Crowdsourcing a Personal Question

November 12th, 2011 at 8:58 am David Frum | 88 Comments |

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I’ve finished work on a novel about Washington in the time of the Tea Party. With a view to publishing during primary season, I’m weighing e-publishing as opposed to a paper book.

I’m curious to know how many FrumForum readers use e-readers–and in particular, whether you use them only for short-form media or whether you’d ever use them to read a whole book?

Write your comments below, or email them to editor[at]

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88 Comments so far ↓

  • jonguti86

    I do love reading books on my iPad and would download the book

  • countrycache

    I use the black and white Nook (second edition) from Barnes & Noble. I’ve read complete books, subscribe to the NYTimes and buy a magazine periodically. I live in a rural area, which means that eBooks are a godsend for me. I would definitely prefer reading your entire book on my Nook!

  • findingnimo

    If it is hardbound, I prefer paper. Don’t forget those pine trees were producing oxygen prior to becoming books. If it is not hardbound, newspaper or magazine content, I exclusively use electronic media, computer or iPad. I like collecting physical books and keeping them on shelves, or more often piles, because I just feel smarter when I look at them heaped up like that.

    • anniemargret

      Everyone feels a bit smarter just walking into a musty old beautiful library. Nothing like it in the world.

  • chephren

    Not an e-reader user as yet. I’m still with printed books, and I get most of mine from the library.

    • anniemargret

      heh. me, too. Although even though I am around books all day as a librarian, I still buy books, usually gently used.

      eBooks are useful, but haven’t the warmth of a real book covered in leather or embossed, with great illustrations and photos. There is a still a place for the good old book that has brought so much happiness and pleasure to millions over the centuries. I think it will be sad day when it goes the way of the dodo, but I think that scenario is still decades away.

      • chephren

        I hope you’re right, but I suspect paper books will carry on for a while, then suddenly be replaced en masse by the digitized variety.

        It’s already happening with newspapers and magazines. Textbooks are next – most coursebooks now come with extensive online supplements and study guides. Tablet computers make downloaded texts all but inevitable. If you’re a textbook publisher, why incur the cost of printing new editions every 2-3 years when you can just put the revisions on a server and make more profit?

        Young people will soon come to regard books as they do audio CDs. Book sales will decline to the point where the cost of printing and shipping no longer makes sense.

  • jorae

    I have never seen a topic stay on the top of the Form … until now…

    Why is money and how to get yours so important to the republican mind….

    This entire post from Frume is CHA CHING…CHA CHING…makes me sick!

  • jorae

    Which method works best to pull money from your pocket?

    Only a republican would think of going directly to the pocket book for answers … to get your money to be their money.

  • Papa

    I have read over a hundred books on various e-formats in the last six or eight years. Probably read 8-10 e-books for every paper book. It’s so much more convenient, cheaper, and I can carry several books when I travel with no additional weight. For a 50+ year old frequent flyer, that is a major plus.

  • Stephen B

    I read e-books as well as paper. They’re great, highly convenient. However i think an e-book-only publication might be taken less seriously. The novels that get attention in the press seem to be the traditionally published ones. On the other hand, if you want to get a topical book out in a hurry, and don’t mind that it might be more likely to be treated as ephemeral because of the mode of publication, e-book-only might be the way to go.


    Mr. Frum:
    I don’t have an e-reader and I don’t think my finances will afford one in the not too distant future. So having said that, I get my books on dead tree.

    Going the e-publishing route seemed to have worked pretty well for Arnold Kling whose latest work started out in the e-publishing world but then moved to the dead tree publishing world. You may want to try the same trick yourself. Either way, I wish you well in your endeavor.