12×12 Update and My Upper Bucks Free Press October Newspaper Column

I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2012. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it. I have been working on a PB about a bird and a worm who are friends and I have been making it my goal to try to make it rhyme well. I wrote the story in August and have been working on the rhyming. I got farther than last time, but still didn’t get at least the revised draft done (the rhyming part is very hard and I keep re-writing it). This month, I will try my hardest to finish the draft. It will be a challenge for me because a) I am not the quickest writer and b) we are going to New Mexico this week (Saturday) and are going to be gone for a week (my first plane ride! YAY!), but I’ll tell you more about that this Friday 😀

Next news – I wanted to share with everyone the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press. I compared paper books and ebooks in the article. I hope you like it and tell me what you think!

I write for the UBFP!

Book Versus eBook – Pros and Cons

I love reading. I read anything and everything. I sometimes even get in trouble at school for reading when I shouldn’t be. That’s why I get a little upset when I read articles that say paper books will soon be a thing of the past because of ebooks. With a lot more people turning to ereaders, or thinking about getting an ereader, I thought it would be good to point out the good and bad points of both.  I have a regular Kindle (it doesn’t show in color), but I’ve used other ereaders like iPads, Nooks and Kindle Fires and I have been impressed by all of them. But, what about an ebook vs a “regular” paper book?

I think that even though the pages of an ebook look a lot like reading from paper, it just isn’t quite the same. Although many screens on ereaders are made to use in sunlight, I find that the bright sun makes it more difficult to read an ebook compared to a regular book. I like holding a paper book more. I like to feel the pages and smell the paper. I have a bookshelf in my room with all my favorite books on it and I love to look at the shelf and the books on it. I have a collection of signed books that are very special to me and I wouldn’t have that with ebooks. I love going to a bookstore or a library and just looking through the books, trying to find the one I want to bring home and read. Browsing in a virtual bookstores (like Amazon.com) is just not the same.

Ebooks are a lot less money than regular books (after you buy the ereader, which is expensive). There are a lot of classics you can even get for free or about a dollar. The book in the picture in this article, Rick Riordan’s “Throne of Fire” costs $23.99 in hard cover and $7.99 for the Kindle version on Amazon.com. I can get a new release as an ebook the minute it comes out because I can just download it. No more waiting to get to a bookstore or for the library to have it in when there’s a book I want to read right away!

Many ebooks have interactive features in them that can make it seem more like playing a video game rather than reading. I think that is a good feature for kids who may be reluctant readers. I also like that ereaders have built-in dictionaries so if there is a word I don’t know I can just click on it and the definition comes up. There are usually links imbedded in ebooks too so if your ereader is connected to the internet you can follow the links to get more information about the author or to access other features included in the ebook.

I have about 90 books on my Kindle right now and it weighs less than a pound. I can take my ereader in the car, on a plane, on a train, pretty much anywhere and I take ALL of my books with me. On the other hand, I don’t have to worry about dropping a paperback and having the screen crack or sand ruining it at the beach. Both types of books don’t do well in water.

Real books will always be my favorite, but ebooks are definitely a good alternative. I think more and more kids and adults will want to read ebooks because of the price and the extra features you get with them. I personally think ebooks have a lot to offer and can be a lot of fun, but then again, I never have to worry about the batteries running out on my paper copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” by Mark Twain.

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45 replies

  1. Nice article. I’ve heard other people speak about loving the smell and feel of paper. In all my many (many, MANY) years of reading, I have failed to develop that love. I am Kindle all the way!

  2. Great points, Erik! I love the feel of a book in my hands and it’s easier to flip back to check on maps or different chapters in a book. It’s lovely to hold a picture book for reading to my guys, although there are amazing story apps out there, too. However, the reduced cost of ebooks allows me to read more (and more and more!) on the same budget, I’ve found some books from favorite authors as ebooks only and it is handy to have a whole library that tucks into my purse. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. This is my last activity before leaving this morning…checking my emails and blog posts. 🙂 Great summary, Erik. I do love the smell of a good book, too. But I think I favor ebooks for their weightlessness and convenience. Still, I’m bringing four paperbacks with me this morning and only two new books on my Kindle.

  4. Erik, what a thorough and balanced article comparing paper and e-books. I still don’t have an e-reader, but know I will succumb soon. September was my first month when I didn’t do a 12×12 draft. it’s not always easy to find the time, huh? Enjoy New Mexico and your first flight!

  5. Great article Erik. You’ve hit the nail on the head … Both types of books have their benefits.

  6. Love your article, Erik. I can’t decide which I like better so I keep reading books both ways;)
    Good luck with your rhyming story!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  7. Great post, Erik and have lots of fun flying! I’ve only read two book on an e-reader but that’s mostly because a lot of books on my TBR pile are not on Kobo books. I’ll have to check more often though because it is cheaper but I do love holding a real book.

