Uncommon Sense

December 4, 2022

I Love eBooks!

Filed under: Art — Steve Ruis @ 8:19 am
Tags: , , ,

I have spent a good part of my life hunting books. Some took years to find, others took weeks or months. Back when there were small bookstores, actually now bookstores of any kind, I almost couldn’t drive past one; I had to stop for a quick browse. One set I collected over many, many years was the Andrew Lang “Fairly Books” that were differentiated by color, e.g. the Yellow Fairy Book, the Green Fairy Book, etc. These books were collections of fairy tales from various countries, and these were the non-Disneyfied versions so I found more than a few shocking.

There is a scholarly opinion that these tales were written to prepare children for the greater world around them, so scaring the Hell out of them was appropriate.

In any case, I just got all nine volumes, which I think that is the whole kit and caboodle, in two sets for . . . wait for it . . . less than $5, total. I gleefully paid $5 for a single volume at a Friends of the Library sale, often more.

Now eBooks do not have all of the feels and smells of physical books, but they also don’t have the weight or require the book shelf space as those paper books, either. And I do miss cruising around in bookstores. But. . . .

I am oh, so happy!

Postscript I have been lightening the load over the past years (so my son won’t need a dump truck when I die) and have given away many, many books (and more, but books are what I had most of). This is why I no longer had the hard copies of those books. And, if a book is cheap enough, I will buy it and donate my hard copy to the Friends of the Library or other good steward.



  1. I soooo relate. First in finding the books, browsing through old book stores, hunting down that particular one, treasuring it, the smell, the comfort of having it in your hands while you’re squirreled away in a corner, reading. Love it! But, also in the letting go of the books (and countless other things) as you get older. Some books I still keep. I’m having a hard time letting go of my first edition copy of In Cold Blood and a few others. But I will eventually give them to my kids. It’s a process, isn’t it? It’s nice to know I’m not alone in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ziggyseamstress — December 4, 2022 @ 9:00 am | Reply

    • The process includes your kids saying “No, I don’t want that.” :o) I just gave away a treasure trove of old books to our local library including quite a collection of the old Tom Swift books (racist as hell, but we all were then).

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 4, 2022 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

      • It does indeed sometimes include that, in which case, yes…. the library. 🙂


        Comment by ziggyseamstress — December 4, 2022 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  2. 😳 Lucky you! I would love to find these books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Colleen M. Chesebro — December 4, 2022 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  3. I switched completely to ebooks years ago. I rarely buy a physical book anymore, and usually only if I really want to read it and it’s just not available on ebook. I love being able to do a search, immediately find something, and be reading it seconds later.

    I do miss the experience of looking through a bookstore and finding those old rare books. Or just discovering something new while going through the shelves, along with the smell of paper and everything else. (Mingled with the smell of coffee in later years.) But that whole experience was relative to what was available at the time. I went to a bookstore a few times after switching to ebooks, but the magic was gone. Like Saturday morning cartoons, somethings you just can’t go back to.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by SelfAwarePatterns — December 4, 2022 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  4. We are in 100% agreement. Mostly my memories of bookstores are what I have as I, too, rarely go into them. I remember when I was in junior college I used to ask family for money to buy books, in lieu of birthday presents. Then I would drive down to Kepler Books in Palo Alto and buy SF/F books and science reprints by a company I cannot remember the name of, except they republished older science books as inexpensive PBs.


    Comment by Steve Ruis — December 4, 2022 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  5. I haven’t surrendered to e-books yet. But I probably will soon. I buy a lot of books from Abe Books & Thriftbooks. I have a personal library of some 1200 books. I too, love fairy tale books, & have many of the Lang books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by silverapplequeen — December 4, 2022 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

    • When we moved to Chicago, we went to Ikea and loaded up on Billy bookcases (I think we have 14 now). Back then, we assembled the cases and then unpacked books, and unpacked books, and unpacked books . . . and had 25 banker’s boxes of books left over. We called in a buyer of used books and he left with several cubic yards of books, and I got $400 and CJ $100. We have since given away more and more books to the point where we now have some empty spots on those bookshelves (not all of which are used for books any more). I am sure we still have over 1000 . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 5, 2022 @ 9:32 am | Reply

      • Who do you give your books to? Family? Friends? Yard Sales? Strangers? Online sources?


