October 15, 2020

Books: Printed or Digital?

Saying anything positive about the pandemic experience seems wrong. Over 200,000 dead, millions unemployed, tens of thousands of local businesses gone forever...it is hard to put a positive spin on the last seven months, and probably the foreseeable future.

So, I understand the question posed by this post is not important in the grand scheme of things. Even so, it is one I think you might have some thoughts to contribute, so here goes.

One of the ways many of us have spent the last half-year plus is by reading more. With all this extra time at home, it is safe and socially acceptable. Plus, you can sit in your favorite easy chair without a mask and enjoy it.

Personally, I am always a voracious consumer of the printed word. It is unusual for there not to be two or three books in various stages of completion lying about the house. But, since March, I am outdoing myself. As I type this, five books are sitting by the sofa and the easy chair.

Bookmarks show the progress through each. The library texts me when one is about due so I can return or renew it. And, the twelve reading options on my library hold list are just waiting to be picked up when they (and I) are ready.

Every one of these reading choices is a printed version of the material. I own a Kindle and use it to keep my reading need fulfilling when on vacation or when something is only available in digital form. But, it is not my preference at all. I want to hold something in my hand,  turn each page, and mark my progress with a colorful marker.

I even enjoy seeing an occasional penciled note that someone has randomly (and quite rudely) added to the margins. Is that a coffee stain, maybe a slightly greasy fingermark from potato chips? Do those page edges look like they were once dampened and have dried with a wavy look?

None of these secret, forbidden bonuses happen with an electronic version. Those are every bit as sterile and unmarked as one would expect from a computer. Sure, the text size is probably adjustable, highlighting is both possible and encouraged, and it is easy to add an electronic placeholder to know where to start again.

Even so, I am a print guy. I will always be a print guy. I volunteer at the library just so I know when new books have arrived...well, not entirely true, but partly. Considering how often I am picking up or returning material, I probably should have my own parking spot.

This is a good place to take a little detour into the world of audiobooks. Unlike ebooks, which are actually declining in sales, audiobook versions are booming. Hard copy (printed) sales continue to dominate the book world, but audiobooks are increasingly popular. The combination of sound and word can be powerful inducements.

When we were RVing, we would listen to audiobooks as we drove. The combination of a first-rate narrator, some sound effects, and music, plus using different voices to indicate character changes, made a good audio-book a tremendous way to pass the miles between campgrounds.

But, since coming off the road, I am back to holding a book in my hand. I will listen to some podcasts that cover subjects in which I am interested. But, audio-books just don't hold my attention as well as the printed word. I find it too easy to have my mind drift away from the book presentation if someone is reading to me.

So, here I am, comfortably stuck in a bygone age, sniffing books and enjoying my time between the pages.

How about you? Boxers or briefs...no, no, wrong subject. Printed or digital? Audio-books? How do you prefer your literary works delivered? Honestly, you aren't likely to change my mind, but I will love the read the answers ...because they are words appearing on a page!


74 comments:

  1. Print only. In grad school (English major) I had to take a research course. The professor had us go to the library and research questions. He even told us where to find it. He said he wanted us to hold a book, feel the pages and the scent. This was just as most research could be done online, and he did not want us to stray far from our centers.
    I knew I had been there too many days when someone asked me where a book on our list was located, and I reeled off the call number.
    I love books.

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    1. My grandfather and uncle were librarians and my mother was a teacher, so I imagine I have the love of books in my blood. Speaking of call numbers, I still miss the common use of the dewey decimal system.

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  2. Both. My preference is always print but, like you, Bob, I use my Kindle when traveling or when only an electronic version is available. Audio books? Never, ever. In addition to the actual content of the book, it's the quiet pleasure of the activity that draws me to reading. Actually, our family has its own version of "audio books." Prior to our cross-country National Parks camping trips when our kids were young, I'd pick out a couple of books with engaging stories that would entertain the kids (and Alan) to read aloud on our long travel days across the country. Particular favorites were The Abernathy Boys (when we were traveling in your neck of the woods, Bob) and Sue Henry's Maxie and Stretch mysteries (about a retired woman who traveled in a Class C with her dog). I remember reaching our destination one day and NOBODY wanted to get out of the car until we ended the chapter and found out what happened to Maxie. Books are one of life's simplest pleasures, but they have the power to enrich our lives in so many educational and entertaining ways.

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    1. Now you've done it. Tooth of Time by Sue Henry. I just found it on Amazon and it sounds great. Another author to follow!

