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Friday, November 14, 2008

Paperless Books

While we wait to see what changes are coming to the publishing industry, it seems that digitals books are gaining more and more attention in the news.

In an earlier Novel Journey post called
The Rumblings of Revolution I outlined some thoughts on the Sony Reader. Since then, Amazon has introduced Kindle along with some pretty tempting prices on their downloadable books.

With everyone trying to predict the future of publishing, I’ll throw in my two cents.

Recently my husband and I signed up with Rhapsody. For the price of a CD a month, we have unlimited downloads. The music stays for 30 days. At first I wasn’t certain I even wanted it. I’m pretty happy with iTunes. However, I absolutely love Rhaposdy now. I’m listening to so much more music and finding so many more artists.

Could we do that with books?

This is what I want as a reader.

If I could pay the price of a hardback per month, $22.95—and have unlimited books downloads--not just from one house, but any book--I'd subscribe in a heartbeat. Well, okay, Readers would have to be cheaper.)But not only would I subscribe to that service, but I'd buy hard copies of the books I really loved.

Considering that the cost of paper, ink, graphics for the cover, and shipping would no longer be in the equation, is it feasible? I don't know how all the rights, payments, and tracking of best-sellers would work, but it seems like Rhapsody has figured it out.

For this week’s poll, I’m asking:


  1. Nope. How can you substitute the feel of the book? Nothing will ever replace that, although it's all very tempting.....

  2. I find it interesting that so far no one here owns a Reader. That includes myself, who would like one.

    Looks like thus far they've failed to capture a huge section of their target audience. Us.

    As far as not substituting the feel of a book, true--but this week I know I would have downloaded Anne of the Isle, Many Waters, Year of Fog, and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, regardless.

    Perhaps it’s good there is no such service. I’d read more than probably was good for me.

  3. I hate the thought of those readers. I LOVE the feel of a book. I have to stare at a computer screen all day so doing it more so to read would probably decrease my reading.

    Now, with nonfiction, strangley I don't mind it, but for novels? I want to hold, smell, feel the paper.

    I hope books never go away!

  4. I'm glad you brought up the smell, Gina -- to my mind, the smell of books is an important part of reading.

    For many reasons, I prefer to read a printed page than a computer screen, but let's face it, electronic data is so much more efficient to produce, collect, store, organize, access, etc. and etc.

    I don't like cars, either, but I drive one. So I can't say I'll never have an electronic reader. Rest assured, however, it's not on my Christmas list!

  5. I have to say that I absolutely LOVE my Sony eReader. Now, I will admit that I fought it tooth and nail because I want the print. I will always like the print books (I even worked in a library) and don't see myself getting totally away from them. However, as I travel, I can carry many books with my reader as opposed to just one or two in paper. Plus if it is a new author, I kind of hate to invest in a book (to purchase) and then wind up hating it. The other thing too is that as I age there are nights that my hands get tired of holding some of the paperback books where the reader is much easier to grasp and lighter.

    A friend bought the Kindle and found she actually liked my reader better so she bought one. Granted she has more money than sense but I do have to admit I truly can't say enough good about the reader. The money I have saved on buying books has paid for both the reader and the books I've downloaded.

    Anyway, just my two cents worth.


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