Over the past six months to a year, I've started reading a lot more e-books. And to my surprise, I prefer them. Don't get me wrong - I love the feeling of holding a book in my hands; I love walking into a room and seeing shelves lined with books; I like being able to easily flip back and forth between pages; I love having books signed by authors. But e-books are so convenient. It made me wonder whether other people's feelings toward e-books has changed as they've become more prevalent.
Are you using e-books more? Do you like them better than you used to?
I still don't have a dedicated e-reader. I have both an iPad and an iPhone, but I read nearly everything on my phone. I like reading on an iPad better in theory due to the larger size, but the iPhone is much more convenient. That's what I like about e-books the most: the convenience. I can read a book no matter where I am. I could and sometimes do pull a print book out of my purse and read it while I'm in line at the grocery store or in a doctor's office, but it's bulky and sometimes people look at you funny.
What do you use to read e-books? Which brand do you prefer?
I split between using the Kindle app and the Nook app on my phone. In general, I prefer the Kindle app, because it's so easy to buy things on Amazon. However, I share a Nook account with my parents, so for books that all three of us want to read, I buy books on the Nook.
Part of me thinks that I should buy more print books on principle. Not that I think that print books are going to go extinct, but more that I want to support physical bookstores, be it independent or Barnes & Noble. That being said, I buy most of my books - print and digital - from Amazon. Out of habit mostly. I would like to support independent bookstores more. Luckily, Kobo made a deal last year with independent bookstores so the stores could sell e-books using the Kobo system. I should get in the habit of supporting one of my favorite stores.
One of my favorite developments in the e-book world has been the library system. Now most libraries have decent e-book collections. You can download e-books as well as audio-books. I love the Overdrive app for my iPhone which allows me to easily store all my library purchases. I also like that most library books are available for download via Kindle. It's so much easier to have a wifi download instead of having to plug my phone into the computer.
Do you read library books on your e-reader?
I think there's great potential for e-books in the future. I'd love to see more enhanced content, like video alongside recipes in a cookbook. This exists in a few books, but I'd love to see it more widespread. Also, a way to sync audiobooks with e-books. This does exist currently with Amazon's Whispersync for Audible, but I've heard it can be clunky (let me know if you've used it, because I'm interested in trying it).
I do have some concerns for what happens to your e-books if the company goes under. What happens if Barnes & Noble goes out of business? Presumably, someone would buy out the Nook division and the books would stay as they are, but what if they didn't? That's the problem with not owning physical copies. It's almost like the company still owns them and one day they could take them back.
What do you see for the future of e-books? What concerns do you have? What excites you?