      My oldest daughter is dyslexic. Even though she has learned to deal with this problem, she prefers audio books for this reason, plus she can listen while carting the kids around or running errands.

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    2. My kids read in the RV. My oldest went through books. He even ended up reading one of my Texas Ranger book (I forbid him giving out the ending, but I did get a book review, lol). He even broke down and read his sister's Babysitting Club books one time when he was totally out of books.
      My parents were great. Before a long trip my dad would often give the kids $20 each to stock up on books (it went a lot farther in the 90's and they often went to the used book store first).
      We had to have a rule that they had to put the books down when we were in National Parks.
      Once on a trip we ran into a used bookstore and had to buy another suitcase to fly home with (about our only flying trip with the kids).
      My youngest at the end of 1st grade picked up his brother's Star Wars book and was reading it (adult book, not the kids version). When I challenged him on it he read a page to me, perfect other than a couple of names. I let him keep reading the book.
      By middle school my two oldest picked out jeans based on the cargo pockets, which were just the right size to hold a paperback. This lead to my middle boy's math teacher meeting him at the door with her hand out to take the book (otherwise no math would get done).
      They are all good readers now, but have moved mostly to digital books.

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    3. Great family stories, Linda! Memories like those warm your heart, don't they? When our daughter was in third or fourth grade, she came home from school one day upset that the staff wouldn't allow her to check out one of the big kid books from the library. Really? We took care of that obstacle pretty quickly, insisting that she be allowed to read whatever she wanted. Coincidentally, she returned to the Maxie and Stretch series we used to read while traveling earlier in the pandemic while she was a temporarily unemployed barber.

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  3. I tried a Kindle when it as new, and hated it. The ability to look up the definitions of words is a plus, but the overall experience is abysmal. Online "flipbooks" aren't any better. Sorry, trees. Give me books.

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    1. Reading a book on a Kindle just doesn't satisfy me. I know it is kind of silly, but reading electronically just doesn't feel anything like "real" reading.

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  4. I've completely gone to the Dark side. And as Kindle graphics and editing have improved ×200, I also get my reference books that way. The ability to adjust font size and background, the portability and lightness (i use a Kindle pillow for reading in bed) has made me a fan. Plus which I have not had to enter a library or bookstore to get my five books a week since March. My newest is the new Ken Follet which I cannot imagine reading in book form.

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    1. My wife has problems with her hands, making the holding of a book a bit of a problem for her. She would be a natural candidate for a Kindle or other tablet-like device, but she remains fully in the print world.

      I will admit to one advantage you noted with a Kindle that may make it more a part of my future: the ability to make the text larger and/or change the background to make things more readable for older eyes.

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    2. I appreciate not wanting to change what you are doing. Once I found out about the kindle pillow (a soft mushy thing with a pocket that you can pt on your lap or on a pillow on your lap, my hands were so greatful. I can make my kindle background three or four colors that are not white or cream (soft beige, ecru and so on) and my particular model completely eliminates the blue screen at a touch of a button.

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    3. I’m with Barb . I was TOTALLY against kindle. Wouldn’t touch one. Lol until my kids gave me one for Christmas. Now I’m hooked. I’m a voracious reader and the ability to adjust the font and lighting has been a godsend for me. Plus I can load up on as many books as I want and carry it in a little tablet. I still read paper books obviously, but the convenience of the kindle is just great. Never thought I’d be saying that lol .

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    4. You folks may be opening my mind to at least experimenting with a newer Kindle!

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  5. I retired a year and a half ago and one thing I was really looking forward to was time to read a book, a real book, one with pages. I went thru two to three audible books a weeks while working (driving to apts) but that isn’t the same. I still listen to audible when working out but my iPad is for games and news.
    I like pursuing my 29 year old son’s books (he also prefers paper) and I like recommending books to him from my stash. I like the feel of paper, turning the page and closing a good book when finished. Hitting an off button is so blah.

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  6. I like ebooks on vacation, printed versions at home, audiobooks when I am driving or trying to fall asleep in the bed. It is a mystery to me that an audiobook keeps me interested and focused while driving and helps me fall asleep in bed.

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    1. That is true for me as well!

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    2. Yes, and I try to explain to people that it also actually doesn't distract me (I drive thousands of miles on road trips alone) I only use them when driving though.

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    3. Or if you are like my hubby, helps you fall asleep while driving. Last audio book we had. Thank goodness I was awake and watching and realized it in time to yell at him. I also took over driving for the rest of the night (I drove 4 more hours and he slept).

