Digital books vs. Physical books


I recently ran across an article in the Wall Street Journal discussing digital and physical book sales. This has been a much discussed topic with me and my loved ones in the past couple years. I am one of those people who love the feel of a physical book- the touch, the smell, being able to turn the pages, everything. I also am a devoted fan of libraries and cringe to think what would happen to my beloved libraries if e-books were to take precedence over physical books. My family has discussed purchasing a kindle for me since I love reading so much and I am vehemently opposed to this. I included a photo above of some of the pros and cons of e-books vs. real books. I’m not stupid, obviously I realize there are some definite benefits to e-books. Especially at 2am when you’re arm just can’t physically hold up your book any longer. But there is something so special to me about holding a book in my hand, there’s a connection that you just can’t feel with an electronic copy I think.

The Wall Street Journal article reveals that physical books are now proving to be holding their own in sales longer than anyone expected. One reason listed was that most people use their electronic devices to play games or watch movies. Even if those devices are specifically purchased for e-book reading they don’t end up being used for that very much. I know this is not always the case but I’m sure it does happen. Also, one person quoted in the article says that people read to get away from electronic devices. I agree with that wholeheartedly, I think this is one of the reason’s I love reading physical books- I can escape from reality. Its not much of an escape though if you’re battery starts running low (score for real books!)

Another thing I found interesting about the Wall Street Journal article was something I actually found in the comments. Someone left a comment that in France the e-book costs the same as the physical book. They did this to “keep their book-loving culture intact.” I did a little research and found another article that confirmed book discounting has been banned in France. Even further than just e-books, France regulates the prices of books so that a book in a small bookshop will cost you the same as a book from a “high-street giant.” This has allowed independent book stores to survive amid all the discount sellers.

While I was doing some reading on the e-book vs. real book debate I came across a study that was done recently. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project conducted an in-depth survey of people ages 16 and up on their reading habits. It was really a quite interesting article (the link to the article and the study’s findings is below) detailing various kinds of topics, such as reasons for reading, book readers by age, and library use in the past year among many other things. Some of the facts I found interesting from this article included:

  • 83% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year
  • 60% of Americans under age 30 used the library in the past year
  • About half (48%) of readers said they had purchased their most recently read book, 24% said they had borrowed it from a friend or family member, and 14% said they borrowed it from a library (see chart below)
  • Almost half (45%) of high schoolers—and 37% of college-aged adults—say that the library is not important or “not too important” to them and their family

Below is a chart that I found particularly interesting which shows the format of books read by people ages 16 and up in the past 12 months:

05-book-sourcesLet me know your thoughts!


Link to the Wall Street Journal article:

Link to article on France’s book pricing policies:

Link to article on America’s reading habits:

2014 – Book #43


The forty-third book I read in 2014 was The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie. I finished this book on 5/26/14. This is the sixth book in the Highland Pleasures (Mackenzie) series by this author. I have read the previous five books but all previously to 2014 so none are featured in this blog. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Daniel Mackenzie, the son of Cameron Mackenzie from the third book in the series, and Violet Bastien, one of the most famous spiritual mediums in England.

Daniel ends up at one of Violet’s reading performances and finds himself enchanted by this strong woman, even if she is fooling all her “clients.” And when Daniel finds all the mechanics inside the walls that Violet uses to make her clients believe in her spiritual abilities, he knows that she is just the person to help him finish his motor car. Violet’s wind machine could be just what Daniel needs to cool down the motor as it runs.

Violet has a traumatic past though and, unaware of Violet’s issues, Daniel pursues her in a romantic way and promptly gets smashed over the head with a vase for his troubles. Thinking him dead, Violet runs to France to start over and hopefully outrun the law when Daniel presses charges. When Daniel wakes up though, he has no interest in pressing charges and every interest in finding the person who engineered the wind machine. Using the help of his uncle Ian, Daniel tracks Violet down to Marseilles where he finds her up to her old tricks.

After Daniel learns of Violet’s past though he realizes that there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, the biggest being Violet’s damaged psyche. With the help of his family though he is able to make Violet see how special she is to him. Overall I thought this was a very nice story, I loved seeing Daniel in his own story as a grown up after first being introduced to him during his Father’s story.

Link to author website:

Link to Amazon: