A Reader’s Dilemma

I love to read.  I read constantly.  I’m always on the hunt for a new book, or even better, a new author.  I read my favorites over and over.  So here’s the problem.

Later this month I am going to have surgery and then be flat on my back for an extended period of time.  I was planning to fill a grocery cart with books at my favorite used book store using a list of suggestions people had given me on Facebook and Twitter.  But yesterday when I was picking MJ‘s brain for even MORE suggestions (she managed a bookstore for many years before she became Catwoman) she casually mentioned that it sounded like I needed a Nook.  I responded the way I always have when someone who knows me well (i.e. knows that I devour books by the stack) suggests a Kindle or Nook:  “No, I couldn’t do without the feel of the book in my hand, the musty smell of an older book, the sound of the pages turning, the look of the books lined up neatly on the shelves.”  But for the first time I really started considering it.  MJ said she still bought her favorites in hardback, but she used her Nook to try out new authors.  Hmm.

And then I came home from work, and took a look around.  I have a lot of books.  I have them all arranged by author, and then by date of publication.  My sweet husband just repainted the bookshelves in the living room, and I thought I was going to have a panic attack when he insisted on arranging the books himself. And this is just the first bookcase.

And then there are the books in the kitchen.  These are not my cookbooks, mind you.  Those fill the bottom of the hutch in the pantry.

And then there are the books in my bedroom – several rows along the bottom of the TV stand, filling both bedside tables, and lined up across the dresser.  I didn’t take a picture because Michael’s still asleep, so you’ll just have to take my work for it.  Oh, and I almost forgot the overflowing bookshelves in both boys’ rooms.

I’m not planning on getting rid of any of these books anytime soon.  I gave a huge number to Goodwill just a couple of years ago – these are my favorites.  Do you see the problem?

And there’s another concern.  (I know, can I make this any more complicated?)  I’m a writer.  I’m working on my second novel, and I’m actively pursuing publication.  If I someday get a book published, do I want people to download it to their Kindle or Nook, or do I want them to walk out of the bookstore with it in their hot little hands?  Should I even care?

So I need some input.  Do you use a Kindle or Nook?  Do you love it or are you kind of “meh” about it?  Do you use it exclusively?  Financially, for someone who reads a lot, is this a reasonable thing to do (considering that most downloads are about the same price as a new paperback)?  Will I get all twitchy if I try to switch?  Help!


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22 thoughts on “A Reader’s Dilemma”

  1. I don’t know how it would be for you, but for me I’m still addicted to books. We’ve downsized our *collection* three times in four years. And we still have four book shelves full of books. But, over the past four years, I have really not bought that many books. I rely on the library, because I’m poor. So, no, I won’t be going nook or Kindle anytime soon. I LOVE the feel of books and magazines too much!! And, I rely on a library, like I said, to get my fix:)

    1. I really should use the library more. I used to get books from there all the time, but somehow I just got out of the habit. It’s the smartest choice overall: free, no clutter, no guilt!

  2. My kids bought me a Kindle for Christmas. Like you, I love the feel and smell and general experience of reading a book. I just wasn’t sure I would like ebook reading as much. But I was wrong, I love it. Just the idea that I can carry hundreds of books in my purse and always have them with me is wonderful. There are also many sources for free books that are available for download. I read both ways now. I still have plenty of real books around, but I wouldn’t give up my Kindle now for anything.

    I really like my Kindle, but I was attracted to the Nook too. If you want to use it for reading magazines and periodicals, the Nook color is probably better. It also has more internet capabilities than the Kindle. I was torn between the two and was glad that my kids made the choice for me.

    1. It sounds like your kids made a great choice! I’ve also heard that the color Nook isn’t nearly as easy to read in the sunlight as Kindle, which would be a big problem for me.

  3. I also love books. It’s touch to decide if you should buy a Kindle or not. I’m trying to make that decision too. I guess it comes in handy when you don’t know if you like the author or not.

    I have to say, I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys smelling an old book. I have a book from 1880, and it smells really good. Is that creepy? It probably is.

    1. Maybe if we ask nicely Bath and Body Works will introduce a shower gel and lotion in “musty old books” scent just for us – what do you think?? Heading off now to visit your blog and follow you since we book-sniffers need to stick together 🙂

  4. You know I’m, the book in hand person. Ninety percent of my books come from the library. It is so easy to check your favorite author or new authors to see when they have a new book coming out, or the New York Times Best Sellers List. Reserve your copy online and they have them waiting for you at the library. I don’t have the time to search all the shelves at the library. This is so easy and much cheaper. If I read something that is wonderful then I buy a copy. As much as I read it would cost me at least fifty dollars a week to purchase them.

    1. I never “wander the stacks” at the library, either. Sadly, our library’s website isn’t very user-friendly. I can request/reserve books if I know exactly which books I’m looking for, but I’d love a “you might also like . . ” function.

