Wednesday, July 8, 2015
"Wed's Wonderings & Wanderings": Books vs. eBooks, Price over Preference
Recently I've found myself purchasing a lot of books, not ebooks, which I normally do, but actual physical books. *Gasp! Shouldn't be a huge shock but ever since I purchased my first eReader in college, I begun purchasing a lot of ebooks to minimize the number of physical books I'd have to carry to class and back. Ever since then I completely went eBook crazy and quickly stopped buying "real" books. At first my excuse for buying up so many ebooks over printed books was I'm in college so I don't have time, then it's I'm going to be moving out so I don't have space, now it's down to the real reason price. But is the price really worth the lack of a beautiful library displayed in your room or the ability to lend a friend your copy?
Now I think for a lot of people the eReader devices have pushed them to switch from physical copies to ebooks without much hesitancy. Why? Because with mass amount of indie authors now on the ebook market the ebook world seems to have more to offer than the "real" book world. I know that in my college years the only fictional books I read were the books I bought online, none were from my university's library. Though most libraries do offer a selection of ebooks now, as the libraries have adapted to grow with the electronic times, but that's another topic for another day. Point is if I was reading a book, it was more than likely in an electronic form than a paperback, or even the precious hardback book.
However, now that I'm free from the world of school, for now. I've slowly begun acquiring my library. I have always wanted to build my library to showcase all my favorite books and of course all the classics, but space and money have held me back from that dream. Well space is still an issue, but I've recently ditched that problem because I want to hold a book again. I miss that feel of the books and seeing them lined up ready for me to pick one to read. So the last and biggest issue in choosing ebooks over books is money, like most things in life money is the central issue. Certainly most readers have noticed that the majority of ebooks have a significantly lesser value than their printed counter parts. It's that price difference that really makes people stick to ebooks now instead of a printed book.
Hence my big issue with the online book market when ebooks are sold at ten or twelve dollars and their printed versions cost about the same or maybe slightly more. With the ebooks you can't easily share it among your friends or show it off on a physical book shelf. So why should you pay that much for an ebook? A reader isn't allotted the same ownership rights with an ebook as they are with a printed book. Some ebooks do allow you to loan it out to a fellow ereader owner for a 2 week period, but there's a limit on how may people you can loan the ebook out to, sometimes it's only one person, so pick wisely. I'm of the mindset that ebooks should remain half the printed amount price, at least. I'm not at all trying to diminish the author's work, because obviously they need to make money. I know authors put in a lot of time, tears, & work, so they definitely deserve to be financially compensated for their creative efforts.
Nevertheless the price for an ebook should always be significantly lower than a printed book based on the simple fact of quality of product. The ebook isn't delivered in any fancy new form, but is simply delivered to a device already purchased by the consumer. That's why I'm always open to free books and will only buy ebooks that are in my price range of $1.99 - $5.99 max. I just can't justify purchasing ebooks that I can't physically hold or display on a bookcase, knowing I paid $10 for it, that hurts my book buying budget. Now for me buying a paperback is okay but the hardbacks are definitely the thing to splurge on when I have the money for them. Plus I love being able to share my new books with my friends to get them into new authors and series, so having a ton of books in my elibrary only benefits me, not my friends. Printed books are just better to have on hand for all to share and care for in a world of electronics this & that. Honestly though the debate over ebooks & printed books isn't too much of a debate. It's more an issue of convenience and price, because once all the indie authors are available in printed versions at decent prices ebooks will most likely lose their appeal to true book lovers.