Why It’s a Digital Future For Me… Kind Of
Anyone who’s read this blog (and I know people read it, I’ve seen the stats… thank you) knows that I have gone digital, at least partially. I have a first generation Nook and a Nook Tablet. I supposed I could have gotten an iPad, but I did not feel like playing $500 for something I would only use for reading e-books and the occasional round of Bejeweled Blitz.
And, while I am not completely switched over to digital books, I am moving more and more into the digital realm… for the most part.
For me, there are a number of reasons why I’m switching to digital.
- I read a lot – Anyone who has seen my posts knows that I am trying to read 100 books in 366 days, and I am well ahead of the game. This is mostly because I tend to read more than one book at once. In fact, I start getting antsy if I don’t have more than two books in progress. This is not something that started with the 100 books plan, I’ve always been like that. So, as you can imagine, I tend to carry a few books with me at all times. With the Nook and the Nook Tablet (technically, the Nook is in semi-retirement) (and technically, I could stick with the generic e-book reader, but why? I use a Nook and a Nook Tablet, I’ll refer to either of them), I can carry around a couple hundred books with me and not have to carry along a backpack for all the copies.
- No, Really, I Read A Lot – As much of a space saver the Nook is on the go, it is even more so at home. Before the Nook came along, I would buy most of the books that I thought I would find interesting. As you can imagine, even in paperback form, all those books take up a lot of space. With the Nook, storage is not measured with the dimensions of the books, but in megabytes. In addition to that, Barnes and Noble allows for online storage of books that were purchased through their website.
- Where’s Volume 2??? – I have this annoying ability, it’s almost a mutant power. Whenever I start reading a series, I will start with the first book. That part is particularly normal. So is the part where if I liked the first book, I want to read the second, and so on. What usually ends up happening at this point is that I go to the book store with the intention of buying the next book and *gasp* it’s not there! I hit another book store in the area, and I can’t find it at that store either. It usually leaves me hunting for the book or just giving up and ordering it. Going digital, I now am able to put books on a wish list and have them available when I want.
- Didn’t I Buy This Already? – Given my propensity for picking up books when I see them, I don’t always get to the books when I buy them. And sometimes, I will forget that I picked up a book and, seeing the book again (sometimes with a new cover), I will pick it up again. With the digital books through Barnes and Noble, it is almost impossible to buy the book twice.
- I Like To Read Different Things - With the closing of Borders, we have only two options to get normal books locally. The first is Barnes and Noble. The other is department stores. Anyone who’s looked through the book selection of a department store knows that they have an extremely limited selection, usually only the newest releases and a ton of romance. And while the Barnes and Noble stores have a lot of books, they don’t have everything. With e-books, I am not limited to just one location to get books, as long as they are in a format that the Nook can read, which is a lot. In addition, there are a number of websites out there that offer free books, often older titles, but still free.
- I Like To Write – In addition to being a big reader, I want to be a writer. I have not published anything, but that is usually because I personally hate the process of editing. With by Nook and my Nook Tablet, I am able to take my completed manuscripts with me, reread them for editing purposes, make notes of changes (more to with the Nook Tablet), and use these notes to work on second drafts. It is a lot easier than carrying around a couple of hundred printed pages that don’t fit in anywhere and fall out everywhere.
Granted, with all the advantages I mentioned, why would I want to still get print books. Surprisingly, there are a lot of good reasons.
- Loaners – E-books are great, but not all of them can be loaned to a friend easily. Paperbacks, trades, and hard covers can be.
- Comics – E-readers are making great strides, but they still are a bit limited when it comes to graphic media (comics and graphic novels). I have picked up a couple of digital comics for the Nook, but found I was enlarging the view so that I can read the text. Not the best way of handling it. It is possible that the larger screen of the iPad may allow for easier reading. But, who really wants to play $500 to read a comic that you still have to pay for anyhow.
- Magazines – This is a mixed bag. Magazines like The Writer work on the Nook since they are more text-based. And while I was impressed with how much Sports Illustrated put into their Swimsuit Issue (video, music, links to twitter accounts), there was still the simple limitation of each page being one screen, which breaks down when you have two and three page spreads.
- Not Everything Is On E-Books – For the longest time, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling resisted releasing her books as e-books. While that has changed, there are still a lot of books that are not available as e-books yet. Granted, many of these books are barely available as regular books, too. But they are still available as regular books in some way.
- E-Books Are Great, But Real Books Still Feel Right – In spite of all the convenience of e-books, the availability, the limited physical storage needed, there is still something about a regular book. Pages don’t really flip on the Nook, and I don’t think that any book will be referred to as a real screen changer. There is a sense of accomplishment when you finish a book and close it, especially if you enjoyed it so much that you want to give the book to someone else and say, “Read this, it’s awesome!” Besides, it’s murder on an e-reader when you read a book so bad you just want to throw it into a corner of your room and forget it.
- E-book readership grows, but will e-reader device sales grow too? (zdnet.com)
- B&N launches cheaper Nook tablet and lowers price on Nook color (teleread.com)
- What We Lose in a Digital Age (its-serendipity.com)