Monday, January 31, 2011

Ebooks vs Printed Books Part 2

As I’ve gathered information on what motivates people towards printed books instead of ebooks, I’ve found that many of the motivators are intangible or emotional in nature that will probably make it difficult for ebooks to completely overcome print books. I’ve summarized below the different responses that I have received on my blog as well as on the different social networks I participate in.

Here you go:
  • Some people love the feel, texture, weight and smell of printed books
  • Some people like being able to see the attractive cover of a book while it’s on their nightstand, table, or bookshelf
  • Some people have an emotional, nostalgic feeling toward printed books
  • Printed books do not require batteries
  • Printed books can be read on an airplane during the entire flight, and don’t need to be turned off like ebook readers during take-off and landings
  • ebooks are yet one more electronic appliance that requires a charger that people don’t want to have to deal with.
  • Printed books are more convenient than ebooks for some people
  • More printed books are available from more libraries than ebooks
  • Printed books are easier on the eyes than some ebook readers for some people, especially for long periods of time
  • Printed books are easier to read outside in bright daylight than some ebook readers
  • Some printed books are less expensive than ebooks
  • Some people don’t like having to learn how to use a new gadget just to read a book
  • Printed books can easily be loaned to or from friends
  • Used printed books can often be bought for less than ebooks
  • The probability of malfunction, breakage, or loss of an ebook reader can make them much more expensive than print books
  • It’s more enjoyable to curl up with a good book on a cushy chair or sofa, an experience that would not be as emotionally satisfying with an ebook reader
  • Physically turning or flipping through the pages of a printed book is more satisfying than scrolling the screen of an ebook reader
  • Being able to see the physical representation of pages read is more satisfying
  • Printed books promote shared reading and the close, emotional bond that can be created between parent and child sitting together to read a book
  • Printed books are more accessible and easier to make available to small children
  • Ebooks cannot replicate the emotional feeling and entertainment value that comes from turning the pages of a printed picture book or early reader that is being read aloud to a child
  • With printed books you don’t have the worry that you have with the potential for your ebook reader to crash, causing your entire library to disappear until you can buy a new reader and hopefully recover all your lost ebooks
  • With printed books you don’t have the worry that your ebook vendor might accidentally (or even purposefully) remove from your reader ebooks that you have purchased
  • Some people don’t want to trust their entire library of books to a digital network or storage
  • Some people simply love being surrounded by lots of real books or looking at bookshelves full of past books they’ve enjoyed reading
  • It’s easier for some people to make notes in, mark, or underline text in printed books
  • Ebooks cannot adequately measure up to a beautifully illustrated printed children's book
  • Referring back to previous pages of text with illustrations in printed books is easier for some people
  • People using large font sizes on ebooks have to turn the page more frequently than they do for large type printed books
  • For some people the simplicity of the traditional printed book is much more beautiful and emotionally appealing
Did I miss anything else?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ebooks vs Printed Books Part 1

On my last post I asked for feedback on what motivates people towards ebooks or printed books. I learned a lot from the numerous responses received here and on the different social networks I participate in. I’ve summarized below some of the motivations towards ebooks.

Here's why some people might choose an ebook over a printed book:

- Ebooks save space and don’t require shelf space
- Ebooks are quickly and easily accessible
- Ebooks have the potential to stay in print longer
- Ebooks can be less expensive than print books.
- You can borrow some ebooks from the library with some ebook readers
- Some ebook readers are smaller than some printed books making them easier to carry
- You can store hundreds of ebooks on a single reader, making it easier to bring a large number of books with you
- Ebooks are more environmentally friendly
- You can increase the font size of ebooks making them easier to read with some readers
- Music, audio books, and games can be used on some ebook readers
- Ebooks are easier to read on a crowded commute than print books
- It’s easy to mark your place on ebooks
- Ebooks are more convenient
- Ebook readers have built in dictionaries that make it easy to look up unknown words.
- School textbooks in ebook format would eliminate the need for students to heft so many books in their backpacks
- Ebooks makes it easier to bring more books with you when traveling
- For some people, some ebook readers are less tiring on the eyes than reading printed books
- Easier on the hand, arm, and shoulder muscles to hold than a printed book.
- In other countries (or even rural areas), ebooks in your native language can be more accessible than printed books in your native language
- Using an ebook reader can make it easier to multi-task, such as checking e-mail, making notes, looking up information, and doing research.
- Some ebook readers are easier to read in the dark
- Ebooks are easier to read while lying on your back in bed
- Ebooks are cool!

In my upcoming blogs, I’ll summarize the motivations for printed books, as well as the motivations against ebooks and printed books.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

e-Reader Influencers?

I have never used an e-reader before and I’m not sure I ever will. I like holding a book in my hands when I read. But at the gym the other morning I saw a woman reading with an e-reader while she used the elliptical machine. I thought, now that’s a great use for an e-reader. You don’t have to mess with the pages flipping over on their own or keeping them flat. If you want, you can magnify the size of the letters to make it easier to read. I could see myself using an e-reader in that situation.

Another situation where I could see myself using an e-reader was if I was commuting by train or bus to work. When I was in D.C. last summer I saw a number of commuters on the metro reading with their e-readers. Reading from the bulky pages of a book can be a little difficult when standing on a crowded train. An e-reader minimizes that difficulty.

Still, I’m not certain that I’ll ever embrace e-readers, but I can see their value. In the coming days, I plan to post a survey on my blog that asks people about their tendencies toward e-readers vs paper books, and what types of things might or might not influence them toward or away from e-readers.  To do that, I need a list a potential motivations or questions to ask about. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments below