eRead or Not eRead?

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Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 10:54 pm

Andrea MacFarlane’s fourth installment in a series of five, focusing on an area she knows better than most—books.

You can check the full series out here:

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad


As the book industry goes through changes many people will embrace the new while others dig in their heels and cling to what already works. Books are no exception to this.

The hardcopy version of any book, mass, trade or hardcover, holds great value to some and very little to others. Some book lovers will only buy hardcopy versions of their books of choice because they understand that the binding on such a book will last longer than one that isn’t hardbound. They prefer the heftier weight of the book in their hands as opposed to their smaller, cost-conscious counterparts.

Trade size is the ugly medium between mass market and hardcovers. The middle child that gets ignored except when it’s got no competition from its siblings. What some publishers have taken to doing is giving the trade size a unique look, hedging the pages on the outside to give it that old world binding feel. This appeals to some bookies on a purely asthetic value. It doesn’t make a page any easier to turn.

Mass market tends to be the one size that’s most convenient for a lot of people. Whether it be for the reduced cost in comparison to a hardcover and trade, or its smaller size affording easier portability. It’s got that favourite cousin appeal. You love them when you’re with them, you catch up, you have a great time, but you aren’t too concerned if there’s a page curl here or a bend in the cover. It didn’t cost that much anyways right?

Now that eReading has been introduced as a growing market for quite some time, you may have noticed the split between the haves, the wants and the will nots.

The haves are people that have seen the light as it were. They understand that adapting to eReaders means saving space, time and money. You don’t need a hundred bookshelves, you don’t have to waste time trying to get to the bookstore, and you save almost half the cost of what it would take to get the book in-store anyways. Bully for you!

The wants are those people who are either financially unable to purchase an eReader or those that feel they are technology illiterate enough that they won’t even bother testing one out. To you I say, without trial there is no error. For those unable to purchase one because of cost, patience is a virtue. Save a couple bucks here and there, ask for money (of a giftcard to Chapters/Indigo if you want a Kobo) for your birthday or Christmas. There’s also refurbished eReaders available through Best Buy right now for about $65-$70. It’s cheaper to buy all the books you love in the eBook format and in the long run, better to save now and profit later.

The will nots are self-explanatory. They will not switch. It’s almost blasphemous to even consider giving up something as tangible as a book for an electronic equivalent. The feel of a book makes it more profound in some way.

My opinion on the matter is double-sided. I’m of a want/will not nature of the beast. I want one, can’t afford one right now, but I also LOVE curling up with a musty old books or cracking open the pages of a fresh copy of a new read. So I consider a compromise of sorts. Get an eReader, buy the eBooks and if I enjoyed it to the point that I know I’ll read it again, get the physical copy.

Because really, once you’ve read a book and you know you’ll never read it again for one reason or another, doesn’t it feel much the same as if you went to see a movie that didn’t turn out to be as you expected it to be and you wanted your money back?



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