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Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Author Insight: The e-book bandwagon

  As a reader, are you on the e-book bandwagon or would you rather have a physical book? Do you feel differently as a writer?

"I prefer to have the good old fashioned books, but on a whim I once bought an ebook on my phone while waiting for my car to be serviced, just so I could resume reading it." - Lauren Destefano, author of Wither. 

 "I love physical books.  I love looking at them and holding them and smelling them and turning their pages.  Reading is like a love affair: sometimes you tear through it anxious to get to the end, and sometimes you linger over every page to draw it out as long as you can.  Yet, I think e-books are here to stay.  I might never have read The Passage if I hadn't picked it up in e-book format.  When I travel, I love that I can pack my Kindle and iPad and not have to be burdened with one of the twenty books I was thinking about reading.  If I'm indecisive (and I frequently am) I don't have to make the tough choices. E-books are convenient.  As a writer, I don't care how you read my book.  I actually like Cory Doctorow's method of allowing unrestricted, free access to his books.  The first book of his that I read was Little Brother, and I downloaded it in PDF off his website.  I became a fan and got others to buy it. When his next book For the Win came out, I bought it at the store.  I believe in free, unfettered access to information. I think e-books scare a lot of people because they think it'll lead to piracy much like what happened with the music industry, but I believe that if we give people access to the things they want in the format in which they want it and then get out of the way, people will choose to do the right thing." - Shaun David Hutchinson, author of The Deathday Letter.

"I use an e-reader to read manuscripts for books I've been asked to blurb. I'd rather have a physical book - I think they are beautiful. E-readers are convenient but don't offer the comfort of a book. A book is like good company." - Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade

"I love this question. As a reader, I love physical books. My family members all have Kindles and love them, but I just can't make the leap. I recently moved and I have about 30 boxes filled with books, so it's become fairly obvious that I'm a fan of the actual book. As a writer, though, I want people to be able to read my words through every possible avenue, whether it's a library, bookstore, or e-reader. The way people tell stories will always change and it'll be interesting to see how the publishing industry changes along with it." - Robin Benway, author of The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

"As a reader, it depends. E-books are sooooooo convenient: one device, a ton of books. And for books that are roughly a bajillion pages? Wow, e-readers rock. But there’s really nothing like the feeling of an actual book in my hands. So...it depends on my mood. As a writer, there’s still part of me that feels if you can’t buy it in a bookstore, it doesn’t count. And then the rest of me says, “Grow up, Kessler!” I think I’ll always love physical books, but I’m becoming more and more comfortable with e-books, especially as the technology keeps improving." - Jackie Kessler, author of Rage

"I love my kindle. No kidding, it changed my life. I received a hand-me-down kindle from my step-mom, and it launched me into reading in a way I haven't done in years. I still love physical books, love their smell and feel and weight in my hands, but I also adore always having my very own bookstore in my purse, just waiting for me." - Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly.

"I’m a print freak all the way. With digital formats I feel a distance from the work – like I’m reading something incomplete. That may be because I write on my laptop and don’t really view my own work “done” until I see it in print. Even a chapter printed out seems more real than an entire book in digital form. But I understand the functionality of an e-book / e-book reader and see them as another tool to promote literacy." - Judith Graves, author of Under My Skin.

"I’d rather have a physical book, but I think that’s due to long habit. When I really love a book, though, it’s so transportive that the medium no longer matters." - Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

"I understand why people gravitate toward e-books, but I need a physical book. I don’t know why. I guess I just like the physical act of turning pages. And as a writer, I’ve come to appreciate all the work that goes into the book’s design, which only makes me want the physical book more." - Veronica Roth, author of Divergent

"I like both, but my preference is for physical books. So gorgeous, and some are so comforting. The smells. The rustle of paper. BOOKMARKS. If there were no physical books, WHAT would I do with my Garfield bookmarks? " - Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass.


"I'm kind of ambivalent about e-books, both as a reader and a writer. I read them, and I do enjoy them, but I like my 'real' books, too. I think they're only going to get more popular, but I also know that on my last royalty statement, less than one percent of all the books I sold were e-books. " - Rachel Hawkins, author of Demonglass

"As a reader, I’m not on the e-book bandwagon yet. I think they’re really cool, but I’m not sure they’re for me; I like being able to scan all of the books I have by looking at my shelves instead of having to scroll virtually. I bet if I were traveling as often as I used to, though, I’d have one in a heartbeat. As a writer, I think they’re incredible. It’s a new medium through which to gain new readers. As long as libraries don’t disappear, what could be wrong with that?" - Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

"I'm definitely more a fan of the visceral experience of holding a real book in my hand and turning pages. This might be because one of my favorite ways to relax at the end of a crazy day of writing and motherhood is to read in a nice hot lavender bath, and the thought of my clutzy self risking being immersed in water with an electronic device in hand just doesn't bear thinking about. I do see the value of e-readers, particularly on vacation, when half my suitcase can be taken up with books. I also think in they will expand the market, to people like, say, my boyfriend, who would rarely to never pick up a dead tree book, but reads constantly online. For him, it's easier and more natural to read on a screen, and since he bought his Kindle, he's actually bought several books and is actually READING them!" - Sarah Darer Littman, author of Life, After.

 "I like to read physical books, but I'm open to and excited about my stories being received in many different venues and formats." - Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People.

"I'm the wrong person to ask. I don't even have a cell phone. Gadgets and such don't interest me--I don't hate them; I just don't care." - Dia Reeves, author of Slice of Cherry.

"As a reader, I prefer traditional books.  Frankly, I’m not great with technology.  Also, I like to read in the bathtub and I fear electrocution.  As a writer, I am a proponent of all books, regardless of which form they take." - Emily Wing Smith, author of The Way He Lived.

"I’m still clinging to my old school ways and flipping real, honest-to-goodness pages.  I’m not opposed to the e-readers. In fact, I think they’re pretty cool.  But there’s just something about the feel of a real book that I just can’t give up.  At least not yet anyway." - Kimberly Derting, author of Desires of the Dead.

"I definitely prefer a physical book, given a choice.  Still, I *love* my Kindle, because I love the flexibility of being able to buy a book on a whim from my bathtub!  I'm very bad about "instant gratification" and sometimes I just can't wait till I can get to a bookstore.  As a writer, I'm just glad that readers have that choice!" - Kristi Cook, author of Haven.

"I’ve still never read an e-book, although I bought one recently because it was only available in e-book format.  I can see the advantages of e-books, but I just prefer having a real book to hold.  Plus I don’t think my husband will let me take his IPad into the bathtub, and that’s the best place to read." - Holly Hoxter, author of The Snowball Effect.

Find out Tuesday if the authors share their stories with anyone prior to submission!


  1. Great post! I love my Nook, but I certainly still love physical books, too. Ereaders definitely have their place in the world.
    (And I, too, never would have read The Passage if it wasn't for my Nook).

    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

  2. I love to hold actual books and I love the way they smell. There's nothing better than a great little (or large!) book shop.
    However, I have been toying with buying an ipad or kindle just for the convenience of it - it would certainly free up a lot of storage space and would be handy while travelling. I do have my doubts though... can you see the screen properly in bright sunlight, for instance? Another negative aspect is that you can't lend your favourite book to friends if it's on kindle!

  3. hey! new GFC follower from YA book bloggers! love the blog! =] i prefer books to ereaders, but they are nice to travel with!

    follow me?!