eBooks vs. Paper Books

Due to the latest shenanigan pulled by Philippine Customs officials or maybe just the Makati Post Office, I’m revisiting the idea of having an electronic reader.  Gasp!  Although, I did promise to keep reading the printed word and quite honestly, I dream of finally holding a copy of my own book in my hands… due to current circumstances and the lingering threat that I might lose money and patience over the corrupt, well… maybe it’s time to get one (I am thinking of getting the latest Nook which will be released on June 10) for the following reasons:

First, it’s definitely cheaper.  Books here in the Philippines are getting really expensive.  I can’t explain it.  There aren’t any duties (supposedly) and yet the big bookstores overcharge for the titles, it’s becoming ridiculous, especially since the titles here only exist within the parameters of pop culture.  There was only one bookstore that I totally loved to the point that I convinced the owner to read up on his Japanese literature because he saw me picking out the weird titles.  A Different Bookstore was recently bought by Powerbooks and gone are the days where I enjoy discounts on books that I can’t find anywhere else except on Amazon.  If they didn’t have it, they would order it for me, but I kiss that happy privilege goodbye.  Buying ebooks on Amazon and Barnes&Noble is definitely cheaper than getting them on paperback at the nearest Fully Booked, which I have some hang ups with in the first place.

Second,  I don’t have to wait weeks and months to get my books.  I can have them just like that!  This might totally make me love ebook reading forever.  Here’s an incident that took place quite recently.  I watched the movie “I Am Number Four” and despite how it reeked, I became more interested in Pittacus Lore’s Young Adult series especially since it totally stirred the inner Trekkie and Star Wars fan in me.  So I walked to National Bookstore to search for it and I couldn’t find a single copy even though I know for weeks it was attracting flies for a while until the movie came out. So I ordered a copy off Amazon.  I got it two months later, after constant badgering with Amazon’s CSR to send me another copy because I didn’t get the first one.  Customer Service made me experience the joys of Expedited International Shipping, and I came to the conclusion that there must be no other way to ship.  Unfortunately expedited shipping to the Philippines costs an arm and a leg, or at least maybe 5-6 books so never mind.  Buying ebooks off Barnes & Noble would just solve that problem in seconds.  I wouldn’t have to wait anymore.  Hurray!

There are many advantages to switching to ebooks.  Better check these blogs for their wisdom.  The ability to scribble notes on the Nook or the Kindle?  I am so there!  I can’t even make myself write on the paper edges of my books, not even with a pencil.

eBooks vs. Paper Books.

Print Books vs. Ebooks

Are Ebooks better or worse than paper books? Do (not) ask the Experts. 

Unfortunately I do have a couple of concerns about the eReader technology and I hope the techie people who read here will answer them.  Yoohoo Francis!

1.  How will I share my book?  The fun part of having tangible paper books is lending it to friends.  To recommend them.  To marvel at their front covers. And to tell a friend ” you just HAVE to read this one!”

2.  Will ebooks last forever?  If my Nook becomes so obsolete and won’t have an ebook compatible with it anymore, do I have to buy another one?  I do want books to last forever, but quite honestly, even the fast development and turn over of ebook devices might arrest the notion of ebooks lasting forever in our hard drives.  A paper book may rot, may discolor, but it least it will grow some sort of character and it won’t disappear in the guts of a device.

Sigh.  If only those Customs people in the Post Office weren’t such douche bags.

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3 Comments

Filed under Books, compositions, Creative Nonfiction

3 responses to “eBooks vs. Paper Books

  1. Andro Mauricio

    You’ve got me thinking. ..

    Interesting Price & Feature Comparison between Nook and Kindle here:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372819,00.asp

    Even more interesting Nook-modding option here:
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2011/02/howto-root-a-nook-color-to-transform-it-into-an-android-tablet.ars

    … or i could stick to a laptop.

  2. “Will ebooks last forever?”

    Hi,
    I’m the author of the post “Are Ebooks better or worse than paper books? Do (not) ask the Experts” that you link from here.

    To give a proper answer to that question you need to properly define “ebook”.

    The word “ebook” is often used to indicate both the actual literary work (which is only a file) and the electronic device(s) used to read it (nook, kindle, whatever)

    So, if you ask “will ebooks READING DEVICES last forever?” the answer is

    surely not but we don’t care. We’ll just use other devices

    of course “don’t care” is true only you use ebook files in truly open formats. Because he answer to “”Will ebook files last forever?” is:

    yes, because they can be copied from device to device, IF THEY ARE IN OPEN FILE FORMATS READABLE WITH ANY DEVICE

    By the way (shameless self-promotion ahead!) this is exactly one of the things I teach in my online courses and explain in my articles freely readable online, see for example:

    File formats

    ebook

    • Tess

      Thanks for commenting :) I’m glad you pointed out that ebooks can last forever only if they are in open file formats. I hadn’t thought of that. I love paper books, quite honestly, but the books i would like to read are not available here in the Philippines and I’d have to order them from Amazon. I supposed having an eReader will spoil me insanely, i wouldn’t have to wait for the notice from the post office to pick the books up anymore and will have the ebook within seconds. Thanks again.

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