I’m A Paperback Traitor

by limebirdwriters

Ok, the title was a little dramatic, but I do feel a bit dirty. It was my birthday yesterday, and I got a new Kindle Paperwhite. Most people will be thinking “ Ohh yay, a new e-reader”, but for me, it’s a bit weird. I’ve always been in the ‘real’ book camp, dragging my feet, not wanting to come over to the digital shiny side. But, this is pretty much how it panned out…

Me: “I don’t want you Kindle, you cannot tempt me”

Kindle: “ But look Beth, look how shiny I am, and all these fancy extras. I’ve got a backlight and everything.”

Me: “I don’t care, I want the real book, I want to hold it my hands and smell the new book smell.”

Kindle: “Yes, but remember, lots of your friends have released e-books that you can’t read because you don’t have me.”

Me: “Yeah, but .. well I can just wait until they get paperbacks. * folds arms stubbornly *

Kindle: “But what if they don’t? Don’t you want to read them right now… Also, don’t forget you’re going to have to start commuting on the train soon. Do you really want to lug around books with you?”

Me: “Yeah.. but… well.. it won’t be that bad… and erm.. I”

Kindle: “Come on… I won’t bite.. Go on.. touch me.”

Me: “But.. but.. FINE, but I’m not going to be happy about it.. Ohhh you’re touch screen.. dammit.”

So there we have it, I’m a paperback traitor. Well, not really because I still have 3 books in my TBR pile which are paperbacks, so I won’t be able to properly try my Kindle for a while.

So, what camp are you in? Paperbacks? E-books? Or both?

Also, while I’m here…. what e-books MUST I have on my Kindle?


71 Responses to “I’m A Paperback Traitor”

  1. Amazon will email you all the eBooks you need to read, recommended by Novel Girl. Don’t worry about having too little too read. Ohhhh, boy, you have no idea what’s coming.

  2. I’m in both camps. I read whatever I happen to get. I even… well yes… I’ll admit it… I’m even reading a hardback at the moment! Enjoy the Kindle!

  3. Welcome to the e-reading club. It’s really not as bad as you might think. The important thing about stories is the story, not the medium in which it’s presented (although presentation is a part of the flair, sure).

    Books don’t make great stories. Authors do. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading it in a magazine, a paperback, an e-reader, or in Braille. The only exception to this is audio books and films, where someone else has put their own spin on the characters and the emphasis and the viewpoint (note: not necessarily bad – just different).

    With gadgets like Google glass becoming more popular and more widely available, I’m looking forward to the day when my cranial augmentation prints stories directly to my brain.

    Downsides of e-readers:
    – Your bookshelf looks bare.
    – If the technology changes (think VHS/cassette tapes), you could lose all your books in one go.
    – If you got stranded on a desert island, your Kindle paperwhite could last you about 30 days (provided you kept the backlight off and it was fully charged when you started).

    Upsides of e-readers:
    – You can take your whole library with you, in your pocket.
    – People on the train can’t see you’re reading 50 shades.
    – It helps to level the playing field for amateur authors.
    – Books are cheaper.
    – You can scrap your bookshelves and use the extra space for storing notes on your new novel.

    • Haha thanks Scree! I do love the feel of an actual book, I think it’ll take a bit of getting used to.

      Ohh that does sound fancy, but scary at the same time… Haha thanks for the downsides and upsides! 😀 Ohh I read my smut loud and proud y’know. I have a funny story about that actually. There was a woman opposite me on the train once, who had an e-reader, and she was making the most disgusting noises. I was like ‘da fuqq’. Then she like rested it on her knees, and I caught a glimpse of the title.. yep 50SOG. Ergh.. * shudders *

      PS – Say hi to BETH for me. 😉

  4. I love my Kindle so much. I’ve always been an avid reader but with my Kindle I read much more than I have in years. It’s so easy and convenient and you can switch between multiple books.

  5. I’m at about 50/50 between e-books and hard copy books. But, the other commenters are right … with a Kindle, your TBR stack will grow exponentially.

  6. I still do both. Sometimes, I just want to feel the paper in my hands.

  7. I’m Old School.

    “I don’t like you Kindles! Get offa my lawn!”

  8. I’m both. I don’t actually have a Kindle yet, but after several unsuccessful attempts at trying different e-readers for my phone, I eventually found one that works really well a while back, and love it. It’s so easy because I have my phone with me everywhere, so when I have a few spare mins, I can whip it out and read a bit. But on the other hand I would hate it if proper books disappeared. There’s something much nicer about owning a hard copy book than there is owning an e-book, even if the e-book is actually much more convenient!

    • Hmm, what phone do you have? Mine’s rubbish and an e-book would never work, haha! Yeah I do love real books, I don’t think I’d ever get rid of them completely. Definitely using the Kindle for convenience only! 🙂

      • I’ve got a Blackberry, but it’s one that is all touch screen, so the screen is practically as big as the phone. I’m not sure an e-reader would be good on a smaller screen. It took me a while to find an e-reader where the text size was just right and the page rendered itself properly on the screen etc, and it kept my place properly.

      • Ah, I have a BB too, but it’s a old one that’s falling apart! Ah yeah, I’m looking forward to trying my Kindle properly actually! 🙂

  9. I know how you feel. I’ve been anti-ereaders for, well, forever. But the more I saw them, the more they looked kind of fun. There are bunch of free ebooks out there that I wanted, not to mention all the new, cheap indie books that you can’t get in physical form. I decided to compromise. I have a Nook, which I use for the fun apps and any books that are cheap. If it’s a book that I really like, though, and can imagine reading more than once, then I get it in physical form, too. That way if something ever happens to my Nook, I’m not completely devastated.

    Besides…I can’t leave my bookshelves empty. That would just be sad. 🙂

  10. I have both, and love my Kindle. You can go to the Kindle store on Amazon and search for “free books” and there are a ton, every genre imaginable. I can’t imagine anything ever making a real book obsolete, after all they do now have an entirely new role to play: ultimate e-reader backup system. 🙂

    • Hi Neeks, yes I think I’ll be exploring the free books section to see what there is available. I still have a few paperback books in my TBR pile, so I’m going to read those first 🙂

  11. Like a lot of writers, I wasn’t sure about the Kindle. But I love mine now and use it all the time. You can also put your WIP on there to read. It’s the basic model. The Kindle and ebooks have been a game changer for authors, so on that note alone I embrace it with gusto!

  12. I have a Kindle, and I hardly ever use it. I downloaded a few books, but I don’t eagerly reach for the Kindle as often as I am willing to make a trip to the local library to get a real book. My problem is that I’m on the computer for EVERYTHING that when it’s time to kick back and read for pleasure/relaxation, I don’t want to do it on a computer.

    I’m a slow reader, so lugging around a lot of books isn’t a problem. It takes me weeks to get through just one.

    But I am also someone who warms up very very very slowly to new ideas. I’m too loyal, I guess. So, in about 5 years I’ll be all over my Kindle and everyone else will already be onto the next big thing. Oh well.

    • Yeah Kate, this is exactly the problem that I have. I love holding real books, and separating them from sitting on the computer all day. However, I am a very fast reader, so it will probably be convenient for me to have more than one book on me! I do like the convenience of the Kindle, especially when I’m having to commute, I also am looking forward to reading some of the e-books I haven’t been able to read before! 🙂

  13. ohhhhhhhh, it’s a slippery slope! You’re gone! Hook, line, and sinkered! :o))

  14. I had to buy a Kindle when I started self-publishing because I knew I was going to publish on it, but I still prefer print books. One reason is, if I plan to review the book, I like to make notes with page numbers so I can find the things that impressed me as I went along. I don’t know about the more recent Kindles, but mine has no easy way to mark references or make notes. On the other hand, you can search by word with Kindle, although it’s rather time-consuming. I would never read the e-book version if there is a print book available. Btw, all of my own books are available in paperback, Kindle, and Smashwords, so take your choice!

