In Defense of Print

20 Oct

I love books.  I suppose that I ought to love books if I plan on writing them for any length of time, but I love them as a reader.  I also love ebooks.  They’re just like print books, but stored as digital data on an electronic device.  This works great for me because bookshelves take up valuable space in my house.  Ebooks can also be cheaper than their print counterparts.  So why would anyone choose to buy their books in print?  I can think of a few reasons.  For starters, print books never have DRM, so they can be shared freely.  They also give us opportunity to get out and visit the bookstore.  Batteries are never an issue with print, as they can be with ebooks. And for collectors, ebooks don’t fill up shelves like print books do.
No DRM means your reader can lend or give your book to anyone. The biggest complaint I have heard about ebooks is that if they have DRM they can’t be shared. The other advantage to this is that those who have difficulty with DRM’d books don’t need to deal with it.
The bookstore used to be one of my favourite places to go. I used to spend hours at Chapter’s browsing new titles, and checking out some old ones too. It was a good chance to meet with other readers as well. Granted, conversation wasn’t always about books, but we actually talked in person. Now that I buy almost all of my books online, that social interaction is no longer associated with my books.
Batteries are always dieing on me. My smartphone drains juice faster than I ever downed an iced tea, mostly from the display. Ereading apps mean using your display for prolonged periods of time. No problem if you can charge your phone all day. Big problem if you have to wait till you get home. And even my energy-efficient ereader has run out of power on me. I hate going to read a book only to find out that I waited too long to charge the battery.
Collectors like to have something physical to put on display. Usually they’re the first to pick up the hardcover edition of a new book. You’ll also find them in used book stores and garage sales looking for something to add to their collection. Do they read? You better believe it. And they love showing off what they’ve read. They also love to lend out their books to friends and family, which is good for authors.
I like my ereader, I really do. Still, I can understand why some people resist. That’s why I intend to make sure my books are available in print as well as eBook.

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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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