Tag «eReading»

Throwdown Thursday: eBooks vs Physical Books

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Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!

Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:

eBooks vs Physical Books

So normally, I pit two series against each other but this month, I thought it would be fun to compare how you read those series. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to reading: I’ll read a book in any format that I can get it in my hands faster. While I mostly have eBooks nowadays, I still read a number of physical books.

It was really hard creating this post because I really wasn’t sure how to execute it. It’s hard to pick three things to compare when eReaders and physical books don’t share very many similarities besides providing a reader with the story. I didn’t want to have rounds that seemed like I had a bias for one form or the other. I also didn’t want a super long post describing my eReading experience because I already have that on my eReading Guide! So chart form it is!

So when I was doing research, I came across this debate on Debate.org that debated (obviously) the idea that “Physical Books are superior to E-books.” You can read the full debate here. I liked a lot of the main arguments and some of them influenced this post. Plus, I felt like these were common arguments people use when discussion this challenge in real life.

My rounds will be based on what it feels like, what you get with each form and how they work at the library. Of course, there are many different arguments and I encourage you to post them below in the comments! I’m also NOT going to be keeping score because I feel like this is a very personal topic and my reasons are based solely on my own reading experience while yours maybe completely different

**Just for clarification purposes, I am writing about my eReading experience using a Kobo Aura eReader unless specified. I will refer to it as “Kobo”.

Round 1: Sensory Experience

eBooks

Physical Books

  • eInk is just like paper
  • built in light with my Kobo
  • light weight and easy to hold
  • can read in practically any position
  • no book smell
  • easy transport
  • printed paper is easy on eyes to read
  • hard to read in the dark
  • 300 page hardcovers are HEAVY
  • limited reading positions
  • paper can smell (good OR bad)
  • can damage books in transport

I like to read laying down on my back in bed and my small hands just struggle to keep a hardcover 300 page book from smacking me in the face.

I know lots of people like to smell their books so that is one reason they enjoy physical books. I personally don’t like to smell my books–they don’t smell like anything really. Sometimes the ones I get from the library smell and not in a good way…

Round 2: What you get

EBOOKS

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  • covers are black and white (on device)
  • no pretty book shelf
  • no need for book shelves (100s of books)
  • easier to read Indie authors
  • FREEBIES
  • exclusive novellas, bonus scenes
  • can’t share your eBooks with friends
  • easier to obtain ARC
  • lots of colourful, printed covers
  • pretty bookshelf
  • easily run out of shelf space
  • harder to find Indie authors’ works
  • have to buy printed copies
  • limited novellas available
  • can share your books
  • challenging to obtain ARC

 I like pretty things and book covers are often very pretty. It’s just not the same when I browse my Kobo desktop and see all the covers–there is just something about holding them in your hands.

At the same time, I have over 800 books on my Kobo (this is excluding the books I have for my Kindle which is probably over 1000) and I wouldn’t have that many books if I had to have the physical copies. Now before you panic, a good percentage of these books are freebies like classic novels or bonus novellas. Will I ever read all of these books? Nope! But free is free and they take up no space besides memory on my device.

The problem with eBook exclusivity is that you can’t lend a copy to your friend without lending your eReader. I get it because you need people to purchase books and not just get them for free (the economy and all). It just really sucks because you can’t share your love of a book and it doubly sucks if you have to lend out your eReader with all your books…

Round 3: Library

EBOOKS

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  • immediate access
  • access anywhere in world
  • books expire on due date
  • not all catalogues offer renewals
  • shorter wait list times
  • no funky smells
  • have to physical pick up book
  • have to go to local branch
  • can keep books past due date, just pay fee
  • can renew easily
  • can have lengthy wait list times
  • can have funky smells & stains

What I like about eBooks is that I can be away at school and still get books from my hometown immediately. Same goes if I’m away on vacation (pending on internet access of course). I find that the wait-lists are shorter for eBooks and they are available on release day (whereas physical books have to be processed once they actually get the book). Also, no late fees when returning eBooks--though they do expire so even if you wanted to pay the late few to finish a book up, you can’t.

