Readers respond: E-books or print books — or both?

e-reader

A customer examines a Nook e-reader at a Barnes and Noble store in Boston in 2011. York-area readers seem to split their purchases between e-books and paper books. (Reuters photo)

A few weeks ago, we received a press release from Book Ends owner Christopher Houtz. In it,  Houtz argued that e-books are not a replacement for print books.

“Certainly, Kindles, Nooks, and other electronic book devices have their charms and uses,” Houtz wrote in the release. “But nothing really compares to holding a paperback book in your hands. You have an actual, physical object that is yours to cherish.”

I understand Houtz’s point of view. I myself do not own an e-reader, and I treasure time spent in a bookstore or library just browsing the shelves. But I know plenty of other folks who swear by their e-readers — for convenience, price or other reasons.

So I asked York Daily Record/Sunday News Facebook fans for their thoughts:

York Daily Record/Sunday News: OK, book lovers: Do you own an e-reader? If so, do you read exclusively on it, or still pick up a print book sometimes? If not, why haven’t you made the jump?

Marissa McFarland: I do have a Kindle, but I still prefer a good ol’ book in my hands. Check out my book blog. I have a post about the preference… http://shelfindulge.blogspot.com/

Billy Jboxx Duty: Nothing compares to the feel of a book in your hands

Mary Young McDermott: I still go to the library to borrow books. I like the smell of books and feeling the pages turn in my fingers. I have a Kindle.

Joy Ellen Hildebrand Gable: iPad–but take paperbacks to the beach!

Scott Martin: Print books are so much better it is so much more satisfying.

Maria Segura: I have a Kindle fire but still love regular books. It’s 50/50.

Victoria Schultz Stauffer: I read much more now that I have a Kindle. it used to take me weeks to get through a book. Now, I read a book every 2-3 days!

Sherry Clark: I have a Kindle and i prefer it to a paper book. It allows me to carry a lot of books with me all at once but it takes up very little space. I can purchase books online instantly without having to go to the bookstore or wait for a book to come in the mail.

Nicci Walker: I have a Kindle Fire as well and I’m 50/50. Love to hold a book but love the convenience of Kindle.

Kim Roberts-Wheet: I just got a Kindle Fire HD. I have to say I love it. I always said I did not like one because I like the feel of a book in my hand and I did not want to see people lose their jobs who work for book manufactures but I do love it. I still think I will read regular books as well. It is so convenient and I love that you can borrow ebooks from Martin memorial library and not have to go to the library.

SandyandTom Zirkle: I have a kindle and the app on my phone and that is what I read. I only get the free books though. If there was something I wanted to read and it was not free to download, I would borrow it or maybe buy it.

Bonnie Besser Lewis: ::,) love my Kindle

Jill Reiter: I read exclusively on my kindle every day. Love it. Plus there are plenty of free books to download!!!

Dawn Curry McElhiney: I have the Kindle app on my iPad and I love it. But I also love actual books. I mostly buy actual books and use the library for ebooks. I would say that I’m 50/50. I’ll never give up actual books.

Heidi Sherrick Wolak: I have a Kindle but still read books so its 50/50 depending on the books.

Dan Sopchick: I like ereaders but still buy/prefer real books. If I can’t find the book at the York Emporium I buy it off Amazon.

Liz Spangler McKendry: I regularly read at least 100 books a year. I have an e-reader and I love it so much that I sold and gave away 95% of my books. I kept the ones that had sentimental value or are hard-to-find. I read a lot on my smartphone as well.

Melissa R Jones: I have a Nook. I love all the free books and always get books when they are the daily find on special. I still do read actual books though as well.

Jennell Moser: I love being able to buy my college books for Kindle so I don’t have to spend as much money and lug around a huge book.

Liz Wright: I have a kindle but read both e-books and paper. It all depends on which type of book is cheapest. Some print copies are cheaper than the e-versions. Flip side, love borrowing e-books from Martin Library.

Nicholas Spolarich: Kindles are neat. But not for me. One if the reasons I love reading is its simplistic nature. No batteries, no buttons. Will work the same 25 years after purchase as it did on day 1.

Scott Downs: iPad. I read tons of articles on it, but still prefer to own printed copies of books. Shelves of books I’ve read, or plan to, are still one of my favorite ways to decorate. See my collection and you will learn about me.

Nancy Heilman Ickes: Love my Nook. But won’t buy a Nook book that costs more than a paperback. I do borrow eBooks from the Library. Also, I usually read the Harrisburg Pariot News on my Nook since they have gone to 3 days a week for the print edition. Expect that after my YDR subscription runs out, I will no longer get the hard copy edition, but will get the on-line version.

Julie Aiken: Yes, I have a Kindle that I got as a gift. I read most things on it, but I do have a ton of books and just got a book out of the library. So, I would say my reading is half and half, electronic and print. I love the convenience of being able to “impulse buy” a book on the Kindle.

Chuck Stonesifer: Kindle Fire, Library, Amazon, and book sales. Wherever I can get, that’s what I’ll read, e-book or print.

Katie O’Connor: I love my Kindle. Sometimes when reading a series they are not all available on the Kindle so I will have to get it out from the library. I wish all books were on the Kindle.

Natalie Flick: Kindle, I am on my third one, not because of any failure of the product, still use all three, but have upgraded as they have been perfected. So now I have one in the bedroom, Paperwhite, for night time reading. One in the living room for day reading and one in my bag with my iPad for reading when away from home. Guess you figured out… reading is my passion. And although I have owned many (tens of thousands) hard and paper back books, I find the experience of reading on a Kindle very similar and sometimes better… never have to try to try and find my place after I’ve fallen asleep reading, Kindle opens to that exact page. Never have to worry about whether my reading light needs new batteries, just plug into the charger at night while I read. And love the fact that I can download a new book anywhere if I finish the one I’ve been reading. And although I own an iPad 3 (also my third… can you say “electronics junkie”), I prefer to read on the Kindle because is it the closest experience to reading a book.

Melanie Pancho: Have a Nook Color, but I almost never use it. Just haven’t got around to figuring out how to check out books from the library on it. It’s easier — and more fun! — for me to drive to the library and spend an hour browsing.

Susan Smith Ilyes: I have a Kindle HD, a Kindle Fire for my 3 year old granddaughter, and 2 regular Kindles. I also have a Kindle DX that I won. I still look at regular books to see what they are about, and if I am interested, I check to see if I can get it on my Kindle. You can even get FREE books on it!! I LOVE it! I do, however, buy some books if they are basically pictures.

Joe Durika: I own a Kindle, but not every book I want to read is available for it, so I still read the occasional print book. I also like to get print Bible study books so that I can make notes in the margins.

Kimberly Barton: I have a Nook but I still like to pick up real books from time to time. My husband bought it for me to try and lessen my book collection and stop it from taking over the house. It didn’t fully work but slowed my physical book buying. There is just something about the smell of books and turning the pages. Note that I am a full bookworm nerd. lol

Danielle Kauffman: I do both… sometimes the paperback is cheaper then ebook.

What’s your preference? Leave a comment and let us know!


More:
Read the full thread on the York Daily Record/Sunday News Facebook page
A columnist imagines how e-books and paperbacks can work in harmony
Read about York County Libraries’ eBranch launch in 2011
Find a list of independent bookstores in York County

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
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