Writing in General

To e Or Not To e

No, there’s no typo in the heading. This is about electronic readers, which are all the rage. My sister-in-law , an avid reader of Christian fiction, recently bought one and loves it. I don’t have one yet, but they intrigue me as I can see a number of advantages to the Kindles and Nooks and other brands. I also see disadvantages, which make me pause. I’ve made a list below. Maybe you can come up with others.


  • You can download a book at any hour instead of making a trip to the bookstore. (And in these days of high gas prices, that is a true advantage.)
  • You don’t have to find a place to store the piles of books you’ve purchased. They’re all right there on a flat little machine.
  • You can highlight and make notes without feeling like you’re desecrating the pages of a print book.
  • Many books can be read for little or no money.
  • You can take it just about anywhere. It’s always at your fingertips. Rather than packing two or three books in your luggage to take on vacation, you can slide the e-reader into a large purse or tote.


  • I think I’d miss browsing that brick and mortar bookstore, roaming the aisles and seeing the displays, checking out the various section titles—yeah, I find that interesting.
  • While finding a place to store a new book can become difficult, I love glancing at my bookcases and seeing the colorful spines all lined up in alphabetical order by author. (Yipes. Is that a pride thing?) 
  • I may not choose to write on and mess up a printed page, but I appreciate the feel of the paper and seeing the covers, running my hand over embossed titles. It’s almost like the difference between seeing a stage play and watching a movie.
  • I find a number of recent books on the clearance racks of the big bookstores—sorry fellow authors—and in outlet stores. Then, there are libraries. I’m fortunate in that mine has a large selection of Christian fiction. Still, if I want to read a certain book by a certain time, odds are I’ll have to buy it at full price.
  • It’s one more device that needs to be recharged.
  • I could lose it anywhere. If I lose a book, I’m not out much money. If I lost an e-reader…

What Say You?

Do you own an e-reader? Do you refuse to own one? Are you concerned that print books will go the way of the long-play record album? What other advantages or disadvantages do you know of? Is there anything you would like to suggest to e-reader manufacturers?

I have received no compensation for this post and have no material connection  with any product(s) mentioned.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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  • Heidi Chiavaroli

    Funny you posted about this, Sandy, because I was just asking Nicole about her reader. I’m going to purchase one in the very near future. I’ll never give up paper books, but I think an e-reader will be very handy!

    • Sandra Ardoin

      As I said, my sister-in-law loves her Kindle. She reads several books a week and she’s one of those, bless her, who buys, which is the reason she got it to begin with. She was running out room for her books. 🙂

      • Mary A. Young Robinson

        I went to a Writer’s Conference in February in Boise. The Agent speaking and others are already proceeding to address the E-Book dilemma . But what I also HEARD, was that there are companies working steadily to update what is out there and with all kinds of new graphics, etc. I think I will hold out for another year or so, and get a more compete unit and a lower price……remember when VCR/CD players cost a lot more???? Enjoyed your site….marywrties.vpweb.com and realandunreal@blogspot.com .

  • Nicole Miller

    Of course I have to chime in! 🙂

    I concur with all your list above and want to add this: it isn’t all-or-nothing!

    I’ve had my Kindle since Christmas and have more than 120 books on it now (100 of which I didn’t pay a cent for) and while I spend a lot of time on it, the bulk of my reading is still done with traditional paperbacks/hardbacks. I still go to the library and rent books and I still plague the bookstores and clearance racks.

    I’ve found the Kindle invaluable for research – it is instant to download a book and many of the kindle prices on older books are cheaper than used prices + shipping.

    As far as library books for e-readers go, the Nook has the ability to connect with a lot of library e-book programs (the Kindle doesn’t – main drawback, I say). So you really get the best of both worlds!

    I also don’t ever see print books disappearing entirely. If you look at the music scene – CDs are still selling strong in this world of digital music and iTunes. That says something – and I think people are just as passionate about the “feel” of books as they are about CDs.

    Sorry, I rambled a bit! This is a great issue to discuss and follow. Great post, Sandy!

    • Sandra Ardoin

      Good points, Nicole. I’ve also thought it would be great for downloading research books. From what I’ve read, I can’t figure out which I’d want, the Kindle or Nook. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. I’ve heard of some people who have both.

      And you didn’t ramble. 🙂

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