Ultimate Winner:

 It’s up to YOU to decide!

What book media do you prefer and why?

What are your thoughts: If you had a choice between an eBook and a physical book for the same story, which one would you choose?

Next Time: The Mortal Instruments vs the Infernal Devices

FYI my original post for this was SUPER long but I decided to condense it into point form for discussion purposes 😛

Site Updates: eReading + Updating Reviews

 

Greetings readers!

You may have noticed that I haven’t had a lot of new blog postings lately. Part of the reason is that I have a full-time job for the summer that drastically reduces my reading time. But the other reason is that I have been hard at work updating previous series reviews (those Fresh Friday posts from last summer have fresh new sequels!) AND updating various pages of the site!

Updating Older Reviews

You may have noticed a new sticky post on the homepage, just below the intro post to the site. I’ve hid the rest of the post just for the sake of scrolling but when you click the “more” button you can see what previously posted reviews have new updates. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of series that I have already started because they have recently published new books and have decided to update my reviews accordingly. Most of these updates are simply a little blurb at the end of the existing blog post with my thoughts on the way the series is progressing or how it ended. It may also include updates on stats such as books in the series, etc.

eReading Page

My previous eReading Page on my site was originally a guide on purchasing an eReader but I have decided to expand it and add new sections for the sake of not having one long, continuous page of text. Now, in addition to my guide on purchasing an eReader, you can read about my experience with various reading apps for phones and tablets as well as a guide for reducing your costs on books for your eReader. Check it all out under the eReading link at the very top of the page.

I hope these additions are helpful and if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear about them below! Over the next few weeks I hope to update the book summaries pages but time will tell!

For those like me who had a long weekend this past weekend, I hope you had an awesome time (and got some good reading in!)! For those who didn’t I hope you had a nice weekend anyways 😛

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

 

 

How to Cope with the Death of an eReader

After a few days of futile factory resets and eventual silent mourning, I have finally come to the conclusion that my Kobo Touch has gone on to Kobo eReader Heaven. I think it is no secret that I am addicted to reading (one glance as my Goodreads account will show you that) so I’ve been going through withdrawls of reading. Luckily for me though, I had taken some actual books out from the library and I have my Surface Tablet to read on so all is not lost. (Read more about my experience using my tablet to read here).

I’ve had my Kobo for 2 solid years and in that span, I’ve used it everyday and never had a problem until a Monday morning. That morning, I ran into a software issue where the screen froze in place and the device would no longer turn on. It is possible that it took a hard fall from my nightstand but I’m not entirely sure what happened so I was a little dumbfounded as I had just charged the device overnight. I contacted Kobo via their customer service online chat forum and the associate walked me through all the resets I could perform on my device, but it wasn’t enough to fix it. The customer service rep was really nice but there weren’t any other options for me and Kobo does not have a service to repair eReaders. As I was out of my warranty, I was left with the option of looking for a new eReader.

As cliché as it is, I went through the steps I have on my eReading page to make my decision (I did create it for a reason!). Having been a part of the eReading world for the last 2 years, I thought I would have an easier time but these newer models are a little overwhelming and there are so many choices out there now! But I do know what I want out of an eReader and what I don’t want and what I could care less about so that is a start.

I continued to look at Kobo models because when all was said and done, I loved my Kobo Touch. It did everything I needed and up until that day I never had a problem with the device. It’s also a Canadian company so I am slightly biased in supporting a home-based company ;). But perhaps the biggest factor was the fact that I had a solid 100 books that I bought for my device and never had a chance to read and getting a Kindle wouldn’t allow me to read them so that was an obvious no go!

