Physical vs Digital Reading

I was just reviewing the upcoming iOS 5 (Apple’s mobile operating system) and seen that they will have a “news stand” feature to get your subscriptions. Having an account at Zinio (an online magazine service) I quickly wondered if that would be the end of that service. I then realized that there are other services like that as well or the fact that several of the magazines themselves publish digitally so I imagine there’s room for everyone.

That holds true with books and bookstores, although I would think that the book stores are seeing strong competition from the eReaders and digital books (just ask Borders right?). I have both the kindle app and the iBook app and use them both. There are some cases though I still prefer the physically version though I’m finding the digital readers great for somethings it just doesn’t beat being able to take notes in the margins of training books. Or getting an autograph from your favorite authors. That being said I do like the convenience of having a book readily available on my phone.

I’m curious your thoughts on this. Are you finding yourself buying more digital books and subscriptions? As a new author I’m just curious about that. My book that just became available this week with Co Author Bret Ridgway “50 Biggest Website Mistakes” was released as both a physical book and a digital book. So I’ll be curious to see which gets more sales.

Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you are using digital which reader do you prefer. Just leave your thoughts in the comments below.

4 Comments

  1. Lawton Howell on August 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Interesting topic and one we researched with our own subscribers in the chiropractic profession. What we found was that the majority of our subscribers print out the digital versions for reading. Personally, I do the same thing and love to go to the brick and mortar bookstores to get real books. Even with our weekly blog, it is amazing how many subscribers use the PRINT option to capture the article. I don’t think I will ever convert my home library into anything but what it is designed for…. real printed books!

  2. Sports Broadcasting on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    The length of whatever it is I’m interested in reading determines the format I’m most interested in reading it in.

    Because I’m at my computer much of the day, I’m not all that interested in reading anything too lengthy online. Also, preventing further eyestrain causes me to enjoying reading a book or magazine the good old-fashioned way.

    I’m sure the age of the target demographic will also factor into the preferred method for reading various materials.

  3. Don on August 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I prefer books, reading on my computer has the tendency to put me to sleep.

  4. Nancy Boyd on August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Don this is a great question! Thanks for asking.

    My personal preference is print. Because so many folks have jumped to digital I tend to feel guilty because I’m reading paper-based things — but the fact of the matter is that I like to take my material away from the screen and read it at my leisure, wherever and whenever that may be. Digital readers — while admittedly convenient — just aren’t the same experience.

    Also, I like to highlight, mark up, and make margin notes. While I know some readers allow you to take some similar actions, it’s just not the same. I like the tangible/tactile experience and that is distinctly missing from digital media.

    I print out articles I want to read or save, as well as ebooks, so that I can “relate” and interact with them in my preferred ways.

    I may be a vanishing breed in this respect, but it’s important to me. Am I all alone here??? Is it just me? Or are there others who just HAVE to have something they can do more with than just look at?

    P.S. While this area wasn’t necessarily included, and while I enjoy audio and video, I just do NOT have time to watch or listen to hours upon hours of media! Give it to me in a form I can print and access at my own pace — because I am a speed reader — and I can shorten my learning curve by many many hours.

    In other words, marketers, don’t waste my time! It’s precious to me — and *I* will choose how I wish to invest that limited commodity, and with whom. Make it worth my investment or I won’t. Every. Second. Counts. Believe it!

    Nancy

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