      1. Wait, wait, wait! I have a solution I just read in an email.

        You can look up what ever book you like on Amazon. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and there will be a section like ‘ other readers like, ‘, or ‘similar titles’.

        Then, you could request THOSE titles at the library. Make sense?

  5. I prefer to have actual books. I think the whole Kindle thing is a good idea but it’s not for me. On an advert for one they say you can take it anywhere you can take a book… on the bus, in the park etc. With how much they cost I wouldn’t dare in case it was stolen from me… so it would defeat the object for me as I wouldn’t take it anyway – ok so I’m paranoid!

    Just stopped over from the Lady Blogger’s Tea Party – nice blog! 🙂

  6. My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas 2009. Between then and this past Christmas, I used it once. I love books. The whole actually having a book. But since this past Christmas, I use my Kindle a lot more. And love it. Although my pet peeve is it doesn’t tell me what page I’m on. I’m told the Nook does.

  7. I have a Kindle. It was a Christmas gift 2009. The NOOK was brand new then and not in stock and untested so Hubs opted for the Kindle. I felt the same way at first… I love the feel and smell of books and wasn’t sure about this thing. That being said, I love it. If anything happened to my Kindle I would run out and replace it. We bought one for my Mom and my Dad this year. My Dad has dialysis 3 times a week and now he doesn’t have to take a stack of books.

  8. You know I vote the iPad, with the Kindle app.

    Since you just got the netbook, I guess that idea is out.

    Here’s what I love about Kindle
    -Ability to try a sample of books — it’s usually the first chapter.
    -LOADS of free books (classics and more) available.

    What I would love to see? The ability to ‘check out’ books, in other words, 3 or 4 dollars gets you the book for a month. Like the library, but with fees.
    Also, would love to be able to send my actual BOOKS to Amazon, in exchange for the electronic version. Make sense?

    I d/l Nook and Nook for Kids, but I know MJ is the expert there.

  9. Stopping by from the Tea Party.

    I’m a huge reader too. I love my shelves that are lined with books. I have three on my nightstand, 2 in my work bag, I’m listening to four on my iPod – love to read. When the Kindles (and others) came out, I said the same thing, I love the smell and the feel of a real book. It’s been sad watching store after store close, but I’m happy that my favorite used bookstore is still jumping.

    I’m starting to warm up to the Kindle, because the idea of loading tons and tons of books and only carrying that on the bus, train, plane is very tempting. We’ll have to see though.

    Great post!!!

  10. Well, you already know my opinion 😉 I read a lot, just like you, and I was on the “nothing replaces a book” bandwagon until I saw a nook and realized how wonderful and convenient it could be. I still and always will be a book buyer, but there is so much free content available in ebook format right now it’s hard to pass up. Also, I have and love my iPad, but it’s difficult for me to read on – too big and the glare bothers me – maybe my glasses add to that. Lots of authors are starting to offer exclusive content – short stories or advance chapters – in ebook only format, so as an author that’s something you might want to think about. You know I love my nook, but nook or kindle, think of how nice it would be when you are recovering to be able to shop for new books from the comfort of your bed 🙂

  11. I don’t have either, but my new laptop has an e-reader on it. In about half an hour, I downloaded (free) 20 books by an obscure, early-20th-century author that I collect. Those 20 books would have cost me a fortune in used bookstores or online if I could even find them. Now I can read them and decide which ones to really search for. I would never give up real books, but the opportunity to get the text right away is very nice.
    I loved what Dianna said about wishing she could send her books to Amazon. I was wishing tonight that I could send my old cassette tapes to iTunes!

  12. Wow. I read your Capture the Everyday electronic post, so I know your answer, but this is so totally me. I should try to pick right now. I’m a book addict. 100%. I’ve yet to start reading on the iPad, well, just cause. I don’t really have to leave my house to read, AND I review books, too, so I don’t have an issue with getting books. But I love love love reading books in my hand. And yet, there’s a small thing inside me that has me saving all my Amazon GCs I earn through Swagbucks to get myself a Kindle. Even though I’m a huge BN fan, so I probably should get a Nook. Can you tell I can’t decide. I think I have to be your new friend so I can find out more about this. How you decided, why, and so forth. Introduce me to your little friend and tell me all about him!

    1. I’m sure I’ll be doing detailed posts about Kenny in the near future – we seem to be joined at the hip! All the research I did proved that the Kindle and the Nook are nearly identical, though, so if you’re a B&N girl you should absolutely go with the Nook. That was the deciding factor for me – I know the Amazon website like the back of my hand and order form them constantly.

  13. …….Posted on April 24 2010 by switch11……………..Its been exactly 6 months since my first and now that we have Nook Upgrade 3 out its time to review Kindle vs Nook one more time..August 3rd Update Please check out the review for a more up to date comparison.. ..BN have done a good job and the addition of the Browser makes the Nook very compelling.

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