Which would you rather review – paperbacks or ebooks?

blog guys I was having a very interesting conversation today with one of our blog hosts, Farrah Kennedy of The Book Faery Reviews, over the subject of reviewing ebooks over paperbacks.  Here’s the question she posed to me:

“Are authors more apt to provide an e-book vs a paper copy of their books? Depending on the book I’d like to start getting ebook format for my Nook Color if possible. I’d rather save the paper version for a REALLY good book and/or for a giveaway. Your thoughts?”

I told Farrah that it was a really interesting question as I just had one of my upcoming authors ask me if I could concentrate on the ebook version as opposed to the paperback simply to cut back costs.  I told the author I would try but if the reviewer was given the option, I was pretty sure they would choose the paperback over the ebook.  Or would they?

This past Christmas, Amazon saw a remarkable rise of sales for Kindle readers.  My daughter bought me one and I know you know of someone who received one last Christmas yourself.  Now Nook has a color version out and if I had my druthers, I’d certainly want to read in color.

So is this changing the mindset of reviewers?  If you were to review a book you wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy on your own but you wouldn’t mind reviewing it for the author and the PR people, and you were the owner of your own e-reading device and loving it, would you choose the ebook over the paperback?

I would love to get reviewers’ input on this.  What would you rather review – ebook or paperback and why?  If you don’t have time to comment, could you please vote in the poll or both?


26 Responses to “Which would you rather review – paperbacks or ebooks?”

  1. I of course would prefer the ebook first. 🙂

  2. Rebecca says:

    It makes no difference to me whether I read a paperback or an e-book. The only reason I would review in paperback is if it were an author’s book that I could pass on to my mom so that she can enjoy the book.

  3. Patty says:

    I asked for an e-reader for Christmas to make reviewing easier…

  4. Jaime says:

    For me, it depends on the book. If it’s someone I haven’t encountered before and the book sounds interesting – ebook. If I really like the author/series, then paperback all the way.

  5. Dorothy Thompson says:

    Thanks for the comment, Farrah! It’s really interesting the way books and reviewing has changed from even a year ago, isn’t it?

  6. Dorothy Thompson says:

    That’s what I was thinking, Rebecca…it’s gotten to the point where I’m running out of room with paperbacks anyway!

  7. Dorothy Thompson says:

    Thanks for your comment, Patty! Did you get the e-reader for Christmas? Which one?

  8. Dorothy Thompson says:

    Good point, Jaime. I was telling Farrah that it would all depend on the book. If it was for a book I was offering to review, I would probably go for ebook. If it was a book I was particularly fond of and wanted to keep it as a keepsake, I’d go for the paperback. I remember emailing an author asking for the ebook version because I knew I’d be carrying my Kindle around and would love to have something new to read in it.

  9. I have no way to read an ebook so I prefer a paperback myself. To me part of reading is the actual book itself… the cover… the feel of it.

  10. Margay says:

    I usually prefer the paperback myself. I’m pretty new to the e-reader and I find I have a few issues trying to get my ebooks on my reader if they are not direct downloads from Barnes and Noble itself. Very frustrating.

  11. Michelle V says:

    I love both. When I get a signed copy, those are really special to me, and those are on my bookshelves at home and they don’t go anywhere! I get a lot of signed copies by doing reviews. I also have some good friends who read as much as I do, and I pass along the other books that I get that I don’t keep. I also love the convenience of an ebook. My Kindle is still new to me and I love it. It’s so easy to carry around with me where ever I go and there’s no pile of books to collect dust. I also don’t have to worry about lost books in the mail, which does happen on occasion, or the book not arriving on time for the review. So for me there are pluses and minuses to both.

  12. Jennifer C. says:

    While an e-reader is good, there is NOTHING like the smell and feel of a book…the whole experience, I believe, gives a story a better perspective…the e-reader makes a book, less personal…as well, with a book, you can see that you have 3/4’s of the book read, you can feel it…with an e-reader that aspect is missing. I own a Kobo and an iLiterati but ALWAYS ask for a book before accepting an e-book for review~!!!

  13. If you had posed this question before I received my Kindle, I would have said paperback. At this point, I still prefer paperback, but I will definitely accept an e-Book if the author is looking to save money. Not only does it allow me to save space in my overcrowded bookshelves, I enjoy reading on the Kindle because I can increase the font size to one that is easy for me to read.

  14. good post. Not everyone has a book reader. Myself I have a application for my computer, but I have to set at the computer to read. that is a bummer. So I’d rather have a real book so I can get comfy when I read. If I had a reader I might opt for ebook more compact get rid of books on my shelf and in boxes. I literally have a room stacked from floor to ceiling of boxed books plus we have shelves and I mean shelves of books bulging at the seams. But the readers cost too much for use to afford one on the whim. So I’ll have to go with the old hard copy.

    If I had a reader I’d try the ebook

  15. I think I’d prefer the eBook. I’m really trying to clean up my library & the local library only takes donations at certain times of the year.

  16. For most books, I would say paperback, but like other readers would not preclude myself from a review because it’s in electronic form… my one problem is that I don’t have a kindle or a nook so I have to read on my laptop which limits where and when I can read… I am hoping to get a nook soon, but until then… paperback is way easier.

  17. I much prefer a paperback. I like having a book in hand so I can get a real feel so I can give an objective review.

    Nicole Weaver

  18. Holly says:

    Paperback. I don’t like reading books online (PDF) and while my husband keeps wanting to get me an e-reader, I just don’t see the appeal. Sure, it’s easier than carrying around several books, but I love holding the book in my hand. I love shelves of books and perusing them and finding the perfect one for the moment. I’m still old-fashioned and somewhat of a Luddite!

  19. diane says:

    I want an actual book. I like to hold it in my hands, look at the pics (I do a lot of cookbooks/gardening books and without photos they are BLAH!) and see the cover. I don’t do ebooks.

  20. Tracee says:

    Nothing will ever replace the feel of a book in my hands, but I must admit I love my Nook more than I thought I would and read as many books on their as I do regular books. I will always take a “real” book over an ebook but I don’t have any problem reading on my Nook. It sure is interesting how things keep changing.

  21. Mayra says:

    I have an ipad and definitely prefer ebooks because I can make the font as large as I want.

  22. Carissa says:

    When it comes to this issue, I like to remain flexible. Ebook or Print copy–it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just thankful to be given the chance to review an authors work.

  23. For reviewing I still prefer the tried-and-true physical version. Having said that, I completely understand the desire to reduce costs where possible. I suppose it would depend on the book. I have a Kindle, but find I use it more for either revisiting classics or reading non-fiction. Hard for me to get into fiction on the Kindle.

    I sound like such an old man. Get off my lawn you #$%$&*@! kids!” ;^)

  24. Lindsay says:

    Either or works for me, now that I have my Kindle. But a small part of me says paperback just because nothing beats the excitement of the actual book. But it’s still an either or for me.

  25. Mark Lewis says:

    How to evict adult child with mental problems or maybe psychiatrist can help?

  26. Meagan says:

    I prefer paperback. I have 2 ereaders (Kindle & Sony Pocket Reader). But there is nothing more annoying than having a reader turn off for no reason or have a page freeze when trying to turn the page. I’ve also had instances where the reader is turned off by me BUT the place I stopped reading is not saved (it goes back to the previous session).
    I personally would choice a hard copy of any book over an ebook any day of the week.

    Not to mention screen reading gives me a headache – all electronic devices emit a slight vibrating sound that gets to me after awhile.

    I can honestly say digital only review books can actually make me turn down a review opportunity. (PDF versions can be printed out but there is a cost involved on my end).

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