TGIF: Bookish Trends

graphic courtesy of GReads

TGIF at GReads is a feature for recapping the week’s posts and answering a book-blogging question posed by Ginger.  I plan on joining in from time to time when I have some interesting thoughts on the question at hand.

This week the question is: What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you’d like to see more of?

I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified for identifying trends as I am usually the person who is totally behind the trend, but one thing I am finding interesting is the move to digital forms of reading.  E-readers and tablets are popping up everywhere, becoming more affordable and practical.  Sales of tablets are predicted to surpass the sales of laptops by the year 2015 (according to a study by Forrester and repeated all over the place).  That prediction surprised me, especially when I thought about what it meant for reading.  It wasn’t that long ago I remember hearing a story on NPR about how electronic books would never replace paper ones because of the consumer’s resistance to change.

I, for one, do not own a tablet or an e-reader.  I looked at them about a year ago, thinking I would like to have instant access to whatever I wanted to read.  But the cost of ebooks is often ridiculous (It’s only a computer file!  I know, I know, I pay lots of money for computer files like Windows 7, but I have trouble making the two seem equivalent in my mind).  I also decided that it made more sense for where I was financially to make greater use of my public library.  I feel a little left out in the blogging world because it seems I am the only person who doesn’t have one of these gadgets, but I still don’t think that an e-reader is right for me right now.  I’d probably drop it in a bathtub or something.

That being said, I am generally positive about the spread of digital means of reading.  I like the idea of instant access to what you want to read, that you can have a library that uses hard drive space and not physical space or paper, and that there is increased access to a wider array of reading material, especially for those without the benefits of a huge library system.  I am also in favor of a medium which allows for an increase in the diversity of material produced though means such as self-publishing.  I don’t really have an opinion on the quality of self-published things, since I’ve never read any (and probably won’t due to the lack of e-reader), but I like at least the idea that electronic publishing is less elitist and gives opportunities for people to be heard who might not otherwise be.

I have also read that e-readers are changing what people read in public because it is far easier to hide an embarrassing cover.  There are also reports claiming e-readers actually increase the number of readers out there.  I think it is interesting to consider how a different medium for reading changes how or what we read and who reads and am curious to see how things continue to change in the future.

Are you a fan of your e-reader?  Have your reading habits changed as a result?

Feel free to leave me your TGIF links so I can check out the bookish trends you identified!

As for my highlighted posts for the week:

My Top Ten Tuesday– Spring TBR

My review of Clockwork Angel

A discussion on violence in dystopian novels

5 thoughts on “TGIF: Bookish Trends

  1. I think I was in the same boat as you a while ago. I shunned the idea of an e-reader, claiming it would feel like I’m “cheating” on books. But then I thought about it more and more and ended up getting a Kindle Fire for Christmas – BEST decision I’ve ever made! At first I was a little hesitant about it, even after I got it, because I really couldn’t justify paying at least $10 for a book that I normally would have gotten for free at the library. Even now I can’t justify it, but have occasionally let myself splurge on a book whereas prior to getting my Kindle I wouldn’t have bought the hardcover because it really was too expensive.

    Being part of the book blogging community has helped tremendously with my Kindle purchases – everyone shares their good finds and I’ve gotten many, many popular books for little to nothing. I’ve also gotten to read some books that I never would have had they not been freebies. Also, many library systems – both big and small – have adopted e-books as part of their library and offer a WIDE range of titles, both old and new. I’ve checked out many books from my library using their e-book system and, best of all, it automatically gets returned when your time is up so no late fees (something I have a huge problem with)!

    Overall, I love my e-reader, especially the Kindle Fire, because it not only allows me to be more mobile with my reading (I hate carrying books around with me) but it’s opened up a whole new reading library to me full of rare titles and self-published gems (although you do have to be wary of some of these) as well as given me a mobile device that I can use for tweeting, blogging, and chatting about books I’m reading, all in one device.

    However, I’ll always prefer real, touchable, cover-bound books to e-books… it feels creepy hugging my Kindle when I just want to hug the book! 🙂

  2. It seems that costs are decreasing for e-books as the e-readers become more popular– I keep seeing kindle books for $3 or less and I’m like… that’s less than or equal to what I’d pay at the used book store. It also looks like my library plans to roll out e-book lending in April of this year. I’m still not sure I can be convinced that I’ll like reading a whole book on a screen. I’m sure I’ll cave eventually, but I always have a hard time justifying the purchase of gadgets! Physical books on the other hand…

  3. I gave my old kindle 3g to my father in law for Christmas along with an Amazon gift certificate and got myself a Fire. I looove my Fire, until last week when the battery refused to recharge. Amazon’s excellent customer service sent me a new one in a jiffy. I have bought a few books, like Elizabeth said, mostly in the 3$ price range. There are lots of free classics available too. Good incentive to read the classics. Also, I got my dad to register at his library where he lives (he’s not much of a reader) and I use his account there and my library account where I live to have a pretty decent access to free library books(the two different library systems don’t necessarily purchase licenses to the same books). I also chose to pay for the amazon prime account to have access to their lending library (basically 1 free book a month from a limited selection) and tons of videos on demand which play nicely on the Kindle or you

  4. oops, hit the wrong button. I still get tons of books the old fashioned way (library) if they aren’t available at my library in e-format, and they’re too expensive to buy. Since I read 3 or 4 books at a time anyway, I usually read the paper books at home, and kindle books when I’m on the go.

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