To Hold or Not to Hold….a book

The very first time I saw a Kindle was in my niece Shannon’s hand when I visited my sister in new Jersey a couple of years ago. She’d never been a big reader, but when she was laid up after surgery, someone gave her a Kindle, and she fell madly in love. She’s read literally hundreds of books since that day.

I, on the other hand, sniffed and remarked there is nothing like holding a ‘BOOK’ in one’s hand to appreciate what the author has to offer. Think of all the writers through time who held a pen in hand, parchment in front of them, and wrote. Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, wonderful writers who offered ‘BOOKS’ for the pleasure of readers. Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conon Doyle, John Grisham, and Erma Bombeck. They wrote BOOKS.

I have bookcases full of my BOOKS. Some treasured classics, some soppy love stories. I was very proud of my collection. It showed I loved BOOKS.

Then last year, out of the blue, I bought a Kindle. I don’t know why. The urge overtook me, and there I was, online, pushing “confirm” on Amazon to buy a Kindle. I shrugged. Simply another way to read. Nothing wonderful or amazing, just different

I am now a Kindle fanatic. I’ve bought so many books on Amazon, they’re probably preparing to issue me an award. When my first Kindle broke, they sent me another one—free. I’m surprised it wasn’t delivered to my front door by the president of Amazon.

Now, if someone mentions a book, the first words out of my mouth are: Is it an e-book? If not, I wave my hand in dismissal and click the “awake” button on the bottom of my Kindle. My one caveat—my writing and research books. They must be BOOKS. Shhh. Don’t tell Amazon.

What about you? Print or e-book? Do you have a preference? I’d love to hear your thoughts. By the way, the picture of Gerard Butler has nothing to do with books, I just think he’s cute.

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About Callie Hutton

Callie Hutton, writing American/Western Historical Romance, with a Contemporary and Regency thrown in for good measure. A Run For Love and A Wife By Christmas are available at SMP and Amazon. Annie's Attic will be available May 30th, and An Angel in the Mail in May also.
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35 Responses to To Hold or Not to Hold….a book

  1. Pingback: Shannon hand | Miranda1929

  2. Ceri Hebert says:

    For me nothing beats a real book that I can hold and flip through. But e-books make it so much easier to own lots and lots and lots more. It’s a hard decision!

  3. Hey Ceri. Thanks for stopping by. It is a difficult decision isn’t it? I don’t think print books will ever completely die out.

  4. lynncahoon says:

    Callie – I’m still in the print camp, but since I’m publishing mostly digital, I’m asking Santa for a Kindle for Christmas.

  5. Ah, I understand your dilemma, but once I got my hot little hands on a kindle, there was no turning back, lol. Hope Santa brings ya one.

  6. R.T. Wolfe says:

    Callie,
    Interesting you should ask. I own a Kindle and certainly use it for convenience, but I purchase the books I read whenever possible. We live by our senses and you cannot smell or feel the pages of an ebook device. :)
    Recently, I conducted a survey on my Facebook page (R.T. Wolfe) asking this very question. The results are surprisingly favored in one direction.
    Thank you for this thoughtful post, Callie. I’m looking forward to serving as a guest in a few weeks on this lovely blog.
    R.T. Wolfe
    http://www.facebook.com/RTWolfe2012

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Tanya. Yes, I remember you survey, and it was a surprise.

  8. mandicasey says:

    Hi Callie, I haved a mixed preference also. My research books on writing and the topics I like to page through on a whim must be on paper. Great post, and Gerard is hot :)

  9. Erin Bollman says:

    I can’t remember the last time I read a paper book, but I’ve read hundreds of ebooks since I got my kindle almost two years ago. For awhile, I would still read books from the library, but one day, I realized I hadn’t checked one out in awhile. I love being able to make the font larger on my kindle. I love having it read to me while I drive or fold laundry. I managed to make it through a year with my first one, without breaking it, but finally dropped it in such a way that the screen was hit, and it was gone. (I dropped it a LOT) Got my second one in January, and bought a two year replacement plan on it. I don’t plan on ever being without a kindle!

    • My neice, who I mentioned in the blog sets her kindle to ‘read aloud’ and it entertains her on her drive back and forth to work. I personally don’t care of the flatness of the voice. Thanks for coming by, Erin.

  10. We’ve always had books coming out our ears, until my husband discovered the Kindle. It took him almost a year to talk me into one. I love it. Up until this past year, I traveled a lot, lugging around books. Now, I live in on a tropical island which translates into one small bookstore. But no matter where I am, I can download a book.

  11. For a long time, I was firmly in the print camp. But now, I have both a Nook and an iPad. I love that I can change the font sizes on my e-readers, and that, on the iPad, I can change the backlighting (bad eyes. I’m now stuck in hard contacts only, and after awhile, they hurt. The iPad and the iPhone are the only things I can see without contacts in). It’s made my life so much better.

    I think e-readers open up a whole new world. I love print books, but they don’t offer the immediacy that my e-reader does. I can’t change the font because I don’t like it. The e-reader makes reading about me. As much as I love paper and long to see my books in print, I buy probably 2/3 of all my books as e-books.

    Great post, Callie!

  12. derekd says:

    I have averaged reading a novel per day for the better part of 3 years. The past couple of years, I can count on one hand how many of those are paper. Once I bought a Kindle a couple of years ago, I never looked back. One of my favorite things about it is the ability to put the app on my phone and laptop, where frankly, I mostly read from. In line at Wally World? No sweat, I pull out my phone and dive back into whatever I’m reading. Waiting on my girlfriend/daughter to arrive, since I always have my phone on me, I also have whatever book I’m reading at the time.

