I was not one of the first people to run out and buy a Kindle. I resisted it. For a long time.
I’ve always considered myself lucky to live in a town with a fabulous bookstore run by intelligent people who know books and know their customers. I love being able to go to a store and pick up a book, study the cover, read the back, explore the first few pages. And I never want to lose that.
But I noticed something shocking this week. At least shocking to me. In the last year, the number of ebooks I’ve read outnumbers paper. By far. I think I’ve read maybe 15 physical books. By comparison, in the same time frame, I’ve read (gulp!) 75 ebooks.
How did I make such a drastic shift?
Blame it on the iPad. Being able to download books for Kindle, Nook, PDFs and Bluefire Reader makes it oh so convenient to read anywhere, anytime, any format. And where do I do most of my reading? In bed with the blanket pulled up over my head so I don’t disturb my sleeping husband. I feel like a kid with my favorite novel and a flashlight. Only the iPad lights itself, and instead of one book, I’ve got hundreds. And now that I have an iPhone, I can also read while I wait for my kids, when I’m in line at the grocery store, on my lunch break.
And then there’s the price. I read a lot of books from independent authors which tend to be in the $0.99 to 3.99 range. Not to mention the fact that most of these would never be found in a bricks and mortar book store. I do also buy Big Six books (often when they’re on sale), and I’ve also been sucked into a series and shelled over the $8.99-10.99 for a book I just had to read. Even then, the digital book is less than a hard cover.
Even the library has contributed to my digital habit. Borrowing an ebook from the library is easier than a regular book because there’s nothing to return. Once the time’s up, it just disappears from my reader — no more late fees! Hooray!
I never thought I’d move away from “real” books. My son still hates electronic reading and while my daughter is more open to it, she still prefers paper. When they pick up the iPad, they tend to open up Doodlejump or Angry Birds, not a book. But I wonder when that will shift for them as well.
What about you — do you read more paper books or electronic books? How has that changed from how you read a year ago?