The Gift of Books

Friday, December 23, 2011

Julie Bosman, New York Times reporter who covers the book publishing industry, discusses how e-book sales compare to physical book sales this holiday season - and if giving an e-book has the same impact as giving a physical one. 


Julie Bosman

Comments [19]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I love books. I love touching them. But we writers have to have all kinds of stuff to make our work known. My novel Different Flags is out on Kindle now, something I never thought would happen.Eugenia Renskoff

Dec. 23 2011 02:55 PM

We are multi sensory creatures. A book delivers its message through more than just the sense of sight. Touch, smell, and even sound enter into the reading experience.

Though many books translate well into eBook presentation, some lose their essence in translation.


Dec. 23 2011 11:02 AM
Tatiana from Brooklyn

Many of my friends, and myself included have finally made the transition to either an e-reader or an iPad or Android based reader/media device. We are all avid readers and most of us work in media. Books have a certain deliciousness all their own that will forever be nostalgized. Good friends still receive real books. Especially the kind of books that, lo and behold, are both out of print AND not available electronically. There are many that fall into this camp. Not to mention those beautiful Taschen However, as a matter of practicality, we read too damn much. Our bags are heavy. We travel. Our library, realistically, must travel, too. Printed words on the page will never die; we will continue to deify books until they themselves glow.

Dec. 23 2011 11:01 AM
Kathy from Hoboken

I borrowed a Kindle this summer for vacation and while it was nice not to have my giant bag of books I usually drag with me, I really hated the Kindle. I love books, I love to hold them, turn the pages, go back when I need to, see the page numbers, everything. The Kindle was very disappointing to me. Others have suggested I try the Nook which I will next vacation but I'll take paper over electronics every time.

Dec. 23 2011 10:59 AM
ursonate from boston

i read my kindle books on my android phone. that's the interesting thing is it's not device specific. also i wonder if the phone is beautiful enough, then do you really need the beauty of the physical book?

Dec. 23 2011 10:58 AM
Nicole from NJ

Also, text books in electronic form can't compete in the ability to highlight important details and fold corners, in order to reference back when needed.

Dec. 23 2011 10:57 AM
Edward from NJ

Regarding the emails from Amazon announcing Kindle books, the giver can decide on the time and date of delivery.

Dec. 23 2011 10:55 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

For me, the choice's have complicated book buying. For a recent "no presents please" birthday party, I wanted - as is my practice for this kind of thing - to give a book, in this case the Art of Fielding. But what format? Analog, Ipad, Kindle? I gave him a bottle of wine.

Dec. 23 2011 10:55 AM

Anybody who does research or academic work has also encountered the problem of citing Kindle books. And Amazon does a _hideous_ job of presenting graphics. I've given up on any digital book that has graphs, equations, etc.

Dec. 23 2011 10:55 AM

How does the ebook work for children's books and early readers?


Dec. 23 2011 10:55 AM
Alistair from Inwood

If I give an ebook as a gift I usually give more than one- while I feel ok giving one book if it cost me $30, I feel like a total cheapskate if I only spend $10 on an ebook that gets emailed to someone.

Dec. 23 2011 10:54 AM
Phil from Park slope

Books should come with an e-book addition at the same time. I love reading ebooks, and I love having a nice bookshelf of real books.

Dec. 23 2011 10:53 AM
Gabriela from Brooklyn

Our 11yr old is an avid reader. We got her a kindle last year for Christmas, and were curious to see if she would use the kindle all the time instead of physical books. We are happy to report that, while she uses the Kindle for travel (our original intent), she is still prefers to read from a book when at home or school. And this Christmas, she is getting books and gift cards to book stores, as well as a gift card from Amazon for ebooks. So, from our small in-house test case, both forms are alive and well.

Dec. 23 2011 10:53 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Correction ... you can underline and add notes to E books..... its built into the Kobo software and I use it all the time....

Dec. 23 2011 10:52 AM
Edward from NJ

If someone has an e-reader, it's fine to give them large-format, photo-heavy books, but giving them a novel -- particularly a hardcover novel -- is just a pain in the @ss.

Dec. 23 2011 10:52 AM

I am a huge book freak, and LOVE my books - in fact my library takes up way too much room in our apartment, and now I have a toddler who also has a growing collection thanks to me.

I got my husband a Kindle for xmas because in addition to him not wanting to contribute to the ever-growing library, he is fond of very large historical non-fiction works. I thought the Kindle would provide some relief in this regard - he can enjoy the books without the weight!

Dec. 23 2011 10:52 AM
Joel from Nyack, NY

I got a Kindle two years ago and, for some unexplainable reason, I have been reading more than ever. I also have been reading on my iPad. I did give a Kindle to my wife who also is now reading more.

Dec. 23 2011 10:48 AM
Sarah from LEs

This is the first year I've been impacted by e-books for gift giving. I'm known for giving books I loved this year. I'm at a loss, books are the best gift and an e-book gift cert makes no sense. Where do you sign it?

BTW, my alternative this year was to print hundreds of real photographs from digital and put them in old-fashions photo albums for my friends and family. I have to say it's old school analog but a hit!

Dec. 23 2011 10:47 AM
Brenda from New York City

I am in John Waters' camp on this one. Books are the best gift ever! For creative people on your list, I recommend the Cecil Beaton scrapbook. It is an enormous book, in content and in weight, and is very inspirational. For the fiction lover, King of the Badgers by Philip Hensher, is the best book I read all year.

Dec. 23 2011 08:41 AM

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