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  7. Both, but primarily digital on my iPad due to convenience. An audiobook on a long road trip is nice and does make time fly.

    With COVID it is nice to get books through the Libby app, so no going to the library and getting print editions that may be full of germs 😷.

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    1. Our library system cleans each returned book and then "quarantines" it for 3 days before allowing it to go back into general circulation. Even so, I sanitize my hands after bringing home library books. Yes, it is of some concern during the pandemic.

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  8. I am about 50/50 split between paper books and e-books. It depends on what I am doing and some books are only available as e-books (I am looking at you Bob). Certainly for travel it's e-books all the way and since we spend several months a year in Mexico and English language books are hard to come by there, e-books are a great way for me to get English language books. I also subscribe to an e-book service called BookBub which gives me a daily emailed list of e-books on sale for $1 or sometimes even free. Paper books are still good and a little easier on the eyes too I think. I have never really used audio books though I've never had a long driving commute either.

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    1. Yes, David, a few of my earlier books didn't generate enough sales to justify the additional expense of producing hard copies, but I appreciate you knowing that!

      Getting English language books when in foreign countries is a good point, one I had not co0nsidered as a real plus for e-books.

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  9. I enjoy both.Years ago our son had me try his kindle and I did like it. I LOVE real books..and the library is one of my happy places. I miss spending an hour or so in the stacks.. andI do have some print books (my neighbor BUYS a lot of books and passes them on to me!) but the Cloud Library has been a saving grace during Covid..I get the books I want sent to my kindle app on my ipad and always have a “stack”reddy to read. I like my kindle for traveling.I actually broke a suitcase form too many books, one trip! Audiobooks: My mind wanders terribly and I lose track of the story! Reading has been my go-to , since I was a little girl..the joy and comfort of a good book is just hard to describe.. but other book lovers know what i mean!!!

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    1. Indeed, Madeline, I'm sure we all do. One of my very favorite memories from my childhood was our trip to the library on Saturday mornings. My parents didn't rush me, didn't restrict my exploration of the library to the children's section and didn't limit the number of books I could check out. Although I was raised in a city of only 25,000, the entire world was at my fingertips - that was a powerful realization for a young introverted kid like me.

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    2. My mind also wanderers all over the place whenever i have tried an audio book while sitting at home. No matter how well produced, my brain will not focus like it does on a page of words.

      My grandkids are real book lovers, too. They check out 50 books at a time (the library limit) and in 3 weeks manage to get through most of them. It makes me extremely happy to see their love of books.

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  10. I also enjoy both. I will get printed books when they are available at the library, When I buy books now, I usually go with digital. Our many bookshelves are already overflowing! And in a long book with a complicated set of characters, I like being able on Kindle to search for one I don't remember clearly.

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    1. I admit I do occasionally buy the Kindle version because it is cheaper than the printed version and the library has too long a wait list. Like you, over the years I have had to thin out and donate hundreds of books that our shelves could no longer hold.

      For the last several years, though, I buy very few. I lean heavily on the library and have learned I can wait a month or two for a particular book and not suffer horrible consequences.

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  11. Although I prefer turning real pages, I love my Kindle for reading in bed or traveling, and also when a book has so many pages I dont think I can comfortably hold it — the new Robert Galbraith I mean you!

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    1. As I noted above, my wife can't hold a big book comfortably. I am thinking specifically of a Ken Follett book that was over 1,000 pages!

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    2. Exactly why I am so grateful I have kindle, I am starting the prequel to the Pillars of the Earth

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  12. I'm with you. There's nothing like a real paper book, and like you, I have partially-read ones all over the house. The one I'm studying at the table, the mystery up on the bed, the other little old paperback novel out here on the counter. . . . I have lots of unread books on my Kindle (phone, really), but I always go for the real book, although I do read lots on the phone.

    I'd like to get into audio books; friends love them and talk about wonderful readers, but I haven't done it yet. I need to get one and listen in the car and see how it goes.

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    1. We don't have a CD player in the house anymore, so an Audiobook would have to be a digital version from the library for me to listen. The CD player in the car works, but I rarely drive more than 15-20 minutes at a time, which is not even enough for a chapter!

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  13. I love my books in print. I buy them at thrift stores and have more than enough for a year or two. It's hard to pass up a book at a great price. I tried the Kindle but it is just not the same as holding a real book. For vacations and particularly on a cruise ship, I pack a paperback for the ease of the size and weight. I have a paperback section just waiting on the pandemic to end.

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    1. My downfall is the weekly Book Review section in the Sunday New York Times. There is always at least one write up, or even just an attractive ad, that will send me to the library hold list. Addictive!

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  14. "...because they are words appearing on a page!" albeit digitally. I prefer the hard copy of a book to the digital version. There's something about the feel of the book in my hands, its smell, the bookmark that indicates how much has been read and how much is left. I did appreciate the e-reader when travelling and certainly couldn't beat the cost of some of those books but a library solves the problem of cost. I still remember my first trip to the local library when I was a kid. It was like Christmas anticipating all the books that were available to me. In my senior years, I'm looking to downsize and declutter but there's something about those books on the shelf that hearken back to a phrase or feeling that was prompted by the words within the covers, marking a point in time. I found it difficult to concentrate on a novel at the beginning of the pandemic response. I found a magazine article or blog post fit my attention span 6-7 mos ago. I even brought home some light reading but found that wasn't the solution either. My concentration is back and I'm into some good reading again. I have to be careful not to blame everything on the pandemic as fall/winter, after the rush of summer, is my best reading time.

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    1. One type of reading that has virtually disappeared from my world is magazine reading. They are just not attractive or interesting to me, nor do I like all the ads that fill the pages.

      I am the type of person who makes a to-do list so I can cross things off. A bookmark is kind of like that for me. It shows physical progress toward a goal, though some books are so good I dopn't want them to end.

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  15. Book in hand for this girl. E-books require screen time and I don't want even more of this lightbox. Audio books? Well, I pay attention to what I am doing and lose the story detail too quickly. And to be honest, I tried only 1 audiobook.

    And, I too am a library user. I can't identify how many years it has been since I purchased a book. 5? Maybe longer?

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    1. I am on the board of our local Fiends of the Library organization. Our job is to raise tens of thousands of dollars a year to help the library system offer various programs and classes that aren't part of the regular city budget.

      This pandemic has made me even more aware of what a tremendous community resource a library is. It is so much more than books and has been a lifesaver for so many people during this rough time.

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  16. Like many I grew up loving and collecting print books. Never thought I would change my mind about disliking ebooks. The. I started traveling more and more for work, often long trips overseas and lugging two or three books with me, and often adding one or two whi,e traveling, the weight just got to be too much so I tried ebooks and discovered the convenience of having multiple books at my fingertips tipped the scale for me. Plus being able to select, download and read a new book wherever I was as long as I had a WiFi connection was just wonderful. If I finished a book while traveling or just in the mood for something new, no problem. I still have many print books and yes they seem to be scattered in piles here and there with a variety of bookmarks. Bookstores and libraries are still my top happy places. Especially if they encompass a cafe or coffee bar as many do these days, even libraries. It’s been months though since I’ve been able to indulge in a coffee and book outing, so I’m reading on my kindle app on my iPad even more these days.

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    1. I would guess your balance between printed and electronic books is about average. I know our library system has a very active and well-used digital lending system in addition to the books and audiobooks.

      The good thing about our choices is you can match your reading needs with your physical situation, like travel or vacations or home time.

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  17. I love love love reading on the iPad. At night in bed I can use the black screen with white text and never bother TheHub. Plus I love having hundreds of books at my disposal and anytime I am stuck somewhere I can pull up my latest read on my phone and easily occupy myself for the wait.

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    1. The ability to modify the display of the words and background is a real advantage. Even though I subscribe to home delivery of the New York Times, I have found myself reading more on the phone or computer because the newspaper font size is so small (or my eyes are getting worse!) that I sometimes get eye fatigue just trying to get through the morning paper.

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  18. Just a general comment regarding screentime since I see some have commented on it, there are multiple screens (especally the fire which I have) that have completely elminated with the blue with a shade (even the kindle paperwhite doesn/t really do this). I have serious sleep issues and stop the computer generally hours before bedtime but can still read a kindle book without sleep interruption.

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    1. Good to know. Our phones offer that option, too. The frequency of blue light has been shown to interrupt a sleep cycle.

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  19. I have converted almost entirely to ebooks - only advantage to a print book is reading in sunlight when screen reflection etc don't allow reading on the beach for example. Like you my mind wanders with audio books - I use them when walking or in the car but have found that biographies or other non fiction seem easier to follow for me listening. The only thing I really miss without print books is the ability to look at finished books organized on a bookshelf

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    1. There are Facebook groups and web sites that show beautiful libraries, both public and private. I love looking at full book shelves that stretch to the back of a room. It is something about that endless knowledge, entertainment, and creativity that grabs me. Stacks of e readers wouldn't be quire the same!

