The acid test of book format preferences

As posted earlier, I definitely find myself more likely to seek out print books than ebooks. The proof was in the pudding yesterday.

I found myself in a bookstore, which is never a bad thing. The item I was looking for wasn’t available, though, so there I was left in a bookstore (unsupervised, dangerously) with a bit of time to kill. And lo, I discovered that Sam Sykes’s recent release Seven Blades In Black was in stock. I’d previously started reading it as a library loan, but my slow reading combined with the book’s beastly size (704 pages? I mean, come on), had it due back at the library before I was finished it. Hell, before I was nearly finished it. Was I even half way through…?

But I digress…

Point being, there were copies available on the shelf. And I also confirmed that there were copies available as ebooks for my Kobo. At about $15, the latter ran about $12 cheaper than the former. That’s no small difference. That’s a large drink at Starbucks (before tax, at least), or… like… two apples at Whole Foods.

And yet, what did I do? I mean… don’t answer, because I can’t hear you… but if you guessed that I bought the more expensive one, you’d be right.

Here’s the thing: I know from how much of the book I read that I really enjoyed it. Enough so that just on what I read of it, I bought it for a friend who I think would like it, and enough so to then buy it again for myself rather than wait for it to come around as another library loan (and did I mention it’s not cheap?).

You see, the one remaining obstacle that’s blocking my supreme enjoyment and support of ebooks is the fact that I can’t pass ebooks along when I’m done with them. I can’t even get my wife to read them, because reading ebooks bothers her eyes. But a physical book? Oh, aye… those, she can read. Those anyone can read who I pass them along to, be it a friend or a loved one or a total stranger via second hand stores–and if you try to tell me that secondhand book stores aren’t great, we’ll have to fight out our differences Thunderdome-style–or the Little Library cupboard a neighbour up the street recently installed, etc.

So there it is, gentle reader. The definitive answer: I like analogue books over ebooks so much that for something I know I’ll like, and I know others will like, I’ll pay almost twice the price to get a physical book over what the ebook would cost.

Crazy, some would say. To which I would reply, “Yeah, crazy like a fox!… which… reads, evidently…” Because I don’t always come up with great retorts at the time. Just as I’m falling asleep, though, I may come up with a real zinger, so check back.