19 July 2011

How many readings do you think books should stand up to?

So, I recently tattled on myself, here:


I was commenting about how inept I now feel when it comes to reading traditional books and protecting their condition. I use my ereader for most of my reading now. Only 11 of the 25 books I have read this year have been traditional books; that's only 44% of my reading for the year.

This post is all about the life expectancy of books versus ebooks:

Developments with regard to ebooks and library lending...

So, I've admitted that I was tough on that recent book.
What I won't admit to is a disregard for books and their condition.
I take good care of my books.

I was very disappointed as I began reading a decent paperback edition this week. I bought the book new while living in England. It was in top condition. It remained in excellent condition as I read it the first time.

I was happy to pick it up and read it again this week... However, the second time I sat down to read this week a split began forming along the inner spine of the book.
In just moments a page fell out completely.
I continued to read because that was my only option at the time.

Know what I did? I gave up. I purchased the book as an ebook. The book was worthy of another read or I wouldn't have chosen to read it again.

I made it over six months without purchasing any books for myself. I made a conscious effort over the past six months to read the books I already owned but hadn't gotten around to reading. I also borrowed ebooks and traditional books from our library.

I wish I could say that the book I broke this streak with was a book I haven't read before. I feel a bit of dissatisfaction at having spent twice the money to enjoy a single title.

I wish publishers would begin offering an ebook version with each traditional new book purchase, even when the book is purchased on sale. I think this would work out to be a win-win situation for publishers and readers.

Back to my original rant though...I really think that even a paperback should withstand more than two uses.
I suppose that my move to ebooks is a smart move. I just hope that further developments with regard to digital media will be fair to readers and writers as well as publishers.

1 comment:

  1. The book that I mentioned above, reading it a second time and having pages fall out... My brother visited this weekend and I sent it home with him, to read. I started to tell him to keep it since the condition is so poor. Then I realized it was a British edition and that the ebook edition I've bought may have some differences in the text so I asked him to go ahead and hold onto it for me. Anyway, he'll be reading it. I hope he'll really enjoy it!


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