Why do you read e-books?

Posted August 19, 2010 by Casee in Discussions | 18 Comments

I read e-books for the convenience factor. That and because for every e-book I buy, it’s one less print book that is in my house. Since my house is slowly being taken over by books, I’m sure that I know someone that would be happy if I scrapped the mass markets all together and went totally electronic.

Lets talk about the convenience.

  • *Traveling. As we all know, the airlines are charging per bag now. Not only that, but if you go 1 pound above a certain weight, they’ll charge you approximately $99.99. Of course they’ll let you take something out of your suitcase, but that’s only after you go to the back of the line you’ve already stood in for an hour. Now if you would have left your twenty two books at home and just brought your Kindle, you wouldn’t have had this problem, your kids wouldn’t be about to get strangled driving you crazy, your husband wouldn’t be asking you why you had so many effing books, and you wouldn’t be wondering why you weren’t off on a plane to Hawaii. By yourself.
  • The Purse. I carry a book (sometimes two) wherever I go. This can be very inconvenient for me. At this particular time, I can’t seem to find a purse I like so I am falling back on an old one that I love…and that can’t hold nearly as much as I want. Holding one book is about all I can do. Two books? Yeah freaking right. I brought my Kindle to work with me today and omg, I have room left over for, say, my wallet. My keys. Every time I read a book on my Kindle, I tell myself that I need to use it more.

What’s my beef today? I was reading RRRJessica’s blog and this comment from The Wall Street Journal (quoted from RRRJessica’s site) caught my eye and annoyed the shit out of me:

Dorchester, which has been publishing mass market paperbacks since 1971, publishes 25 to 30 new titles a month, approximately 65% of which are romance works. The company launched its first mass paperback titles in 1971.

Romance fans in particular have already embraced e-books, in part because customers can read them in public without having to display the covers. In addition, type size is easily adjusted on e-readers, making titles published in the mass paperback format easier to read for older customers.

Is that why we like e-books then? Reading ignorant comments like that always floor me. It’s such a sweeping statement, probably taken from someone that most likely said that a plus to reading e-books was that there were no covers to hide. That doesn’t mean that it was actually taken into consideration when I bought my Kindle. Jaysus. Like I’m actually going to spend $259 (at the time–you Amazon.com jerks) to save myself some embarrassment?

Why do you read e-books? Is it because you’re so embarrassed to be seen in public that you just can’t stand it?

*image credit here

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18 responses to “Why do you read e-books?

  1. Anonymous

    I was perfectly happy to hide my shame with my inexpensive book cover. 🙂 But I loaded up my iTouch with books for a trip I just took and found it very convenient. Am thinking seriously about getting a “real” ereader for future trips, though I actually like the tiny, light size of the iTouch and the lack of blinking. (Saw some Kindles while I was gone and the blink would drive me crazy in no time.) — willaful

  2. Anonymous

    Also, since I am very shy about reading (or even listening to) sex scenes in public, I liked that the iTouch is small enough to shield with my hands. 😉 — willaful

  3. I read e-books on my computer. Most are checked out from my public library. My two main reasons: shorter wait list for new releases and ease of reading. I read e-books a lot faster than paper books, simply because of the larger type. That means more books for me. Yay!

  4. Normally I only read ebooks when I can’t get them in print.

    I love romance covers and have no problem with reading them in public.
    However I know some readers who cover up some of their romance books because they are sort of ashamed of them.

  5. I read ebooks because it’s convenient for me. I can download what I want and not have to go out. Sometimes it’s even cheaper–Yay! But one of the main reasons is because I can hide my book buying habit from The Husband. He doesn’t even blink when I’m holding the Kindle, but if I come in with a bag of books, I usually hear about it, haha. (My house is already too full of books)

  6. Anonymous

    I travel quite a bit and used to haul 20 books with me so the Kindle was a life saver.