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    2. Not original to me but I read someone once who said ebooks should come with an empty cardboard book jacket that could be placed on a bookshelf. I am a fan of presidential biographies - I have maybe 20 feet of books I have read in my office - the collection of more recent reads on my Kindle does not give me the same sense if achievement but is much easier to travel with.

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  20. Kindle wins in our home, every time! We download from our local library and viola, the e-book appears. Many advantages, being increasing the font size, saving trees, a light within the kindle to avoid a physical book-lamp while in bed, looking up definitions of words immediately, and more. So far, I've read 29 e-books and keep track of them on the Goodreads website. Enjoy your choice!

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    1. You have many excellent reasons for going with an e-reader. The ability to look up word definitions is really a nice feature.

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  21. Ebooks for me. I read a lot, sometimes 2-3 books a week and ebooks make it easy to get a new book from the library anytime. I also like the ability to easily look up words or concepts and finally and maybe best of all adjust the font so I don't need reading glasses.

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    1. The font size issue may be what finally drives me into the Kindle camp. I have chosen large print books from the library when they are available. It does make quite a difference.

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  22. I prefer printed books (from the library, I seldom purchase a printed book anymore) but sometimes I will read an eBook. At the beginning of Covid eBooks were the only thing available but I'm thrilled that we can now check out the real thing. For eBooks, I love getting my daily BookBub list (about $1.99 each) and monthly Amazon Prime list (free) to see if anything looks good. I've never listened to a book on tape. I'm pretty sure that I'd travel ten miles or so down the road before I realized that I hadn't paid any attention to the narrator.

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    1. It was a big day for me when the library started allowing hold pickups and book returns again. The almost two months everything was shut down was hard.

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  23. I have been a reader all my life and worked in a library until retirement. I love reading ebooks. My first ereader was a Palm Pilot and I always had multiple books on it. Is that dating me. :] The joy of being able to carry my library of books in my pocket. I also listen to audiobooks when working on crafts and also at night to help me fall asleep.

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    1. I owned a Palm Pilot way back when. They were quite the rage for a while.

      I find it interesting that several comments note that audiobooks help them fall asleep. I guess the constant pleasant voice at low volume can do that.

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  24. We tried the audio books on one trip. Not a good experience. I found I could not follow the story (and I had already read the print version). I was lost and bored. Hubby was driving and enthralled with the book. However, as we headed to a curve, I realized he was not turning. He had drifted off to sleep. I yelled at him, all was ok and he was booted (over his protests) to the passenger seat. I drove the next 4 hours and he did sleep. No more audio books for us!

    I flew 400,000 miles for work in 3 years. On time I had been upgraded to first class and had my paperback book. The man sitting next to me made snide comments now and then about it. He was reading on his Kindle. After his last comment there was the "you need to turn off all electronic devices" announcement. This was before you could leave them on for take off and landing. I looked over at him and said: This is why I carry a real book and went back to reading.

    I have the Kindle app on my iPad and my phone, so I do have digital book options, I just didn't use them if I had a paperback with me.

    I haven't read a digital book since my flying days. I read paperbacks instead.

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    1. A person after my own heart, though i might have accidently spilled coffee on the dufus next me with his Kindle.

      Scary story about the ability of audiobooks to put one to sleep...when that is not the goal.

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  25. Print. I hate digital books. I have to read digital documents all day long. Digital books are too much like work, and print is an escape.

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    1. That is interesting: digital documents at work (court, right?) and print is a nice change of pace.

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  26. I first got into digital reading when I started to do heavy commuting on trains since the trains are so packed you have no choice but to read with a small device. To be honest I hated it at first, then I loved it once I got used to it. I shuffled between the Kindle Cloud reader on the browser and my cell phone for reading, until recently with a purchase of the Kindle Oasis. The Oasis also took time to get use to as I was use to the very solid colors of a phone\tablet\PC screen. After a few days though my eyes appreciated the softness of the Oasis colors and now that is my go to if it's around.

    On a side note, I do think if you have favorite books you can get special editions or even 1st editions to display at home. A lot of bloggers and YouTube reviewers like to do this in order to express their passion, as a lot of them are also e-readers.

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    1. I am so far out of the digital loop I wasn't aware of the Oasis reader. Not that I'm likely to switch, but I will take a look so I am at least aware of its capabilities.