One thing I really didn’t like about my Kobo Touch was the fact it didn’t have a built in light. I would always forget my light somewhere and not have it when I needed it, so getting a device with a built in light was high on my priority list. But, as a graduating university student who would be having some major student loans to pay off in the next two months, price was another factor so I wasn’t totally opposed to buying a Kobo Touch again seeing as its price had dropped considerably since I bought it and I already have all the accessories for it. (And, if I spent less on the device, I could buy more books instead!).

I found the Kobo site’s ability to compare devices handy, but not enough for me to make my final decision. I’m a visual learner, so I really needed to see the devices at work to make a decision. From the Kobo website I narrowed it down to 3 choices: The Kobo Glo, the Kobo Aura and the Kobo Aura HD.

Basically, the devices differ in slightly different ways which means they differ in prices. As I said on my eReading page, buying an eReader is like buying a car because there are so many models out there and they only way they differ is in the small details. The Glo has the same quilted textured background as the Touch while the Auras have plastic with slightly slanted backs. Memory capacity and size were other ways that these differed with the Aura HD being the largest. The device colour options also differ between all three models. All three have built-in lights but after Googling the differences between the Glo and Aura and reading various forums, the Aura is the winner in the better light category.

I also found that the Youtube channel by Goodereader was very helpful comparing the three devices. They start from the outside of the model (appearance and light) and then work their ways into the interface of the device. Before watching these videos I was probably leaning more towards the Kobo Aura HD because it sounded like the better model from the forum reviews (I also thought it was the newer model, but turns out it isn’t! The straight Aura actually is!). It wasn’t until I watched the videos that I really saw the difference between them that I realized the Aura HD probably isn’t for me–it’s just way too big and it was more money than I was willing to spend when I could get all the features (that had been improved) in the Aura for cheaper.

So I was down to the Aura and the Glo but probably leaning more towards the Aura because I was willing to spend the extra $10 (they were on sale for $10 off when I was looking) to get the better light. BUT, I wanted to go see the actual device because the screen on the Aura is a uniformly flat (like a tablet) while the Glo is a sunken in screen like the Touch. I also wasn’t sure if I would like the physical feel of the Aura compared to the Glo–so that meant I had to go to the store and physically see the models.

I went to the store and seeing the models helped. While the feel of the Aura was different from the Glo and Touch, it was something I could get used to and would be easier to clean. One thing I found about buying my Kobo Touch as a white/lavender combo was that it got a little dirty. The white part of the device is actually still pretty white, but the quilted lavender part got dirty fast and easily scratched. Seeing the Glo on display also reaffirmed this fact as it is the same material. The Aura HD wasn’t as large as I thought it was but again, it was just a little over my price range. What my decision really came down to was the light and screen. The Aura had a much crisper screen and I really liked how you can use your fingers on the screen to adjust the light. The light was also more superior and the screen is much easier to clean because it isn’t sunken in. The tech expert in store also informed me that the battery life is much longer on the Aura including the light than the Glo without the life so that is an added bonus.

In the end, I bought the Aura. One nice thing about being a previous Kobo user is that it is super easy to sync your Kobo books to the device. I had some trouble transferring my library books to the device but I got that sorted out the next day. It also froze on me a bit when I tried reading it that night and I had to do a basic reset to get it going normally. I think I overwhelmed it by adding so many books and then subsequently changing all my settings. After the reset, it’s been working beautifully.

I like the interface a lot. For Kobo books it tells you how long it will take to read each chapter and the book overall. The page refreshing is a lot longer (though in all honesty the page refreshing bit never bothered me–I hardly ever noticed it) which I know some people will appreciate. Having the light is also super awesome. It’s weird not having a home button but I’ve gotten used to using my fingers to scroll up and down in my library or getting the menu up. I also like that I can sort books by whether or not they have been read, opened or unread.

So far the reading experience has been good and I am glad to be using my eReader instead of my tablet again. Though it sucks to see my old eReader sitting dead on my desk, I will always cherish the times we spent together 😛 But I’m looking forward to getting lots of reading done on my new (and slightly improved) device!

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!