Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apparently I'm a fickle mistress. E-Books vs. Paper!

Happy Sunday, reader friends!  I have a small point of discussion that I'd like to bat around with you today.

I've been reading The Blonde by Anna Godbersen for a couple of weeks now.  Usually, it would be odd for a relatively short novel such as this to be taking so much time for me to read.  Especially an ARC copy that I specifically requested through Edelweiss (which I don't often do).  But despite my best efforts, I am positively slogging through this thing.  Only 30% complete in the last two weeks, and it's looking more and more like this could be a DNF.

What's that, you say??  Kelly might have her SECOND DNF of the year?  I know, you're beside yourself with the horror.  I'm just far too type-A to not finish books most of the time, but I do feel like this might be the second case in recent months.

That said, part of me is starting to suspect that my disappointment in both this novel and June's The Hollow Ground can't be entirely attributed to the contents of the books themselves.  It's still primarily that, but...perhaps a little bit of it is influenced by the format.  Because you see, these two books were the last two that I read in Kindle format.

That's right.  I'm afraid I might be practicing Kindle discrimination.  Kindle-ism?  Whatever.  Either way, it's no good.

I know I often sing the praises of my Kindle, especially the Paperwhite.  The back light!  The "time left to read" counter!  The 3G capabilities!  And it absolutely helped me survive late-night feedings when Tater Tot was a newborn.
Totally me 6 months ago.
However, I think I reached a stage of Kindle burnout a few months back.  Early in the summer, I went to the library for the first time in a while, and took out a stack of real, honest-to-goodness, PAPER books.  And you know what?  IT FELT AWESOME.  A real book in my hand!  Using a bookmark again!  And of course, BOOK SMELL!  Yes, they're unwieldy at times, and they make night reading a challenge if you forget your book light, but this summer has been one of happy paper book reading for me.
True dat.
Due to this shift in preference, I've found it much harder to read on my Kindle lately.  It just doesn't hold my attention the way a paper book does, if that makes any sense at all.  And while I don't think this means the two recent DNF novels were actually amazing and their electronic format was all to blame, I do think it made an already mediocre novel feel even worse.

I'm not sure what to think of this.  Is my Kindle-averse tendency just a temporary thing?  Will I get my electronic mojo back soon?  Or is it a matter of circumstance--when I'm in a place where the Kindle will help me read easier, perhaps that's when I'll fall in love again?

What say you, readers?  What are your thoughts on ebook vs. paper formats?  Do you prefer one over the other, or does your love flipflop in both directions?  Do you feel like book format influences your feelings about a novel?

*Many other bloggers have tackled this issue as well!  One post that comes to mind is Rinn's over at Rinn Reads.  Any other bloggers have a post that they've contributed to this topic?

20 comments:

  1. For a long time I read almost exclusively on my Kindle/Nook, but I did a similar switch to paper and haven't really been able to go back. I think I've read three or four e-books this year and I definitely struggle through them. I wish I could pinpoint the reason why, but I'm not quite positive what it is.

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    1. Yes, sounds exactly what I'm going through over here. I do love my Kindle for so many reasons, but I can't figure out what's been turning me off of it the last 6 months or so. Perhaps I really am just a purist at heart...

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  2. We are twins :-) I almost always finish books - no matter how bad they are ... but I'm finding, if it's an eBook, and I'm not really into it, then it takes forever and a day to get through it!

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. Exactly! Part of me is wondering what would happen if I read a book I KNOW I'm going to love on my Kindle. Would I really get as into it as I expect? Or would the format change everything? Hrm.

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  3. My only format issue is when I get ARCs in PDF form. I flat out won't read those anymore, unless it's a book I was really excited about. But if I just requested it because it looked sort of interesting, and then I get a PDF... nope, not happening.

    I do bounce back and forth between paper books and ebooks. Maybe I'd be more likely to burn out on ebooks if I went through a period where that was all I read.

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    1. Ah, never read a PDF on my Kindle before. Thanks for the heads up!!
      Good point about bouncing back and forth. I became almost exclusively Kindle-ized for a while when Tater Tot was born, and when I read a lot more ARCs. Burnout, perhaps.

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  4. I used to read exclusively on my Nook but like Shannon, I've gone back to paper and find myself preferring that. I do read on my Nook at night or during downtime at rehearsals, but otherwise it's paper for me now.

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    1. I think I remember you posting something about this before (if not on the blog then maybe on Facebook). I agree about preferring the e-reader for night time. The tough thing is, I do so much other reading during the day, that it's hard for me to save one book just for night reading...since I really only get a chance to read snippets of it each night.

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  5. I'm a hybrid. I often prefer to read on my Kindle, particularly in bed, but I've found that I can read multiple books if I have them in different formats. I can switch back and forth between a daylight paper book and a night time kindle and an audio book with surprising ease.

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    1. See, I think I used to do that better when I had more time to read. Now every time I read is really just in snippets, so it's hard for me to have multiple formats (or even multiple books) going at the same time, because I never get good QT with any one of them. I used to have my Kindle for lunch breaks at work, then paper books in the evening at home, etc. but don't have the luxury of that extra time anymore. Maybe if I did I would enjoy using it in that way again.

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  6. I totally understand! Although I there are things I love about my Kindle (like how much easier it is to read while doing other things, like stirring pasta or brushing my teeth), I just don't think I engage as well with what I read digitally as what I read on paper.

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    1. lol re: brushing your teeth, I do that allllll the time!
      I like your phrasing about not "engaging" as well with the material digitally. That reflects a lot of what I'm feeling here.

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  7. I find I read on my Kindle much more in the winter when it's harder to get to the library. Also with stacks of paper books all over the room, I tend to forget the TBRs on my Kindle.

    I'm with Charleen on the PDF format, I have to really, really like the book (five star like) to finish one of those.

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    1. YES re: forgetting about your Kindle TBR! I do that all the time. Sometimes I've even bought a paper book and then later realized I already had it on the Kindle--oops.

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  8. I love getting review copies in the mail. It's like Christmas and my birthday all wrapped in one package. But there is no question that I prefer reading on my Nook HD + (I have a Kindle Fire and Paperwhite too) over paper books for many reasons: (1) I sit in my favorite chair and can shift around in any position with backlighting. If I have a book, I have to stay shifted toward the light. (2) Looking up unfamiliar words. Awesome. (3) For writing reviews, I can highlight certain passages or quotes or simply things I want to talk about. If I have a book, I am dogearing pages, which I hate, and making notes on a pad. (4) Getting a package of books is fabulous, but instant gratification still rules!

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    1. See, this is why I can't figure out why I'm not loving my Kindle lately! Because I adore all of the things that you mentioned (especially the word lookup, how awesome is that??). Perhaps I need to just find a really stellar novel to read digitally in order to get myself back into it.

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  9. I have a pretty good balance between real books and ebooks. But i have to admit that i prefer my ereader. I can take it places with me so easily and it's better for reading in bed. On the other hand, when I read i real book it tends to be a hard cover, so maybe i should switch to paperbacks?

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    1. I do agree about the portability. For traveling and even just going out to do errands (because who knows when you'll be in a long line?) the Kindle is king.

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  10. I end up forgetting about my e-books, too, and only remember them when I refer to a list I had to start keeping of review copies received! I have an aging Nook Color, and the screen cracked on a trip in August, so I don't know how much longer I'll be able to use it.

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    1. I started a list like that too...then I keep forgetting to update it...my ebook library is forever in disarray!! :)

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