    Regards, Ruth (CO)

  7. First, let me say I could care less who sees the covers of the paperbacks I read. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to look.
    On to ebooks. I read ebooks for the convenience and price. I can take numerous books with me on my Kindle, which takes very little space.

  8. I read e-books because some authors are only e-pub’d and because I want to keep up with the times. I still buy mostly pb’s but I like technology and embrace the e-book movement.

  9. I read ebooks on the computer. I like that they don’t take up space on the shelves (or the floor). I’d probably read more ebooks if I had an ereader. I don’t read ebooks because I’m trying to hide what I’m reading.

  10. Before e-books, I used to buy all my books and lose them everywhere and have my younger siblings damage them, now I basically read all my books as e-books. If I see a book that I like in the library or book shop, I’ll buy it. But if I’m actually looking for a book, I’ll read it on my ipod touch (Stanza app) I don’t only read romance novels as ebooks, I read all my novels as e-books including young adult, action, fantasy and mystery. I’ve been reading e-books since I was 12, before I even started reading romances. I’ll admit that the covers on romances are sometimes embarrassing and that not showing the cover on an ebook is a pro in my opinion but I’ve honestly never consciously considered it before reading it here. I’d say that yes, the points mentioned in the comment are pro’s but they are NOT the reason people like ebooks so much, they’re just so convenient!

  11. Wendy

    Honestly, I don’t think the WSJ comment is ignorant. LOADS of romance readers are reading them “in the closet.” Probably more than we “know” about, because they’re too embarrased to out themselves. Romance readers have been told for years that the books are “trash,” “porn,” “smut,” “mindless fluff,” etc. etc. etc. How many of us have had to listen to this tripe from coworkers, family, TOTAL STRANGERS (!), that pimply teenage boy working the cash register at the bookstore, librarian(s) who need to retire or die already because they make my job harder etc. etc. etc.

    So yeah, throw rotten fruit all you want – but I can’t get my panties in a wad about that WSJ comment. I certainly don’t think it’s the ONLY reason romance readers have embraced digital – but I do think it’s a factor.

    Ahem. Anywho….

    I read digitally (not exclusively mind you) for a lot of reasons you already gave. The convenience when I travel, and the space issue. The Bat Cave can hold only so many print books…..

  12. Lori

    Since I mostly read on my phone now, I love the convenience of having a book wherever I am.

    I have to agree with your reasons – the traveling & the purse thing make it so much easier to read e. I also read in e anything that I don’t want my kids to have even the remotest access to yet: m/m, explicit erotic romance, etc.

  13. I have a Kobo and the book cover hiding wouldn’t have been an option for me. Until the first firmware upgrade the cover of your current read was proudly displayed whether it was the smuttiest m/m story or a piece of fine literature. It didn’t matter to me, though I admit that reading in the work environment is a lot more comfortable without the cover display.

  14. I have to say, I agree with the “not seeing covers” thing. I’m loud and proud about my love of romance, covers and all, but as my daughter gets older I’m happy to have some of the more racy and erotic covers hidden from her.

    I’m going to be even more happy they’re hidden when my son gets a little older. I’d hate to find one of my books in the bathroom…(eep).

    But no, that isn’t my first concern. It’s all about the convenience.

  15. MJFredrick

    I like to be able to adjust the font, and the fact that you can buy a book and ZAP! There it is. My paperback TBR languishes, though I’ve been making more of an effort. Oh! The other day, I picked up a pb that had been sitting on my shelf since 2003 (yeah, I know…HUGE TBR) and the pages were yellowing. 🙁

  16. I have to admit that I really like my eBookwise reader and the convenience. As I go on professional study leave annually and have had to take an extra suitcase to hold all my books, it is really neat to have one less bag to drag along. It is also really nice to have the ebooks so close–as close as one’s computer rather than doing the “go to the bookstore” schtick. Although I must say that I will never outgrow my love for bookstores. Just the smell of all those new books–the paper, the printer’s ink–oooooaaaa–anyway, ebooks, thankfully are here to stay and I,for one, am delighted.

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