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November 4, 2011
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Welcome to Michael’s Corner

This is where I will post occasional book reviews and tips on buying books. Your comments are always welcome.

- Michael Bearden, Owner, Petaluma Paperbacks

 

E-Books & Readers

November 4, 2011
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One of the questions I get asked on just about any day now is “Are books being replaced by Kindle (and other electronic reading devices)?”   Now, in the interest of full disclosure here, I have to say that I have not done much reading on any of these devices, only having had one opportunity to read a complete book on a Kindle; I’ll talk about my experience in the sections about the devices.

My previous electronic reading was trying to read full manuscripts on the computer, and I always found myself tiring after a relatively short period of reading, even if the writing and subjects were good and interesting; this contrasts with my having no problem reading 6 hours at a stretch, pausing only to pick up a new book when I finish the current read.  My one experience showed me that the new Kindle screen is much easier on the eyes than a monitor screen, and that some of the issues like turning pages is smoother, but I definitely had a problem being able to skim and sample pages, or go back to check something from earlier in the book like I do often while reading.

The most important negative factor that I hear from customers is the most basic consideration, PRICE.  I hear variations on this: “The biggest gripe I have is that the Kindle can become a very expensive little habit if one reads a lot of books purchased from Amazon. Really, at $9+ a pop, it can get pretty expensive in a short while. Given that the publishing, warehousing, storage, etc. of these books must be many times less expensive than hardback or paperback editions, it seems that the books should cost a fraction of the current retail prices.”

Since our bookstore has the lowest cost for books for our customers as its first aim in our business model, starting out by buying a Kindle which costs $80 to $200 before you buy your first book seems to me like a big jump to make.  Then, I look at a sample book, “The Affair” by Lee Child, which costs $9.99 on Kindle.  We sell the paperback for $5, and if the customer has book credit, it cuts the cost to $1.50 + tax…oh, and the customer gets $2.50 in credit when they bring the book back.  Multiply this by the 10 to 20 books our average customer purchases on a visit with us, and the difference really stands out in stark contrast. However, it is also possible in many areas now, to download recent books at local libraries, which I think is great!

Other positives and negatives from customers are:  Most positive #1=convenience for travel; #2=being able to change the font size.

Other negatives include #2=fear of losing or damaging it; #3=they miss the feel of a book’ #4=eyes tire sooner more for many than they do with books; #4=difficulties with losing their place, or trying to go back and check something.

I certainly can see some great uses and times for an electronic reader, purchasing books for a trip for example, where it simplifies and lightens packing, but I am still a long way from seeing it work for me as a constant reader.

I would definitely like to hear and read your experience and opinions on electronic reading devices. Please send them to Save@PetalumaPaperbacks.com

We’ve Moved

November 4, 2011
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Petaluma Paperbacks Has Moved!

From the eastside to the westside of Petaluma

You’ll find us at

800 Petaluma Blvd. South Suite D
Petaluma, California 94952

MAP
at K St, in the back of the building, formerly Bare Woods

(707) 776-0893

new location of Petaluma Paperbacks

We’re Open

Tuesday - Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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