I recently saw a movie that impressed me, and was very complicated, which made me want to read the book. Because I believe the book is always better than the movie. And the book has more details, like what the character is thinking.
Ready Player One, good movie, check it out.
So, I got out my Kindle, (a super-old, cave man vintage, Kindle version 2) and searched for the book, and it costs something like, $4.99 US. This made me hesitate, and made me think. On one hand, what am I really getting for $4.99? An electronic file. Locked on my device, in “virtual reality”. I can read it, but I don’t really have anything that I can have and hold. I can’t put it on the shelf, or lend out.
On the other hand, do I really need a physical book, that I will either have to give away or carry around with me for the rest of my life, like a weight? A thing that will end up in one of the several boxes in the storeroom marked “books”.
Part of me would rather pay $25 or more for a real book, than $4.99 for an ebook. That same part of me thinks $4.99 is too much for any ebook. But then, how many books do I own that I’ve read more than once? (Lots, but probably less than 10%.)
Another situation I have ongoing is a book that I read years ago, but want to read again, ‘The Source” by James Michener.
I’ve read it more than once, I used to own the book, and now I want to read it again. The ebook costs about $25 us I think (It was more than a month ago that I checked, so I’m not sure about the price, but it wasn’t cheap.) Now, do I pay full price for a book that I already read? One that I have already paid full price for? The answer is yes, if I lose a book, I gotta buy a new one. But I haven’t. I want to re-read The Source, but not for $25. Perhaps it’s in a box downstairs, anyway. I don’t even want to re-read it bad enough to go look, which seeems to be a point FOR ebooks.
For me, the main stopping point for ebooks is cost. To me, no electronic file is tangible enough to be worth very much money. But I guess doubt about this ‘theory’ or ‘feeling’ is why I’m writing this at all. The authors of great books definitely deserve to get paid for their work.
One thing I forgot to mention is engineering. Several of the more recent paperbooks I’ve read seem to be engineered to be read only once. I read them once, no problem, but when I start to read them again, they fall apart, and the pages start coming off the spine. I think “what a rip-off”. These shoddy book manufacturers are definitely shooting themselves in the foot, and are reducing their clientele while encouraging ebooks. Just my opinion. I think I can now “tell by feel” when a book has been built this way.
Plus, maybe if I got a new Kindle, I’d be more eager to purchase books, but again, why? Mine works fine, plenty of memory left, and works perfectly. I want a new one, but don’t NEED one…
So what are your thoughts? I’m really interested in knowing what you think about this. Are you a book-book reader or an ebook reader? At the top of this post is a 2014 Forbes graph depicting the trend, if you believe that stuff, which I don’t necessarily.
Rainy weekend here, Holiday Monday, Discovery Day. Colombus discovered Cayman in 1503.
Have a great week!
After I posted this I found the following picture on Facebook: