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March 11, 2013


Tommie@Ilene Books

I feel the same way. I love print versions, and always only buy a hard copy. But the convenience of an electronic version is great. I wish publishers were more willing to bundle the versions. I would be willing to pay an extra $2-3 if I could get the electronic version along with the print copy that I bought. It still validates the need to produce print versions and gives an extra incentive.


I agree with everything you've said, except accessibility, which perhaps means disagreeing after all, as this seems to be the root of this piece. I work at a thrift ( NOT vintage) store in a lower living level of town. My best customers who come in for everything from used silverware to mattresses and clothing, to a person have nice cell phones and or tablets. Both of which allow for reading books. I also worked for 4 yrs in our public library system, both at our main library and, outlying branches. Patrons who use the computers our library diligently provides, (and at a cost which I might add takes a large portion of our money) are apt to have the most expensive phones out there. I myself have a cheaper phone so I can afford my wifi and tablet. I admire your desire for children and poor to be able to get these books but, I'm afraid it isn't whether or not they're accessible , but whether or not people want to read, electronically, or in hard copy. And, getting kids to love reading is something adults have been trying to do for a long, long time.


I agree with you and with Tommie's comment. I love the feel of a book in my hand, but when traveling I would love the ease of an ereader. I also love the fact that if something happens to your ereader you can usually get the books you have purchased downloaded to your new ereader without much hassle. That seems so much better than trying to replace all my books if I have a house fire! However, I feel that you lose something when reading from a screen instead of a tangible book. I can't afford an ereader/tablet/smartphone right now so I don't have the option. But it is something that I've considered. I think I would want the option to bundle the formats together too. I wonder if that will happen soon. I know you can now buy bundled movies where you get the dvd/blu ray/digital copy all together. Books should be the same. That would make me much more willing to invest in an ereader in the future. I don't like the idea of having to buy the book twice just so I have it in both formats, but a bundle for a few bucks more would be worth it to me.

Megan Whalen Turner

While we are letting our nightmares run free, let me tell you mine. Right now, I can go to a used bookstore and buy myself a copy of The Goose Girl for about a dollar. Or I can go to the Library Booksale and get lucky and buy GG and thirty other books that fit in a paperback for five dollars. What if publishers print fewer and fewer paper books and the used book market dries up? And what if the publishers then push up the price of e-books? What if every time you wanted to get a book it was going to cost you ten dollars? Right now, you pay a premium to read a book when it is first published, but you can wait a year or two and get it for much less. That could change.

Julie Blankenship

I must say I am a fan of both medias. I have bookshelves full to the brim with books I love. I have bins of books tucked under my beds. I have books lining the shelves in my closet. I love to look at them and, like old friends, remember the time we spent together. Some I reread because I love to recreate the feeling I had with them.
I also love my Kindle. On it I have books that would be very hard for me to find at the bookstore or library. I have books on it that I already have hard copies of but want the convenience of being able to carry that and many other books with me to the doctor's office lobby, on the plane or any other place I spending waiting. I also have books that I normally wouldn't have bought because I could get them for 99 cents and either found I got what I paid for or a delightful surprise.
I don't think we are going to stop the electronic media monster but like all of you I hope hard copies of books never goes out of style.

Meg A.

I am along the same lines as Julie B. I have books EVERYWHERE...my husband would prefer me to go completely digital and stop buying books so that I would stop filling our home with so many. I love being able to physically pick up a book and thumb through the pages. One of my favorite things is to pick up one of my most tattered (and read) books and feel the grooves from where I have turned the pages for year and years. And while I love my real books, I love my Nook. My Nook enables me to have dozens of titles on hand so that if I get the fancy to switch books suddenly, I can. Several of my books sit on both my virtual and physical book shelf--I have to have it with me wherever I go! I also appreciate that my Nook allows me to borrow eBooks from the library system that I might not otherwise get to often since I live in such a small town. And more often than not, after I have read the eBook version, I will go out and buy the hard copy version of the book. I also know that among many of my friends (and myself), we refuse to pay ten or twelve dollars for an eBook. If an eBook is that expensive, I'd rather just pay to have the physical copy in my hands. I will always prefer a physical book sitting in my hands, but I have made room for eBooks in my heart as well.


I don't have a problem with ebooks (in fact, I have a Kindle), but for me it takes away some of the magic of reading a book. Of course, the whole point of a book is its content, but I personally love to look at the words on paper, to touch the words and feel the smooth surface of the page. Needless to say, you can't really do that with ebooks. Like you said, we already are staring at screens all day to the point where it has become routine. Maybe I should just sum this up by saying that reading becomes less special if you do it on an ereader.

Amanda N.

I LOVE books. I just keep buying them and reading them. I got a kindle and LOVE it too. I have only bought 3 books for it, out of the over 300 I have on it. I bought Palace of Stone when in was sale for 2.99, because I am tired of waiting for my bookmobile to get it. I bought one for .99. I also bought a modern Regency romance because it was discounted. The books I bought I will probably end up getting hard copies later. Most the book I have on my kindle are the free public domain classics that I want to read and it's easier to have them on my device then buy or try to find at a library. I also love buying books at thrifts stores. So for me, I will always buy the books I LOVE, but I love that I can have such a rich diverse reading experience because of my kindle.

John Stout

I like my paper, and plan to continue to purchase paper.

I espically love a nice hardback. My house is full of them, but I believe it shows people what I value.

kristine a

I don't think that children's and picture books work very well on an ereader. So I'm not worried about access/transition for children's books.

You bring up a valid point of loss leaders normalizing prices - but the record industry has found a way to adjust digitally. Prices have come down and somehow content creators are still finding ways to make a living and get paid. And I would argue the quality and variety haven't suffered.

If a doom and gloom scenario were to happen like to suggest and paper goes by the wayside, Like an earlier poster said, most poor people have smart phones. And a GoodReads survey found that almost 50% of smart phone users read books on it with free apps. And libraries aren't taking being shut out of the digital market lying down -- they are fighting hard and figuring out the best way forward to maintain access for all in a digital world.


Perhaps e-readers will begin getting donated to kids along with laptops? Personally, I love my e-reader for vacations. My suitcase used to weigh about 10 lbs more than it does now. But a lovely paperback or hardcover and the smell of a library is just unbeatable!


I have the Kindle app on both my phone and my iPad, and I downloaded a free eReader that supports the electronic book format from the library, but I'm still more likely to check a printed book out of the library than get the electronic version. I love the tactile experience of touch and smell. However, the Kindle was great on a recent long road trip. A friend provided me with an electronic version of his book and asked me to read it and write a review of it on Amazon. I read it out loud to my husband while he did most of the driving (no yelling, please; he gets carsick if he's not driving). I have purchased a few eBooks online, but usually books I've already read or if they are ridiculously cheap (I paid $.99 for one). I think that there are tech-savvy people who will use this as a way to do self-publishing for much cheaper than going through the normal publishing route.


I have a Kindle, but I honestly don't use it very much..prefer hard-copy books more, lol. They're part of the magic of reading.


The print-on-demand cost for paperback and hardbacks is coming down close to the cost of a regular mass-market book. In the future, I hope if publishers switched to eBooks and included their costs for promotion & editing & other overhead into the price of the eBook, then they could afford to allow people to buy print-on-demand physical copies of the book for very little extra fee. So while the cost of a physical book might be slightly higher than it is now, hopefully it wouldn't be much higher. That would enable libraries and the public to still buy paper copies.
Access-wise, I hope that with many people buying smart phones for other reasons, with cheaper used eBook readers becoming available, and with libraries starting to loan out electronics, we can close the eBook access gap for the poor. Access to physical books is wonderful, but I'd also like everyone to have good access to other electronic resources because sometimes those can be as important as books.


I understand some of your fears, but I feel a lot more optimistic about the future.

Unfortunately, the socioeconomic divide affects kids everywhere, right now. In paper. Poorer school districts don't have access to the amount or variety of books other places do. So, yes, I do believe it's more difficult for people in poorer areas to read--mostly due to economic reasons. Books, as much as I love them, are a luxury item, and if you're living hand to mouth, they aren't going to be in the budget. (Speaking of homes, not schools, although this applies to the education system too.) Also, if you're barely making it, and working two or more jobs, it's going to be difficult to run the kids to the local library, let alone plant in your children the love of reading for reading's sake. It's not impossible (speaking as someone who is living around the poverty line right now), but it does make it more difficult. Same with schools. If the school's main focus is to bring children up to acceptable levels of knowledge (not because the kids aren't smart, but because a good education does require being supplemented at home--both in content and attitude), they aren't going to really be able to focus on reading for pleasure.

And the recession that doesn't officially exist is making this even more difficult for so many who are being affected economically.

But more and more schools are leaning toward loaning out (or giving) their students iPads. Kind of like how they rent out textbooks. For kids in those schools, digital books will be just as accessible as paper books--if not more so. Will this happen in every school? Probably not. But this isn't a new problem. It's affecting kids in the US and worldwide.

Now, as a reader.

It's because of ebooks that I'm able to work toward satiating my bibliophilic tendencies. That and Amazon. I know a lot of authors are against Amazon, but as a reader, the more expensive a book is, the fewer I'm able to purchase. The same is true in the opposite direction. The important thing to remember is that the print industry is a different creature from the digital side.

There have been a number of surveys that have shown (taking all surveys worth a grain of salt) that people with ereaders are more likely to buy *more* books than ever. Partly this is because of convenience. It's nice being able to purchase a book without having to leave the house or in the middle of the night when all the bookstores are closed. It's also easier to make impulse purchases rather than plunking down a $300 order at the counter all at once.