  8. Liked your article a lot — good journalist! You gave a give a nice balance for using both. There are benefits for both. Like you, I prefer the book in my hand. But, when I need a book to review now, I will download. I find that when I spend so much time on a computer, the last thing I want to do is sit with an e-reader in my lap. Tiring on the eyes. But I do browsing virtual book stores because I can find special niche books that aren’t always in the libraries.

    Have a great trip and enjoy your first plane ride.

  9. That’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking article, Erik! Nice job. I’m one of those holdouts who refuses to buy an e-reader (hey, I worked in an indie bookstore for ten years — and the main reason it’s now closing is called Amazon). A paperback is still enough for me. When I go on vacation, two books are usually plenty anyway. Sightseeing takes up a lot of time, so I wouldn’t get through more than two books in the week or so that I’m traveling. AND, the other advantage? When the flight attendant announces that all electronic devices must be turned off for take-off, I can keep reading!

    Enjoy your first flight. That’s exciting.

    • Thanks Ms. Fritz! One of the sad things about indie bookstores is that if you don’t buy books from them, they get shut down/closed. I should’ve included that in my article. You are right about the reasons to have paperbooks too!

  10. Erik, this is a thoughtful analysis of books versus e-books. You might not have realized that libraries are now making e-books available to their users, too. For free, of course. I’m still an old-fashioned book-on-paper fan, though.
    Have a safe and enjoyable trip.

  11. Great job on the article, Erik. And good luck with your rhyming manuscript. You’re right writing in rhyme is super hard, but I bet you’re doing it right. Good luck with finishing!

  12. Very thoughtful review of paper vs. ebook, Erik. I have to agree with you – Kindles are great for instant gratification and traveling, but I think I’ll always prefer regular books – maybe just too many years of loving them before there was anything else available 🙂 Good luck with your manuscript!

  13. I love real books too. I have always found the smell of books comforting and I’d rather hold and read the paper book any day.

  14. Great article. I agree there are pros and cons for both type of books. I am happy we have a choice. I took 2 paperbacks with me on my latest trip to Europe and my sony e-reader loaded with great books too. (Perfect for on the airplane!) BTW Have a great holiday and enjoy your plane ride. Can’t wait to hear about it. I didn’t get to go on an airplane until I was 27 years old.

  15. It is interesting, this debate about e-books versus real books. They both have their pros and cons…namely, the environmental considerations of printing. But I will always love a real book and look at an e-book as being a completely different medium.

  16. I admire you for attempting rhyme, Erik. I have not written a rhyming MS yet. I did try free verse once. Enjoy your first plane ride. I hope you can get a window seat. The views are amazing!

  17. Good for you for working so hard on your rhyming picture book! I keep wanting to try a rhyming one, but then I get scared, and I don’t try. I guess I need to follow your example and try, even if it’s hard, huh?

    Your article about ebooks and regular books is excellent. You’ve given such a balanced view of both — most articles are biased for one side or the other. I really appreciate the way you’ve written this. I don’t have an e-reader yet, mainly because of the cost, but also because I love paper books so much! Some day I’ll get an e-reader. Some day.

    Enjoy your first flight! You’re a year ahead of me, I was 11 when I had my first flight. And have a great time in New Mexico!

    • You should try Ms. Stilborn! The first couple of drafts I did didn’t make a lot of sense. I went through a bunch of edits. I am going to work on it some more this month. I really do like paper books more, but I do read about 25% of my books on the kindle. Thanks Ms. Stilborn!

  18. I loved your article and you spoke right to me! I know you couldn’t see me nodding along- but I was. I have a Kindle and have about 90 books on there (I only put free books or books I win on the Kindle- except three books I bought the first week I had it). I like the convenience of the ebooks, but much prefer books in print. I like to hold a book in my hands, feel the weight of it, smell it, and be able to flip back when I need to- or forward. I read every night before bed and when I start getting sleepy I like to see how many pages are left of the chapter (a few and I will read on, a lot and I will stop where I am). This is much easier with print books. Great points and best of luck with the picture books and the plane ride!

  19. That’s a great article, Erik. I don’t have an e-reader yet and I still borrow books from the library every week. But I do love the prices of ebooks. There are so many wonderful books out there to read and own. 🙂 Best of luck with your picture books & enjoy your first plane ride!

  20. Paper please! Although those e-readers are SOOOO tempting!

    Enjoy your plane ride and the beautiful sights of New Mexico!

  21. Hi Erik, I like how you pointed out the pros and cons of each. As you know I bought a Kindle Fire – and it’s been languishing since the time we arrived back from the States – virtually untouched. Theoretically, I do get what you mean about saving space, convenience when you travel, all the links and such – but I don’t know, I really don’t ‘dig’ it as much as I think I should – and I tried, oh dear, I really did. But, I suppose I’m just old school that way.

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