Monday, 19 March 2012

Will e-Readers change reading habits?

I got my Kindle sometime last year, mostly because I’m really pushed for space and read quite a lot. E-books enable almost instantaneous delivery, often lower prices and cost nothing in terms of storage space. Against that is the fact that an e-Reader has to be recharged sometimes and there’s a reasonably hefty initial cost.

They also makes self-publishing a lot easier. This opens up avenues of opportunity for new writers, and there are a great many well-received books available for a pound or less.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the e-Reader substantially alters reading, and perhaps writing, habits beyond this.

Personally, I think I buy more books now than I did before. The speed of delivery and the ability to read a sample are real bonuses (although I hope authors start including approximate word counts so the size of a book can be roughly gauged).

I read somewhere or other that there’s a slight fashion towards slightly shorter books now. The smaller amount of text available on each page (as default, it can be varied somewhat) probably leads to books seeming a bit longer than they would if they were in physical format.

I wonder if interactive serials could ever take off. Books used to be released one chapter at a time, I think, and whilst I can’t see that as such working, it might, if, after each chapter, the audience got to make a critical plot decision. The author could then write the next chapter up, and the process occur again. Hmm.

E-books won’t ever fully replace proper physical books, though. For a start, a file is a rubbish present compared to a physical book. It’s also useful for certain types (cookery, art) to have a physical book.



  1. I think they will, but in a good way. More and more people choose to read this way, because it's a little and portable device... we can take it everywhere with us and reading when we have a little spare time. I love to get my eBooks from All you can books, because there are lots of great and interesting titles just for us.

  2. Aye, e-Readers are definitely most useful for prolific readers, and people who go on holiday. Easier to carry a Kindle than three hardbacks.