SURVEY SAYS: Are You an E-Reader?

June 10, 2010 ( - With the Memorial Day holiday behind us, and summer beckoning, many readers are looking ahead to some summer reading. 

This week I asked readers if they would be doing any of that summer reading on an e-book reader – and, if so, which one(s)?

Well, first off – make no mistake – this week’s respondents are clearly electronic readers when it comes to the NewsDash – but books appear to be a whole different matter.  A full three-quarters (74.7%) are not using an e-reader at present – and, based on the comments – not likely to embrace that approach any time soon.

Of the remaining respondents, nearly one-in-five (19.5%) said they would be doing their summer reading on some kind of an e-reader, while 1.1% said they “probably” would, and the remaining 4.6% weren’t sure.

As which e-readers were in use, the Kindle 2 was the most popular, followed by the Barnes & Noble Nook, and in third place was the Sony Reader Touch.  Fourth place – for the moment, anyway – went to the iPad.     

The verbatims this week were of two distinctive camps;   


There were those who had (and loved) their e-readers

Love having my library with me whenever I want to relax with a good book.  I can change books to suit my mood and never lose my place.

I bought a Kindle the first day it came out two years ago and have over 300 books on it now.  Never go anywhere without it.

I just bought an ipad last week and am already in love.  I have the standard ipad e-reader as well as the Barnes & Noble and Kindle e-reader apps so I can buy e-books from just about anywhere.

old one for that matter.

My biggest problem with my Kindle is that I keep reaching for the upper right hand corner to turn the page - otherwise, I love it!

I thought I would miss the paper book (have been reading for over 50 years and kept a personal library) but actually very quickly became accustomed to using the reader.  Now I enjoy the convenience and speed of downloading books, and am reassured that I still have my "library" on the internet ---- and can even print out one of my books if I have the desire to use up a ream of paper and lots of ink...

The Nook is incredible!  It seems to have more open architecture than most models, allowing you to use free books downloaded from the library, etc.


And, of course, those who – didn’t:

"I pick up lots of new authors to read at used books sales and garage sales.  That way I can try new authors for a cheap price and if I don't like them I haven't spent a lot.

I spend all day at work looking at a monitor.  I have zero interest in using another screen to read for pleasure.

What is the point of an e-book reader? Can't I just bring the book? It's not like you save space or anything--you have to carry either the reader or the book.  Plus, I've heard downloading books are more expensive than buying books.

Call me old-fashioned, but I PREFER a hard-copy book which I can add to my library and peruse at my leisure.

I am too old to get used to reading e-books.  I like real books, I am never without one.

I spend more than enough time at work facing a screen; give me the printed page.

I don't want another electronic thing.  I'm maxed out!  It's so nice to pick up a book, my place marked with a post-it note and read.  No batteries, recharging, or special care - just pure enjoyment!

I'm old fashioned (& old) and prefer to turn pages in a real book. Heck, I even read a newspaper every day!

I love physical books. Once I've read one, I like seeing it on the shelf and remembering what it was about, looking at marked passages later, lending ones I loved to other people (without two week limits to get them back!) Sure, there are advantages to e-readers, but so many things are lost that I cherish. The only time I think about owning one seriously is when I am packing for a trip and have to put quite a few books in the luggage. But recently on a flight, I noticed my e-book reading companion closed his device during takeoff and landing, a limitation I didn't have to worry about...

After being out of work for 15 months and just last month being able to procure a job in my field (and it is only part time, unfortunately), I hardly have the spare change to plunk down on an e-book reader. Two years ago I would have done it. Signs of the times, folks.

I spend 8-10 hours a workday staring at a computer screen and another couple while home at night.  It is refreshing to be able to put my nose in a real book, actually physically turn the pages and get away from the world of high-tech for a little while in the evening.

I'm not ready for an e-book reader.  I'd be different if I flew a lot, or when I used to be on the train two hours a day.  I need a book that can handle pool and ocean water!  AND I want more time for fictional/leisure reading!


Oh, yeah – there were a lot more comments from those who didn’t like e-readers:

I like the feel of a book in my hands.  However, as I age, I may have to resort to an e-book so I can easily adjust the font.

I prefer to hold a hard cover book in my hand and physically turn the pages, touching a screen is not nearly as satisfying.

Books are meant to be printed on paper and held in one's hand -- except, perhaps, for the National Geographic World Atlas which requires a forklift.  There's nothing like the smell of a new book, or even an

Part of the pleasure of reading is the physical book; the binding, the paper, the weight of the book, turning the pages, etc.  Electronic stuff just doesn't cut it!

I'm an old fogey - a book is more than the words on the page, tangible factors - such as the feel of the page, the smell of the glue, how you change your posture to accomodate the read - enrich the experience and enjoyment for me.

When I'm reading for enjoyment, I want to be able to curl up in an armchair near a window or sit on a picnic blanket as I recline against a tree with a book that I can lose myself in.  You don't get that same feeling of enjoyment looking at a PC screen - especially when you've been on your computer for work most of your day.


Some of my favorite comments were:

Wow - I didn't realize there were that many ebook readers!

"I love the whole idea of the ebook.  Let me pay $200 or $300, or $400 for a little electronic device...and then I have to buy ebooks for it as well.  I get my books for FREE from a place called the LIBRARY.  It's a REALLY COOL invention.  We've had it for over 200 years thanks to Ben Franklin.  I suggest folks consider using it. 

I think eReaders are kinda cool, but they're the kinda cool I am willing to pay about $50 for at most.  And even then, I still prefer a ""real"" book although clarity has improved greatly.  I tried reading on an iPad because it's backlit (friend loaned me one).  After about five minutes, the weight of the thing bothered me.  It's light, but it's still hard to hold long term."

Don't own one and probably will never own just an e-book reader (but maybe an iPad someday)!

With any luck at all, I will acquire an e-book reader before the end of summer.

No, but I definitely see an e-reader in my future -- as soon as one comes out with a backlight so I can read in bed without disturbing the snoring husband!

Regrettably, I did not get one for Mother's Day as I had hoped.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who (apparently) didn’t yet have an e-reader, but said she’d be using one this summer “Only if I get one as an anniversary gift tonight... =)”.

Keep us posted on that one, ok?

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!