For What It's Worth

Monday, April 22, 2013

Location….location or Where the hell am I? Reading e-books

No pretty pictures today - just a mini rant of sorts.

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I was catching up on my Kindle reading last week and I’m always annoyed by Amazon’s use of %’s rather than page numbers with their Kindle books but what caught my attention this time was that I never could tell how far I was in the story.

There were a few books that were quite good but felt like it was taking forever for the sexy times to start or to see any plot development. Then I would check and I was only 18% in. I thought I was MUCH farther into the story! At least halfway but nope.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I was totally engrossed in a few other books and thought I had a ways to go then poof! they ended out of nowhere.

You just have no way of knowing with an e-book where the heck you are, unless you constantly check. That takes away from the reading experience though IMHO.

I always prefer physical books over e-books but there are so many good Kindle deals these days, not to mention I just couldn’t buy/own/keep that many books. Plus I do enjoy reading on my iPad but man….that page # thing bugs me.

With my favorite books (owned physical copies) I just KNOW where my favorite quotes are, where to flip to for the perfect scene. That’s why I always buy any of my favorite reads for my keeper shelf. I’m less likely to re-read an e-book, although I have a few times. I end up using the search function, which isn’t as much fun.

The thing that got to me though was that I was kind of judging the books unfairly based on pacing that wasn’t an issue but I *thought* it was. Make sense?

Do you guys have any problems reading e-books vs physical copies? I’ll never stop reading e-books but this particular issue did get on my nerves this past week.

33 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. Since most people have kindles instead of kobo or nook, I assumed that I was the only one who had a problem with the location thing, which is why I prefer reading on my kobo and pdfs if there's an ebook that I want to read for a blog tour or something. I still prefer print books over ebooks any day. I enjoy displaying them on my physical bookshelf (yes they take up space, but so what), holding them in my hand when reading, finding quotes easily, and knowing what page I'm on and how many more I have left. I just have to know what page I'm on and how many I have left sometimes or I'll freak out. I also don't like that many ebooks are 10 or 12 dollars, that's the same as the physical paperback, I'd rather buy that than pay the same amount for an ebook.
    The only good things about ebooks, in my opinion are: you can take so many of those on vacation without needing extra suitcase space, and they don't take up physical space, plus some are really cheap.

    Last year at school, we had to take a survey about ebooks, most people prefer ebooks because they're so easy to carry around and the words can be zoomed in, only a few people including me said that we prefer the old fashioned way.
    Glad that there are some people who still prefer the traditional way of reading.


    -Nazish @ Nazish Reads

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    1. Without the feel of the book in my hand I just can't tell how far I am. Then I start blaming the writer for not moving things along fast enough but when I check I'm not even 20% in. I don't think I would be that impatient if I could see where I was lol

      I do love e-books though. They're cheap (I won't pay $10 or $12 for an e-book - I would just buy the book) & really convenient. I've tried more books and found authors through them that I probably wouldn't have given a shot otherwise.

      I tend to be more judgmental with covers of physical books whereas an e-book I could care less and I'll buy it anyway.

      But for my favorites it has to be the book - in my hands - flipping through the pages :-)

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  2. I am actually starting to prefer ebooks. The only thing I don't like right now is that I can't figure out how to make notes only bookmarks with my kindle right now. I kinda prefer % rather than page numbers, but I do think we should have the option to decide how we want it displayed

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    1. The majority of my reading is e-books these days. The notes bother me a bit too. I use the Kindle app and making notes is super easy but on pdf's and Netgalley I use other apps that aren't as easy to navigate or take notes with.

      The other thing I don't like about e-books now that you mention it is sometimes I don't know something is important yet or that I need to make a note at the time then I can't find what I want an hour later without searching all around. WIth my physical books I have an idea of where to flip to. This is more for when I want to review a book later. If I'm reading for fun then I don't care so much.

      I thought Kindle had added pages a while back but they never showed up on mine. The option seems to be the way to go.

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    2. I find that pages (vs percentages/locations) seem to be random depending on the book. If it's a book I've purchased from Amazon for my kindle app, then sometimes it'll have pages and sometimes locations (or sometimes the option for either one.) With books I get from Netgalley that go to my Kindle app "documents" those only have locations.

      I wish the Amazon purchased Kindle books would at least ALWAYS have page numbers instead of locations.

      Why is it that for Netgalley you use other apps to read them instead of the Kindle app? Just curious if I'm missing out on something! I've only heard of one other app that you can read Netgalley books on say an iPad (the name is escaping me at the moment though grrr! Blue something is coming to mind, gah now I have a brain itch I can't scratch LOL)

      April @ My Shelf Confessions

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    3. It's the Bluefire app. I think it has to do with DRM issues. It's the only app that works with my iPad (as far as I know) and I always had problems viewing Netaggely books on my Kindle so I gave up.

      I use Bluefire but I don't really like it for taking notes.

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  3. Old fashioned in that I refuse to read anything other than 'tree books', I know it puts a lot of authors and publishers off that I won't accept digital copies to review but I'm afraid they just don't do for me what a paper copy does.

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    1. I would guess that e-books are cheaper for reviewing purposes but I don't' blame you. For the longest time I refused to read e-books and then I caved. I like both for different books/different reasons but I'll always prefer 'tree books' :-))

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  4. YES OMG I so so so so so agree.
    I want page numbers too!!!!!!!!

