Sunday, September 5, 2010

Electronic or print?

Posted By on Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Loved this piece in the New York Times this week about couples who "Are of two minds about books." I had to laugh because this is me and my husband: We sit on the couch, or in bed, he on his Kindle, and I with a book in my hands. I imagine we're not the only local partners to do this.

Alexandra Ringe, right, an editor, and her husband, Jim Hanas, a fiction writer, both 41, fell in love over books.
  • Yana Paskova for The New York Times
  • Alexandra Ringe, right, an editor, and her husband, Jim Hanas, a fiction writer, both 41, fell in love over books.

According to the NYT:

By the end of this year, 10.3 million people are expected to own e-readers in the United States, buying about 100 million e-books, the market research company Forrester predicts. This is up from 3.7 million e-readers and 30 million e-books sold last year.

The trend is wreaking havoc inside the publishing industry, but inside homes, the plot takes a personal twist as couples find themselves torn over the “right way” to read. At bedtime, a couple might sit side-by-side, one turning pages by lamplight and the other reading Caecilia font in E Ink on a Kindle or backlighted by the illuminated LCD screen of an iPad, each quietly judgmental.

Although there are no statistics on how widespread the battles are, the publishing industry is paying close attention, trying to figure out how to market books to households that read in different ways.

It goes on to discuss publishers who are bundling free e-books with the purchase of a hard copy. Not a bad idea, really.

I will say one of my favorite places to read is in the bathtub, and even though I've only dropped a book in the water once, a print version's a lot easier to replace than a Kindle.

Where do you stand on the issue? Amidst piles of books? Or attached to one electronic reader?

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