I own a Kindle. Yet I have to admit, when I first started to hear about e-readers, I was totally against the idea. I thought it couldn’t parallel the printed novel, that it would be a short-lasting trend; eventually I came around the idea of e-readers. I started to think that actually, they weren’t all that bad. A novel is a novel, no matter if you read it on Kindle or in a published form.
But I called this premise into question this weekend. Looking at the bestsellers on my Kindle, I saw that the Game of Thrones series was making quite an impact; this was to be expected considering the new release of the TV series. Admittedly, I had no idea what it was about, only that I’d heard about it and the Amazon blurb sounded good. So, I downloaded a Kindle sample.
The Kindle sample was amazing! Not only did Game of Thrones did give me a new series to pursue, but it meant I could fulfil my need for fantasy considering the gap Bitterblue left. However, I did not buy the Kindle version – instead, despite the similar nature in price, I went and bought the book.
So why did I choose the published novel over the Kindle version?
Firstly, it should be noted that Game of Thrones is a rather large book. When I say rather large, I mean it’s just shy of eight hundred pages long, with average type. I think there’s a certain, distinct pleasure to be had from reading a large book, and seeing how far along you’re in. It’s that little moment of wow, I can read a lot! Also, it gives you a general idea of where you are in the book, and how long until the end.
Although the Kindle has a function which allows you to see how far along in you are, I find with longer books this feature irks me. I end up getting distracted from what I’m reading to think have I only read 2%? I know this is irrational and stupid. But there is something about reading a large printed novel which is far more satisfying as a reader than when on a Kindle.
Another aspect is price. I’m a student. The majority of us aren’t exactly dripping with money. So when the Kindle price is £3.99, and the Tesco price is £3.86, the Budget Alarm in my mind starts whirring. Honestly, I would much rather have the novel, not only because of it’s length, but because a part of me asks: what’s the point of paying an extra thirteen pence for an electronic copy when I could have the book itself? Unless there was a significant difference in price between the physical copy and the electronic copy (I realise Tesco have subsidised massively on the print copy, oh corporate fiends!), I would always go for the printed version.
Another reason would be my personal taste. If I feel like this is going to be a book I’m going to read more than once, then I would much rather get it as a physical copy. I want to be able to thumb through the pages and remember the story on a whim – I can’t do that on a Kindle copy. No matter how advanced e-readers get, they will never truly match that reader’s pleasure of flicking through pages of a book long ago read.
Finally, there’s the aspect of it being a series. Although I have got series on my Kindle, the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White for example, I would much rather have a whole series in physical form. I suppose it’s simply tradition, old habit. But nevertheless, I would much rather own a series in paperback than on Kindle. Also, one of the disadvantages of owning the Paranormalcy series on Kindle is that I don’t get to stare in awe at the beautiful covers. Which is exceptionally sad.
So, this time, published novel has reigned victorious over e-reader. What do you think? Do you like e-readers, or do you still tend to lean towards published novels like me?