons that are so easy to hit by mistake. BUt I’m happy with it. It’s cut down on my book buying, because eBooks are cheaper, and now I really think when I do buy in a bookstore. Before I’d just buy any books, because I love to have books. Now I think a bit. Can I get it cheaper in eFormat? Do I really need the paper copy? It’s working for me so far!

  6. Jana Stocks said,

    I do read eBooks, but I’m also still a big fan of paper books. I haven’t fallen in love with any of the hand held eReaders yet, so I find it’s still difficult to take my eBooks the places I want to. Like the bathtub…for some reason hauling my laptop in there just seems problematic, but a paperback…no problem. Worst case if I drop something I’m out 8 bucks and have to dry the pages. Can’t say that with my laptop. Same thing for hauling it to the beach or such. Maybe I’ll convert as eReaders technology gets better, after all I never thought I’d be an Ipod fan, but here I am. 🙂

  7. Lorri-Lynne Brown said,

    I’ve been reading ebooks for about 7 or 8 years now. I still read paper books as well – sometimes because I can’t find the eversion, sometimes because I run across a book that I have to have in traditional format.

    I have an ebookwise reader that literally goes everywhere with me. Currently it has 76 books on it, giving me the chance to read whichever one I currently feel like.

    I have a few authors where I buy both formats automatically. I’ve been known to even go from one format to another on the same book.

    I doubt that I will give up paper books completely, but I do love my ebooks too!

    For those of you looking at ereaders, I have one piece of advice – get one with a backlight. It makes reading in certain places, like bed, a whole lot easier.

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