Ebook update

November 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm 2 comments

I’ve continued to follow ebook developments over the past few months, and I’m really curious to see how the new Sony Reader that’s coming out in December and the Barnes & Noble reader stack up against the Kindle. Both have some intriguing features. Barnes & Noble’s Nook (kind-of a lame name) has a really nice-looking dual screen. The Sony Reader Daily Edition uses the EPUB format and will also be compatible with Overdrive ebooks – how cool for libraries! However, I’ve had such a positive experience reading ebooks on my iPhone that I doubt I’ll bother investing money in a stand-alone reader. It would just be one more unnecessary item to carry around. That’s becoming increasingly true of print books as well. On an experience level, I still say I prefer print books to ebooks. But over the past several months I’ve read a lot more ebooks than print books.

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I compared my ebook downloads with my reading history at the library. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve downloaded 30 books to my phone. Of those titles, I stopped reading one because I didn’t like it. Four are still in “to-read” status. I’m in the process of reading two right now, and I’ve finished 23. 

In the same period of time, I’ve checked out 42 books from the library. Of those, I completely finished four. There were nine others (mostly parenting books), that I checked out in order to read only a particular section of interest. I got what I wanted out of the book, even though I didn’t read it cover to cover. I’ll  count those as finished, too, which brings my total up to 13. The rest I started and didn’t finish.

I’ve finished about 76% of the ebooks I’ve downloaded, but only about 31% of the print books. I always check the library collection first because I like to read for free as much as possible, so there’s a slight bias there. I’m unlikely to purchase a book unless I’m sure I want to read it. However, almost all of the unfinished books on my print list are books I still want to read – the issue wasn’t that I checked out a bunch of stuff I didn’t really want, it’s just that it’s more convenient for me these days to read books on my phone so I’m a lot more likely to finish a book in that format. The comparison was revealing – I knew I was reading a lot of ebooks, but I didn’t realize the shift had been so dramatic.

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Internet Librarian so far Hard Questions

2 Comments

  • 1. Rosario Garza  |  November 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Interesting. I first starting with ebooks about 6-7 years ago when I discovered that there was an ebook reader for the Palm OS. Since then I’ve purchased probably about 150 ebooks, which now are stored on a itsy bitsy SD card. I absolutely LOVE having all these titles available to me when I travel! Now I’m looking to purchase the Nook, since the .pdb format works on it AND I can “lend” my ebooks.

    And this morning I was thinking of how I could make my life more green and use less paper (therefore killing fewer trees). I thought ebooks are one eco-friendly way to have the books and save a tree!

    • 2. Genesis  |  November 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

      The green factor is definitely a plus. If you buy a Nook, let me know what you think.

      I think what surprises me the most is how little I miss the print format – the transition to ebooks was so much easier than I expected that I really wonder why I resisted it for so long!


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