I like to read. A lot (have you noticed?). Since I have gotten a Kindle, I’ve been paying more attention to the buzz around e-books. It seems like everyone is talking about how the publishing industry will need to change to keep up with the digital revolution. Are books going to go the way of the music industry (pirating exists but people still make loads of money off of mp3s)? Or the newspaper (people are used to getting news instantly/for free on TV or the internet and no longer subscribe to newspapers)? I know a lot of people aren’t converts yet to e-books or e-readers, but I’m pretty sure they are here to stay and are going to be more popular as e-readers become more affordable.
So how has my reading changed since I got a Kindle? So here comes a list. A long rambling list describing each of the formats that I enjoy and my opinions about them.
E-Books. I download them from the library if available or, if it’s a book i think i’ll re-read, I purchase them from Amazon. I prefer reading things on my Kindle if I can help it, but usually I can’t. Not everything is available for Kindle yet, especially not children’s books. But I really really like being able to easily look up words on the dictionary while I’m reading (which I wish I could do with my physical copy of The Diamond Age since I’m seriously looking up a word every other page or so) and I also like highlighting my favorite sections and going back to read what I highlighted later on. (Another tangent–I really want a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer!! Now that would be cool!)
Physical books. I borrow a lot of physical books (p-books probably isn’t a good abbreviation for this. has someone coined a better term for this yet?) from the library. These are usually novels that I want to read, but am not sure I actually want to own. Or books that just aren’t available to read as an e-book. Occasionally, I do prefer physical books if they have elaborate graphics or a fun cover (old leatherbound books are cool). For example, I love graphic novels but have not read one successfully on my Kindle. I downloaded a sample of Embroderies by Marjane Satrapi on my Kindle, but for some reason it cut off like a small portion from the bottom and took a long time to load. I probably would have bought it if it had worked properly. I haven’t tried any others.
Also, I love going to the library and trolling through book stores. Shopping in actual bookstores is more fun than shopping on Amazon. I wish there were a way I could do this AND have an e-book copy since, now that I have spent money for a Kindle, I feel less inclined to buy physical books. I ended up downloading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle from the library after I received the gigantic hardcover as a Christmas gift and had trouble getting through it (though I still didn’t finish it). However, if you make a physical book feel nice enough or look pretty enough, I might shell out extra money to buy both copies.
Audiobooks. I like getting audiobooks from the library (you can download these online!). It’s fun to listen to a book and play a computer game like Farm Frenzy (I love this game!) or Diner Dash at the same time (btw the mp3 player on the Kindle kind of sucks though. I’ve accidentally lost my place many times and the fast-forward button is slow). The people who read the books do such a great job. However, I’m not sure I’ll ever actually purchase an audiobook (a-book?) for myself since they are pretty expensive. Although, when I was little, my sister and I had a lot of books that came with tapes that we loved to listen to over and over again while reading along.
Magazines. I read these at the beach or in the bathtub (I have a weakness for Marie Claire and Glamour despite my lack of fashion sense). I have dropped magazines in the bathtub many times and they hold up nicely, unlike the other formats (though, granted I haven’t really tried to read my Kindle near water). Magazines also have lovely glossy pages that feel nice to flip through. It would probably take a large-screen, color, waterproof e-reader to entice me to switch to an e-magazine subscription.
Newspapers. I only get the Sunday Boston Globe because I like the Boston Globe Magazine, the comics, and the Ideas section. I like the way the newspaper looks and sounds when flipping pages, but I really don’t read that much of it. I’m getting annoyed by the weekly calls from the Globe asking me switch to a daily subscription. I know, I know, they need the money, but I hate having a stack of largely unread newspapers to recycle. They pile up even just from my once a week subscription and make a huge mess. If they wanted to send me only the comics everyday, I might pay for that, depending on how much they wanted to charge. Reading comics online just isn’t the same.
Am I missing something? I’m sure I am. Books adapted as movies perhaps (I love Masterpiece on PBS)? Or the new interactive story/websites (have not had the attention span to finish these)? Or the twitter/cell-phone short stories (I haven’t tried to read one)? But this blog post has gotten waaaay to long so I think I will stop here.