Confessions Of An E-Book Discriminator

Now that I’ve got you here, I’ll warn you the following paragraph is boring. But the post gets better. Or not.

I recently read in USA Today that for the first time, “revenue from the sale of e-books has outstripped revenue from hardcover sales.” During the first quarter of 2012, adult e-book sales totaled $282.3 million, while hardcover sales netted $229.6 million. Paperback revenue was $299.8 million, which, although higher than e-books, was down 10.5%. Furthermore, in the third week of June, 19 of the top 50 books on USA Today’s best-seller list sold more in e-book format than print.

Good. Signing with an e-publisher sits better. I wrote an invisible post on the subject back in December, entitled “Every Which Way But Traditional.” Well, at least that blog-hopping mushroom head saw it.

Despite this chapeau feather for e-books, I realized something strange about myself. Shocker, I know. I’m finicky when it comes to downloads, and judging by my iPad Kindle contents, thrillers and new releases top my purchases. But non-fiction? No way, bidet. I likes me a print copy.

Pretend the writer of this post is this young and cute.

Perhaps it’s because I overdo the dog-ears and markings in the non-fiction genre. The number of notes littering my copy of Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking could spawn an entire manuscript. Apparently, I’m the reader who can’t quit penciling.

Classics suffer my e-book cold shoulder as well. At the suggestion of Perfecting Motherhood, I read Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Though not one for classics, I’m open to new things (yeah, right). I toyed with downloading the Kindle edition. For a nanosecond. Then I headed to the library for a well-read copy and relished its stained (hey, is that pizza sauce?) and tattered pages instead.

So there you have it; I am an e-book-discriminator. If the novel is new, and particularly a thriller, I’ll download it. If it’s non-fiction or a classic, I won’t.

Now that makes sense…

What about you? Are you an e-book-discriminator? Are you a bit slow—er, I mean, busy—and still don’t have an e-reader (I’m talking to you JM)?  Are you the one that left pizza sauce in my library book? Well, let’s hope it was pizza sauce…

Ooh, creepy pizza eaters…

Before I close, enjoy the latest Awful Offspring Offal, brought to you in a limited-edition, olfactory and visual format.

Awful Offspring Offal

While my youngest and I whooped it up in Las Vegas, Mr. Rubin and our oldest completed a 14-day backpacking trip. The trip included two showers. Total. Their arrival home concludes the olfactory portion of this offal.

As for the visual, my teenager sent me this image captured in Colorado, before they trudged to New Mexico. Lovely, isn’t it? Who knew he had it in him?

He named it: “Two Penises.”

“Two Penises”

Images from Microsoft Clip Art. Except for “Two Penises.” That credit’s all my son’s.

158 Responses to “Confessions Of An E-Book Discriminator”

  1. Anastasia

    I’m back, at least for now, and starting with my favorite blog (not just because I only have to catch up on 7 of yours, as opposed to the fecund Promethean’s 15…lol).

    Am I an ebook debater? Well, I certainly wouldn’t buy a coffee table book as an ‘e. Fo sho. So, is that an answer?:)


    • Carrie Rubin

      So there you are! Welcome back. I just found all of your comments now. They went into my spam. Guess WordPress is punishing you. I’m honored you’d come by and read all of my posts, not to mention comment on them. You are a class act.


      • Anastasia

        Thats nice, thanks!:) Spam? That’s odd. Maybe I’ve been hacked! I actually go through my email, write down each persons blog and the number of how many I’m behind (so I can delete the notification emails – makes me feel less behind) and methodically go through them. Starting with yours, natch. I don’t want to miss anything!:) Keep writing!


  2. Ann Marquez

    I’ll have to return to read all of the comments. That’s interesting about your preference. I’d like to see honest to God real stats on self-published e-book sales from the honest to God authors. I have a problem with “virtual” inventories if you get my drift.😉


  3. susan sheldon nolen

    I’m torn on the whole subject. I do prefer hardbacks for serious reference work. I just find them easier to handle, travel…ebooks fiction or non fiction…with the weight restrictions on airlines, it just makes sense. Serious fiction, I want a hard copy to keep in my library as I love the feel and smell of a real book. There’s just something solid about it. Beach maybe but what does sand do to a kindle?😉


    • Carrie Rubin

      I’ve never tried to read my Kindle on the beach. It kind of seems like an oxymoron in a way, but that’s probably the old-fashioned me talking. I wonder if they’ll make a water-proof Kindle for the bath tub? On the rare occasions I get to enjoy a bath, I always bring a book. So, I guess there are times where the paper will always be preferred.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  4. Fay Moore

    My darling girl, you are BRAVE. OMG – those stains you politely refer to as pizza sauce could be god knows what when that book has been publicly circulating. And heaven forbid the library is located downtown: the patrons frequently include persons sans abodes, thus exposing tomes to the daily rummaging of unwashed hands (think awful and offal). Yes, god knows what that pizza sauce really is.

    (If I am being successful here, your medical background should have you squealing through the hallway, plastic bag in one hand to grasp those dirty library books and a can of Lysol in the other to de-germ them.

    NOTE: before I get hate mail for my inhumanity towards library patrons, this is HUMOR. A little sick, a lot borderline, but humor nonetheless.

    Darling girl, you read any way you want to. Just don’t hold my hand.:-)


    • crubin

      You bring up a great point (in a humorous fashion), because I think of germs in everything I do, and yet I can overlook them in library books. That being said, if I find a hair? Oh, dear, I’m in for it there. Don’t like to find hairs in my books. See? I really am weird.


  5. Kourtney Heintz

    I’ll download super thick books to the e-reader for ease of travel reading, but I love a nice paper book to read in bed. I like the paper and the weight of the book. I’m a tad hesitant to download books only pubbed as e-books. I worry about the quality control.


    • crubin

      I think travel is one of the biggest advantages to e-books. That and cost. Although I have a nice mixture, I don’t see paper books disappearing from my future anytime soon.


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