    • Yes, that makes a lot of sense Lorinda, but I’m the same too, I don’t think I’ll ever swap over completely. Hmm, I haven’t seen that feature yet, but I’m yet to play around with it properly. 🙂

  15. I read both, and both have their upsides and drawbacks as others have mentioned. It’s true that many indie authors are skipping paper all together, so the only way to read them is with some type of reader. But I also still enjoy the feel of a paper book in my hands. Traveling is easier with an e-reader….. So, six of one, half a dozen of the other for me. 😉

    • Yeah this is exactly why I wanted one JM! So many people I know are only publishing in e-book format, so I feel like I’m missing out! Haha, yeah this is what most people are saying! 🙂

  16. I’m fully converted to my Kindle. 95% of my books purchased over the last 18 months have probably been ebooks. I like to read David Baldacci type 600+ page books. They tend to hurt my poor arthritic hands if I read for a while. Whether an ebook is 200 pages or 1000+ it’s the same weight and thickness. I like that 🙂

    Welcome to the wonderful world of e-reading. 🙂

  17. I’m still Kindle-less except I have an app on my PC but don’t enjoy reading from my monitor. If there was a way to scan all the books I have on my shelves, that might convert me a lot quicker.

  18. Bit of both. I’ve been reading on the Kindle for a while now but I’m currently reading a tree-book. Funny thing the other morning when I happened to see I was on page 50 of 480. I thought to myself, “Gee I got to 50% really fast! Doesn’t feel like 50% yet…”
    Kindle is certainly easier to read one-handed while standing on a moving train!

  19. Your title tempts me to rewrite Lennon and McCartney’s “Paperback Writer” for the e-reader crowd… 😉

    Enjoy your new e-reader, Beth! I’m still a paper-in-hand girl, myself, but I do see the benefits of an e-reader.

    My only caution would be to know the fine print about books in the Cloud. Just because you have a version of a book on your e-reader does not necessarily mean you will always have access to it, forever. When you download a book, you’ve really downloaded a digital license that gives you access to the book, not the book itself. There are ways around losing what you’ve downloaded – rejecting updates is one of them – but be aware of the limitations of the technology.

    • Haha, you know what Mayumi? I sang that to myself when I wrote the title. Great minds and all that!

      I think I’ll always be a paper in hand girl, but am getting with the time/down wit tha kids etc etc. Hmm yeah you make a good point, I’ll look more into that, thanks! 🙂 B

  20. I find myself equally in both camps. I especially love my Kindle for reading really long books (think Song of Ice and Fire series). Instead of having to constantly be trying to find some “perfect position” for a long reading session when reading a long book, I just have a little bitty Kindle which weighs less than a paperback and is much easier to hold (especially if you get a portfolio case for it) than a book.

    But I do have my books as well (like my 1889 completely collection of Shakespeare, can’t ever give that up). And I’m currently reading two books on my Kindle (American Gods [Neil Gaiman] and Castle of Otranto [Horace Walpole]) and one paperback (Good Omens [Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett]). So. I don’t entirely understand people who are completely 100% adamantly opposed to e-readers. They are SO much more convenient than an actual book (although actual books are still good and wonderful and I have hundreds), but for actually reading I like the Kindle more.

    • Ah yes I can imagine the Kindle being extremely handy for those books which give you armache to hold them up! However, yes I’m the same as you, there are books in my collection that I would never get rid of in paperback! Thanks for commenting! Beth

  21. I’m both. I have been for a while, though I did feel a faint twinge of guilt when I first got my kindle. The first gen boring ones with no backlight or touch screen poshness. :-p
    Despite that I’m reading more ‘real’ books than ever before, though the kindle gets carried everywhere. It seems to work out pretty well for me. Oh, and I send my own writing to it so I can have it handy at my writer’s group without printing reams of paper every week. Tis good!

  22. E-books are great unless you have a huge cast of characters and/or you keep wanting to flip back to remind yourself of who did what to whom…Do not attempt Wolf Hall on the Kindle!

    • I would definitely second that! It’s near to impossible to flip back and forth on a Kindle! If you try it, you lose your place and you can never find it again! That’s one reason Smashwords insists on linked ToCs. At least you can navigate among chapters.