    Recently went back to grad school and am now faced with whether or not to purchase textbooks in print or on Kindle, when available. Interesting dilemma, as I have a tendency to highlight and make notes in margins of textbooks. Went print this semester. Will experiment with at least one digital next semester. While I like the feel of a book as much as anyone, for me, going digital is a no-brainer. I carry my 600+ books around in either of my small devices. Plus, there is the issue of needing my reading glasses if I have a real book in my hands. Now, where did I put those darned things?

    • Wow, a novel a day! I thought I was doing good with over 200 a year. My hat off to you. Thanks for stopping by. I don’t know that I would like textbooks on Kindle.

      • derekd says:

        I know, Callie, but I always have my laptop up in class to take notes since I type faster than I write and it’s legible. *grins*

        Having both my notes and the text on the screen at the same time is a tempting scenario.

  13. Maddy says:

    For me it’s books, books, books, every time. Then I had to buy a Kindle for my son due to his visual iimpairment – you can change the font size, have white letters on a black background, change the brightness etc., etc., I like the instant fix of having a book right now, this minute – which helps impulse buying for writers I think, then I can add notes although my thumbs are too fat to type text efficiently, and I hate the ‘automatic fill in” for words, but overall, I definitely have one foot in each camp, which is no fun when you’re straddling a fence.

  14. jannashay says:

    That’s a hard question to answer. I love everything about books from the look to the smell. I have a Kindle also, which I love. I bought my kindle about a year ago and now have a collection of 3,300 ebooks. It’s convenient and a lot easier to carry around than a library. I bought my Kindle because after I filled a room and a shed with books, I realized I was running out of room. Like Derek, I read an average of a novel a day.
    I still collect print books for my collection of author autographed, first editions, and ARC’s.
    So to answer your question, I love my Kindle and can’t do without it, but print books are still my favorite. Nothing like walking into a bookstore and catching the smell of freshly printed books and browsing the shelves housing literary greats.

    • I LOVE the smell of a bookstore. My favorite rainy saturday afternoons are rummaging around a bookstore. Preferably one of those old, musty second hand stores where you have to sit on the floor to go through a book, and bring your own coffee. No starbucks, or cushy chairs, lol.

  15. Jessica Subject says:

    I enjoy reading both, but I prefer reading on my e-reader. It’s more convenient for me personally, and weighs less in my purse than a book. Though I still do buy and read both.

  16. Susan Blexrud says:

    I have a NOOK, and I’m a member of digital libraries in NC and FL, so in addition to buying loads of books for my NOOK, I’m constantly downloading from digital libraries. I still buy print books on occasion, but since I got my NOOK, I buy far more in e-format.

    • That’s interesting about the digital libraries. I really should check out my local libraries and see if they have that available. Thanks for saying hello.

      • Most libraries subscribe to a service called Overdrive. The library system (comprised of branches) can only loan out a bought digital copy to one reader at a time. It’s wonderful! I borrow e-copies frequently.

        I am never without an ereader (Kindle Fire and iPhone when I’m away from home, and I’m always reading a print book at bedtime. Often, I listen to audiobooks in the car (Dick Hill as Jack Reacher makes me giddy).

        The bottom line is, more reading, more places, more ways. I LOVE the 21st century.

        Great post, Callie!

  17. I have to admit, I was one of the last holdouts, after all, I’ve loved my print books since I first learned how to read. But, since my own books are available as ebooks and some are ebook only, I finally caved and bought a Nook. And I love it! I can afford to purchase so many more books and even pick up freebies.

    • I agree Susan, there’s a lot to be had for free, but my experience has not been good with the freebies. Most of them are worth what you pay for them. Nothing. Every once in a while I’ll find something good.

  18. Hey Ann. Nice of you to stop by. I’ll have to check into the library thing.

  19. I haven’t been able to afford an e-reader yet, but I think I would like one and wouldn’t be surprised if I bought one in the next year or so. I have a Nook and a Kindle application on my laptop, and enjoy reading books that way, but still need paperbacks to take in the car. (If I had an e-reader, though, I could do away with even those). I hope we will never do away with picture books for kids though. That’s where the smell of the printed page and the feel of the paper should add to the initial joy of learning how to read.

    • Ohh. I hadn’t thought about the children’s books. No way would I want to see those go away. The kids love the pictures, and I had years of fun reading books (page turning books) to my kids when they were growing up. One point against e-books, lol.

  20. Amazon makes it very easy, too easy, to buy ebooks. It just keeps my credit card on file and I have no idea how much I’m spending until the bill arrives. I have an iPad, so I use both the Kindle and Nook apps. I have many, many books on my iPad. I find that I will read an ebook if that’s the only format available, but I still prefer an actual book. I recently downloaded a free copy of one of the RITA winners and read about a third of it, but when I came across a paperback copy of the book at a used bookstore this weekend, I bought it.

  21. So Ally, you’re another one straddling the fence. That’s kinda scary about not knowing how much you’re spending until the bill arrives. Gulp. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Calisa Rhose says:

    Oh I agree! I was just wishing yesterday that a couple of the books I need to read this month were paper instead of on my kindle. I love my kindle! But there’s still nothing like a solid book sometimes. Great topic, Callie.

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