And price. Price is always going to be a factor to a certain segment of the population, because that is their reality. I have a number of trade authors I love, but I rarely purchase their ebooks (there are some notable exceptions like many of Diana Wynne Jone's books, Sharon Creech's, etc.) because they are the same price as paper--and in some cases higher. I either find books that publishers have priced for my budget (I can usually pay up to $7.99 for an ebook, but the more expensive it is, the more I have to want it to purchase it.), wait for them to go on sale, or not purchase them at all. Ebooks are replacing mass market paperbacks--something many swore would kill hardcovers and regular paperbacks--but many publishers are not pricing them as such. So I buy fewer trade. Am I sorry to do so? Yes! But the economic realities are always going to win out for a number of people. And, for me, it's cheaper to read more books and find new authors via ebooks than through paper.

I do see a different industry. Right now, there are only 6 major publishers, soon to be 5. I could be totally wrong, but I can see the big publishers merging until they get big enough to buckle under their own weight. When that happens, I don't see the end of an industry, but those big publishers falling back into smaller pieces the way there were a number of small-to-medium houses before the current big publishers started buying them up and turning them into imprints. So I see a widening, not things getting smaller. Big publishers are closer to monopolies now--many of their standard contracts are identical in terms dealing with digital books, which means that you usually can't go to a different big publisher to get better terms (as newer authors, not established, bestsellers)--than they would be if they were smaller and there were more of them.

Books, as I said above, are still not necessarily easily available to the poor and children. There are libraries, but from what I've seen, many are facing budget costs, which means they can't purchase as many books, and there aren't as many librarians available to help you find what you're looking for. This could be different in different places, but this is what I've noticed where I live--even with the newer libraries that have been built in the last couple of years. Quality literature is out there--and it doesn't only come from big publishers. Digital books, from what I've noticed, tend to increase the ability toward free speech, not decrease it.

"I want all children and adults to have access to thousands of different books, any one of which might change their lives."

I want this too, and I don't see ebooks being much of an obstacle to this. For me, they've widened my ability to purchase more and more often. I love paper. I love being surrounded by hardcovers and paperbacks. But I love finding new worlds and experiencing new stories just a little bit more. :)


Sorry, this it OT, but . . . have you read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson? Super yummy. ;)


Ebooks, for me, are probably almost always going to be books that I don't mind losing. At some point there is probably going to be a tech upgrade and I could lose everything I have bought. I don't want that to happen. So if I really, really like a book, then I will buy it in print. I buy all my favorite authors in print unless the particular item they are selling isn't available any other way. But I might get an e-book that I'm not super-attached to but still thought was a fun read; I don't need the physical book experience for that: it's harder to fall in LOVE with a book on a screen than a physical book, I think. Some translated books are hard to find, and the internet makes it easier to get my hands on those, also. Basically, if you are an author on the margins—that piqued my interest but didn't hook me—you have a better chance of being bought with ebooks around; but I won't buy your hardbacks, and then again I wouldn't have bought them even if the ebooks didn't exist.

I buy more short stories in eBook form. If I don't like one of the stories in the collection, eh... It's cheap. I don't feel as cheated as I would if I bought a collection of short stories in book form and didn't like a couple of them. Which means I am more willing to go out on a limb.

Manga and graphic novels look really clean and pretty on a backlit screen. Some super-popular series can take 50+ volumes to wrap up (Bleach, Naruto, One-Piece...) So I get those. The print volumes are expensive for their size, and they take up tons of space. So I think they are a good deal.

In general, because of ebooks, I will be buying more of everything, not less, and at prices which I think will become fairer to everyone.

Little Willow

Psst... Your books were named favorites by Brooklyn & Bailey on their new YouTube Channel. They have great taste! I just saw the video and thought I'd pass it on. :)
This is their first vlog, but they already have a huge following, as they and their other siblings are part of their mom's highly successful vlog and website, CuteGirlsHairstyles.


I'm giving a few books to a girl who is in third grade but has a first-grade raenidg level. Should I give her first grade books, second grade books, or third grade books? What's going to improve her raenidg level? Does anyone have any suggestions that I could easily find at Barnes and Noble tonight. As for the type of book, anything goes, but I want 1 or 2 books about puppies because that is one thing that I know she likes.


I loved reading all 3 Hunger Games books, The LOTR seeirs and The Hobbit, The Game of Thrones seeirs. They are the only real books I've ever actually got really interested in I've tried countless other books but can't seem to find any more good ones.Can anyone recommend any books that are good and something similar to these?


ok, i need an author that has 3 GOOD BOOKS for YOUNG ADULTS for an esglinh report. Im not so much interested in renissance and prarie life or that kind of stuff, please give me some suggestions! Also, if by any chance the author's life in anyway reflects onto his/her books, that would be awesome! please help!

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