I read an interesting statistic today.
According to an article on NBCNews.com, ebooks are surging as the devices are multiplying, but print books are holding their own.
It says that even readers in the age group eighteen to twenty-nine are still using print books, and the reasons are many.
I find it quite enlightening. Even though I’m well older than that age group, it reflects my reading habits as well.
My reasons for still using print?
Cost, for one. I’m a huge reader, and, much to my wife’s chagrin, I like to have a large variety of things around that I haven’t read yet, so that I’ll always have a choice…and I keep what I’ve read, because those that love reading, like me, will go back and re-read a favorite author or book again and again. When I can pick up a paperback copy of a catalog title for a dollar or less, I don’t think twice about it...but an ebook copy averages around eight dollars.
Now, eventually, I will purchase that book as an ebook, and keep it in my Kindle library. But, I weigh costs. Once I purchase a book through Amazon for my Kindle, I’ve purchased it forever. I’ll have it for the rest of my life. I can keep that paperback book, too, for the rest of my life…but, if an accident happens to that paperback, and I drop it in the toilet or something, replacing it may involve a prolonged search, and the condition may not be as good as the one I had. If I drop my Kindle in the toilet (don’t laugh – I’m sure it’s happened somewhere in the world already), I replace the Kindle, download my ebook again, and I’m good to go.
So, the average eight dollars for an ebook compared to a dollar for a paperback is actually a pretty good deal.
My other reason for real books vs. ebooks is availability. No matter what, not all books are available for an ereader. For example, for some odd reason, the only early Dirk Pitt adventure by Clive Cussler that is available is Raise The Titanic!, and I don’t have a clue why. So, I’m stuck with a shelf of early Clive Cussler paperbacks that are taking up space, gathering dust, and gradually deteriorating from age. They’re well-read, because early Cussler happens to be a reading favorite of mine. But, I’d love to have them on my Kindle.
Availability is something that still must be worked out…especially for deep catalog readers like me.
Note: A word to Marvel Comics…DC is gradually making available Kindle editions of early Batman and Superman comics. Why don’t you? Amazing Fantasy # 15, featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, comes immediately to mind…
Here’s the link to the NBCNews.com story I’m referencing: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/e-books-surge-devices-multiply-print-holds-fast-2D11936546
Michael (T. M.)