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    1. They (Amazon) announced that they were going to use page #'s and they showed up in one or two books but then that was that. I wonder why.

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  5. In the beginning I did but ebooks are getting better (some even with page numbers). I do have to say that I get annoyed with ones that don't have an index because that is where I check to see where I am in the book. Now those annoy me :)

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    1. Oh yes! I love indexes! I check that first and it helps me gauge how far I am. That works better for me than page #'s or %'s. I wonder why?? lol

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  6. It's so weird, b/c I never thought I would say that I prefer ebooks. The deals are just too good to pass up, plus I have the ease of highlighting passages and taking notes. Plus, so much lighter than hauling books around.
    This makes me sad....

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    1. I fought the Kindle tooth and nail at first but Kevin wanted me to try it because I was running out of room for my books.

      I really love reading on my iPad now. I wouldn't have tried even a 1/4 of the books I read if they weren't Kindle deals. I think more before purchasing a book that needs a home when I'm done lol

      I don't like notes with e-books though. I'm old still school and keep a notepad. I like to look at everything at once. I do highlight things but I hate have to go search later.

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  7. I have close to 200 books on my Android Tablet (between nook and kindle) and I've only read 1 or 2 of them. I just can't get comfortable with the tablet.. It's better then my old Nook Color which I gave my granddaughter but still a clumsy way to read. I prefer old fashioned paper books. My home library has over 2000 titles in it... everything from biographies, to mysteries, to Sci Fi, to Fantasy to Paranormal. I've been collecting books for over 50 years.

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    1. I had a kindle but it drove me nuts. I like the iPad because it's bigger. My husband laughs because most people want smaller but not me.

      I can't even reply to email on my phone. I read it but wait to respond when I get home to my computer.

      2000 books??? That's amazing! I have a few 100.

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  8. I've just gotten used to the lack of page numbers. If I want to know how far along I am, I just look at the percentage. But I'm usually not concerned with that enough to even bother looking at the numbers. Out of sight, out of mind.

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    1. For the most part it doesn't bother me and I enjoy e-books but every once in awhile I need to look back at something I didn't realize to highlight at the time and can't find it or like last week felt like I was way farther in the book than I really was and got discouraged.

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  9. I have the exact problems as you do, I do like print more. I want to be able to check the blurb, to quickly check the beginning for maps, or the end for glossaries. But everything is just so slow with ebooks

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    1. Yeah - I fumble around more with e-books. I don't remember the % where my favorite part was lol

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  10. Oh, I get annoyed at ebooks all the time, especially when Netgalley messes them up, which they've been doing less and less lately, to be entirely honest. Lately, I only read what the ARC goddess brings me anyway. A definitely upside of ebooks is that I can totally read in the dark, which I do all the time.

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    1. ooh excellent point! I read on my iPad while my hubby sleeps - none the wiser. I have a bed lamp but he would never be able to sleep with that thing on lol

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  11. I'm one of the people who takes notes while reading, so the disruption thing doesn't bother me. I constantly look at the %. heh

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    1. When I'm reviewing I takes notes too so it's not an issue then. More when I'm reading for fun (which I'm making a point of doing more of!)

      I think I'm further in and things aren't' moving fast enough but I'm not that far at all lol Maybe it's more that I'm impatient O_O

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    2. I get like that, too. I look down and say WTH! I'm only 15% into this blasted book. Or, where the heck did the time go!

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  12. I prefer page numbers and physical books, too, though I won't give up my ereader. And I have this problem with audiobooks. The way the story is going, it seems like there's still plenty of book left, and then POOF. It's over.

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    1. I'm even worse with audio books. I zone out for a second and can't go back lol

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  13. I don't mind the percentage for keeping track of how far along I am in the book, but it drives me crazy when I'm looking for something later. It's like, "well, it was around 3/4 of the way, so is that location 1305 or should I just hit location 1000 and page around?" At least with a paper book, you can quickly flip to things.

    The worst - WORST - ebook seller for suddenly stopping a book at less than 100% is Samhain. The book will end at 85%, maybe less, and the rest will be ads for upcoming books. They stink.

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  14. I don't check indexes or anything on e-books. I actually feel like I read my kindle faster than a physical book. Maybe b/c my hands don't get tired holding it and I put it down less? Not sure. The percentage doesn't bother me, but I would like page numbers as well.

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  15. I like both but each has its drawbacks. I like ebooks when I'm going on a trip and don't want to carry a hundred real books.

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  16. I get annoyed with the Kindle's inability to list page numbers, too. Irritating.

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  17. I completely agree- there is certainly something to be said about the portability of a kindle vs a suitcase full of books...but nothing can compare to the feel of a book in your hands and having tha physcal sense of where you are. I actually brought my nook and two books on vacation and never touched the nook. And with prices being barely less...one might as wel just buy the book if one has the space!

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  18. The only thing I like about e-books is the convenience my kindle offers of having a built in backlit screen and that I can carry more than one around at once (for those moments when I'm almost done with one and ready to start another). But that is IT! I too hate feeling like I don't know where I am. I hate not being able to highlight and flip back when I want. Yes you can highlight in the e-books but it just isn't the same for me I guess. I always prefer physical books and only buy ebooks if they are below 3 dollars. If they are more than that I feel cheated.

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