Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Are E-Readers More Sociable than Books?

A different take on the impact of e-readers. Some are saying that when one is seen reading an e-reader they seem more approachable and less “bookwormish” and isolated than when one is seen reading a printed book.

I’m not so sure if I buy into this concept totally because I never considered a person reading a book as unapproachable in the first place…Probably has more to do with personalities and backgrounds than anything else. For sure, the popularity of e-readers has made reading anywhere more common and accepted and therefore less “isolated”.

Austin Considine had this to say in the New York Times today:

E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated

VOLUMES have been written about technology’s ability to connect people. But burying one’s nose in a book has always been somewhat isolating — with its unspoken assertion that the reader does not want to be disturbed. So what about a device that occupies the evolving intersection between?

“Strangers constantly ask about it,” Michael Hughes, a communications associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said of his iPad, which he uses to read a mix of novels and nonfiction. “It’s almost like having a new baby.” An iPad owner for four months, Mr. Hughes said people were much more likely to approach him now than when he toted a book. “People approach me and ask to see it, to touch it, how much I like it,” he said. “That rarely happens with dead-tree books.”

With the price of e-readers coming down, sales of the flyweight devices are rising. Last month, Amazon reported that so far this year, Kindle sales had tripled over last year’s. When Amazon cut Kindle’s price in June to $189 from $259, over the next month Amazon sold 180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers.

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  1. No eReader for me! I prefer the friendly feel and charming smell of real books. 🙂 Books are so much more comfortable to curl up on the couch with, too!

    Comment by Laura Marcella — 08/22/2010 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  2. To each her own, John! I went to Barnes and Noble today to purchase a specific book. The information desk offered to have it brought downstairs to me. Do I look that decrepit? However, I'm not fond of the escalator there so agreed. While I waited, staffers kept asking if I'd been helped, so the person at the desk suggested that I go to the front entrance where "Page" would assist me. Page was staffing their "Nook" information desk. When I told her that I was not interested in Nook and was waiting for a book, she told me I should go back to the information desk where it would be delivered. I've nothing against ebooks, but I'm a confessed closet book HUGGER! As a kid, I slept with my book friends.

    Comment by Frances Jeanne — 08/23/2010 @ 11:03 am | Reply

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