      It has been proven by many studies that the design and colors of a book cover can have a major impact on its purchase. I will agree that I often grab a book from the library shelf because I am attracted by the tile and design.

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    2. I had an original kindle too.. it had no back light. The last couple of years I simply use the kindle app on my ipad and it is great.I get kindle books and also books for the local Cloud Library sent right ot he I paid.The Kindle app is on the homescreen. I have an older laptop I rarely use anymore .My ipad has become an essential tool!!

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    3. I bought the first Kindle Fire several years ago. As you probably know, it is an e-reader but can also connect to the Internet for all sorts of uses.

      It does have a lit screen making it easier to read. After all these comments I have just plugged it in to recharge it and try some e-books.

      All, the ability to change!

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  27. Like you Bob I'm an avid reader and always have at least three books on the go at a time. I tend to own the books I read as I use a high lighter a lot to capture ideas that might need further investigation or just something that I want to ponder on at a future date. I loved a magazine on personal investment and eagerly devoured it whenever it arrived in my mail box. Then one day they went digital and discontinued the print copy and I haven't read an issue since. Wonder what that says about me?

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    1. Sounds like Money Magazine's fate.

      I do keep a notebook handy when I am reading a nonfiction book for note taking. Also, I use the phone camera to occasionally snap a picture of a paragraph or quote I want to use in the blog. I guess that means I am sort of digital.

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    2. Hey that would save me a lot of money. thanks for the tip Bob! I need to become more digital and creative.

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  28. It looks like I am in the minority as I usually am here. I now have 384 books on my Kindle White Reader. I choose digital for several reasons, some of which have been mentioned here.
    1)I highlight as I read and can then download all those sections for future reference. Much of what I post at RJsCorner is from that source. I just don't have absolute recall anymore.
    2) Choosing what size print I want to read is helpful for these old eyes.
    3) When I try to recall something from a book all I have to do is bring up the digital copy and do a search with a couple of words and that section of the book pops up to refresh my memory.
    4) Digital books have freed up my book shelves for other things like my collection of scale model cars from the 50s and 60s. Also all my vacation memorabilia are now on those shelves.

    Try doing any of those things with paper copies! 🤓

    But I do still get paper copies of Time magazine and The Week magazine, but even then there are digital copies available for cut and pasting into posts. I think I am on my fourth Kindle reader now and they keep getting better and better. I would suggest to your readers that if you tried a gen 1 reader and didn't like it try the latest, it is no comparison.

    Digital all the way for me.... and lastly, it saves trees. We need those to suck up all the CO2 that we spew into the atmosphere. 😳

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    1. I'm envious RJ! I have only about 60, but also it's because I've tried other platforms as well - Google Books and Kobo mostly. You definitely seem like an avid reader, very interested to know what you are mostly reading these days!

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    2. RJ, you do make digital sound rather attractive with the ability to cut and paste, look up a forgotten phrase, or change the font size.

      Maybe I will get a new Kindle for Christmas and get familiar with it. The one I have now was one of the first models.

      Angel, based on the strong response to this post I will have one soon asking what folks have been reading during the pandemic.

      It might be interesting to see how varied our reading lists are!

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  29. I have an iPad mini 5 —- love it. Has a chip that makes it so fast. I highly recommend it.

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  30. I read both printed and digital books. When I first got an e-reader, I worried that I would never get used to it; then one day when I was reading a printed book, I found myself tapping on the bottom corner of the page (which did not turn in response!). During the early months of the pandemic, when the public libraries closed, the e-reader was a godsend, because I could borrow e-books from the library -- also a great option during our five-month-long winter, when it can sometimes be difficult to get out. I also like the capability of looking up words easily. I almost never get out the dictionary and look up a word I'm not sure of when I'm reading a print book; I just figure it out from the context. Recently, I was re-reading Jane Austen's Persuasion for the upsteenth time, and since I was reading it on my e-reader, I started checking on words I'd always skimmed over. I was shocked to discover that one word meant something quite different from what I had been assuming for the past 40 years! The other time I really love the e-reader is when I am traveling (something I hope to do again some day!); having a hundred or more books at hand during a delay is a wonderful thing.

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    1. As promised, I have started using the Kindle Fire as a supplement to my print books. Putting an electronic bookmark where I stop is quite handy. I also like the highlight feature. If something strikes me, I can mark it in yellow and come back to it later for as blog post inspiration.

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