Tag Archives: Kindle

e-books and hard copy books: the difference between buying and reading

In case many ppl are simultaneously thirsty, a wall of drinking fountains.

I buy a greater number of books on my Kindle, but READ a larger percentage of purchased hardcopy books.

In terms of concrete numbers:
2012: 58 e-books purchased (11 read)
2011: 49 e-books purchased (10 read)

In contrast, I bought about 10 hardcopy books each year (not counting cookbooks), and read almost all of them.

My book buying habits bode well for the book industry if indeed they reflect a larger trend–buying an e-book can be done at any time of day, with nearly-instant gratification. When I was reading the Fifty Shades of Grey and Hunger Games trilogies, I found myself buying and downloading the successive books at three o’clock in the morning. And then barreling forward with my reading.

Or if I hear about a good book during conversation or while reading an author interview. Bam. Downloaded again.

So when is it that I buy a hardcopy? When the book isn’t available as an e-book (like Octavia Butler or many of Chuck Palahniuk’s books). Or as a collectible. When the writer is a friend. Or I want the book signed. I will also buy both an e-book and hardcover copy of a book if I want the book accessible to me while traveling and/or the hardcover gets signed and it becomes precious (e.g., when Toni Morrison signed my hardcover copy of Home).

Maybe the books I buy in hardcopy are the reason I read more hardcopy books, you think. That they’re my friends’ books. Or an author whose writing I’m already familiar and already love.

But inevitably for me, it’s the tactile sensation of reading. Turning an actual page. Hearing the page turn.

The Kindle has its various attractions for me–the aforementinoed instant gratification, and the fact that I can carry an entire library with me on a plane.

I have friends who say they read more on Kindle (and anecdotally, I’ve found these friends are mostly software engineers (including my husband) who might be more attuned to reading a screen)–but for the most part my social network says they too read more hard copy books.

Do you buy more books on Kindle/as e-books? Or as hardcopy books? Why? And which format do you find more readable?

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October unleashed

snail on a doorstep

October is here. I am back at my desk, writing. Like a snail. But writing. I am happy and hopeful.

Lovely things in October thus far:

  • I had the honor of reading Hedgebrook residency applications this past weekend. In the course of reading the many essays and writing samples, I became inspired–that we are not alone, that we are all struggling forth in our unique ways. The voices were all so amazing. One voice was so amazing that I wrote down the name of her upcoming chapbook (the applications are all anonymous, but I am hoping the chapbook name is unique enough that if I search for it come next year, I can find it and buy it). We helped sift through a portion of the nearly 800 applications that came in.
  • I made a new friend while reading Hedgebrook apps. We were each paired with another Hedgebrook alum/writer; Naomi and I were paired together (funny–we happened to have arrived almost simultaneously, had introduced ourselves to each other, and were sitting next to each other when we discovered we were also partnered). Another commonality that I didn’t realize until afterwards: we were both mentored by Yiyun Li. 🙂
  • Speaking of Yiyun: she was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant! Well deserved.
  • We spotted 2 gray foxes in our neighborhood! Now mind you, we live in a semi-urban city, even if our neighborhood has a bit of green space (lots of empty lots because houses that burned in the 1991 fire were never rebuilt). Every year in the Fall, we see an increase in deer that meander down from Tilden Park into the foothills, and of course, there are wild turkeys…but I’ve yet to see any foxes. Until now. There are no pictures, because I just sat there in the front seat of the car mesmerized as they, lit up like ghosts, crossed the road in the night. Also, they are awfully cute looking, even if they are wild animals.
  • I got a Kindle! It is amazing. It is changing my entire reading experience. For the better. I had to buy reading glasses, but I don’t need them on the Kindle, because I can increase the font size. Also, I can carry 10 books without being weighted down. My arm muscles are atrophying, though.
  • An excerpt of my novel was accepted in an anthology entitled Men Undressed: Women Writers and the Male Sexual Experience (women writers writing the male sexual experience–in response to all the years/books with male writers writing the female sexual experience ala Madame Bovary and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, etc). that will be published in the Fall of 2011. Of course, I called my mom and told her right away about the sex scene I wrote for the anthology. I can’t wait for my parents to read a sex scene I wrote. They probably won’t read it–they might even gag, or at the very least shut the book immediately. But I’d love to tape them reading it. Maybe I will.
  • I resigned from a volunteer job that I’ve loved, but a job I’ve no longer time to do, and a job that deserves more attention than I’ve been able to provide in recent months. I’m sad, but I know it’s for the best–and I’m leaving on good terms. More to come on that.
  • As usual, my students inspire me, and also break my heart. I wish I could write more, but we have a ground rule that what is said in the classroom, stays in the classroom.
  • Sugar posted a new column today. It struck a nerve in me. 16 years ago, I decided that I needed to “change my life or die.” It was the toughest decision I made, to leave the known and make a massive leap of hope into the unknown. It has led to immense happiness in my life, and it is a decision I have never regretted. Feeling, and being “stuck” is not good. I hope “Ruler” also finds his road to happiness.
     

    Will post more, later. October is full of good stuff. I am hoping it will be full of Muse-charmed writing, too.

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