    • Oh gosh yeah I can imagine that being a pain. I do that a lot with some books, however on this Kindle you can click a button and skip to a certain page, takes a little longer than a paperback, but seems OK! What e-reader do you have? 🙂

  23. I amI in both camps. I love my Kindle and have been reading from it for at least five years. I am addicted to buy inexpensive e-books directly from the Kindle. I usually will start a series and then order the next book even before I finish the one I have started. I am also obsessed with buy used books in thrift stores. I can usually come away with five or six book for two or three dollars. I read my Kindle at night in bed next to my husband who is reading his. We must be a sight: lights out except for the Kindles. I read my paper books during the day, usually weekends, in my comfy chair or poolside. I keep some paperback in my car, just in case I go to the beach or get stuck somewhere. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Thanks everyone. I love this site.

    • Thanks Sadie, I hope you’ll stick around! 🙂 This is my first e-reader and I’ve been dragging my heels for a long time! However I think I’ll be the same as you, reading from both mediums! Beth

  24. I’ve been converted. Sort of. I still moved enough books, stacked in boxes, on top of the dining room table to split the legs–this was a big, oak table. (It’s glued, and standing up now, it’s all good). So, the plan is, by the time I have to move again, I’m not going to have enough books to break an oak table–the kindle is way lighter than the books, so I can still have as many books, and not break tables. Win!

    • Ohh very true! Where are you keeping all your books now? 🙂 Beth

      • My bookcases are scary right now, three deep, books stacked on top of other books. I did get rid of some more once I got here, but I might actually be hopeless. You’ve got to understand, some of these books I’ve had forever(or it seems like it, and there’s just something about having a real book). Sorry for the late reply, I got distracted with the unpacking.

  25. I have had my Kindle for a couple of years and couldn’t do without it!

    On the “what happens if technology changes”? I have all of my e-books saved to various media. If suddenly a new standard comes out I am sure there will be programs to convert them. I already convert .lit files and .epub files into .mobi files using Calibre (a great free program by the way…)

    As for the issue about access, I paid for the bloody things so I will keep a backup copy!

    I get the Guardian (and on Sunday, the Observer) delivered direct to my Kindle, in South Africa, by the time I wake up!

    The Kindle is also great (or maybe dangerous) for instant purchases. For example, I was reading the review of John Fuller’s “Who Is Ozymandias?” on the Kindle in the Observer. As soon as I had finished the review I bought the book with one click and it was on my device within a minute.

    I still buy some new paperbacks, still buy loads of second-hand paperbacks and hardbacks, so my shelves are not bare 🙂

    As for my own books, I am a great believer in giving the reader what they want. So they are available as print-on-demand (e.g. through Createspace and direct from Amazon) but they are also available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo etc. etc.

    While I love having the physical book in my hands, some people want the convenience of e-books. When I sell in South Africa I do deals, buy one book and get a CD with the e-book. Buy two books, get both of them on a CD. Buy all three and you get a deluxe CD with all three in a variety of e-book formats, large versions of the covers, audio version of some stories and poems etc..

    • Hmm that sounds like a really good idea Dennis, I’m definitely going to look into doing that. Yes, that is also a good point. I’m such an implulse buyer, and especially as the money won’t be physically leaving my hands, I can see how it’ll be much easier to spend a lot more money!

      Ah yes, I’m going to buy yours soon! Woop! 🙂

  26. Like most people, it seems, I’m in both camps. I love my Kindle Fire. Best feature–the on board dictionary. Love it! But flipping through pages is something I simply must do, It is easier on my eyes.

  27. Sorry I’ve been living under a rock, happy belated birthday Beth! I got a kindle for my birthday this year too! We can start a 2013 birthday kindle club! We’ll cool and everyone will be jealous of our club.
    Ahem sorry about that I thought we were 8 for a minute…
    Anyhoooooo I was the same way, no blasted new fangled magic electronic books for me nuh huh no way. But the darn thing is so awesomely shiney I couldn’t stay away, now I take it with me everywhere! I’ve read a few books on it but I also have a library bag full of books I checked out from the library just last week, so I’ve not given up on my old friend the paperback. I think it’s awesome that from my local library I can check out Ebooks too! So I say I don’t really have a preference, i love my kindle but won’t give up my paperbacks either!

  28. I prefer a paperback but when I’m trying out a new author or taking trips, ebooks are the way to go. 🙂 I never thought I’d convert until I went on a trip with one ereader as opposed to 6 paperbacks.


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