        Comment by Nan — December 5, 2022 @ 11:11 am | Reply

        • Friends, local libraries for their fundraising book sales, there is a library in our condo that accepts donations, I even found a local charity that accepted book donations to provide books for underserved communities. Living in a big city has advantages.


          Comment by Steve Ruis — December 5, 2022 @ 11:26 am | Reply

          • When we moved to our present location, I gave a bunch of books to the local university for their library. However, most of the books I currently have are related to the research I did for my own book and unfortunately, the topic is not highly sought-after! (And since my kids lean Christian, they’ll probably build a bonfire after I’m gone!)

            We do have a (small) local library so maybe I’ll check with them one of these days. I don’t have many high hopes, however.

            Liked by 2 people

            Comment by Nan — December 5, 2022 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  6. Oh, my yes. Ebooks revolutionized things for me. Until ebooks came along I’d almost stopped buying books entirely because I didn’t have room for them any more. I still need to get into the attic and sort through the dozens of boxes of books tucked away up there and start getting rid of some. Ebooks meant I could feed my reading addiction without accumulating more stuff that would have to be dealt with later.

    Same with newspapers and magazines. I still get two paper copy newspapers, both weekly local papers. I get two technical magazines in paper. But everything else is electronic; two newspapers and magazines both. Even my old comic book and magazine collection going back to about 1898 is mostly in PDF, CBR or CBZ format these days, which is a good thing because trying to find paper copies of some of the stuff I have is darned near impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — December 4, 2022 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

    • Now if only my eBook reader (Kindle App) had a better way to organize the books I have on the tablet. I can sort by title or author and can look at those downloaded or “all” of the books I have purchased. No structure at all. No folders for nonfiction and fiction or SF/F or Philosophy, no way to organize books as one would on a bookshelf even. Argh!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 5, 2022 @ 9:27 am | Reply

      • Oh, poop, clicked the wrong button and lost my reply. Oh, well. I know what you mean about the lack of organization. I have a Kindle Oasis (amazing gadget, btw, but overpriced) and that’s a bit better. I can organize books into groups and things like that but that would require actual work on my part so I don’t bother.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — December 5, 2022 @ 10:47 pm | Reply

        • They may be keeping the various apps underfeatured to encourage sales of the Kindle devices . . . oh, if you want those features, just buy a kindle device! (It is always “just” somehow.)

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — December 6, 2022 @ 9:02 am | Reply

          • That could be. I wonder if Amazon actually makes money on the Kindle reader, though. I know they don’t make money on the Echo devices. They’re selling those at or even below the cost of production and it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case for their e-readers as well. Where they make their profit is from book sales. Let’s face it, e-books are insanely overpriced, often selling for almost as much as the paper copies. The biggest expense with publishing a book is the cost of paper, printing costs, warehousing, distribution costs, etc. The only real expense for the publisher of an e-book is advertising and promotions, and the few cents per copy that the author gets. The cost of production and distribution of an e-book, when averaged out over all sales, probably comes to just a few cents.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by grouchyfarmer — December 6, 2022 @ 10:10 am | Reply

            • Re “Let’s face it, e-books are insanely overpriced . . . ” Not the ones we publish. All are sold at substantial discounts over the paperback versions. And, I admit to being cheap. The majority of books I have “bought” are free, $0.99, $1.99, or $2.99. On very rare occasions I will buy one of the more expensive books, but only on rare occasions. I just bough a number of multivolume series for $.99. (“Cheap, you are.” Shut up, Yoda!)

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Steve Ruis — December 6, 2022 @ 10:35 am | Reply

              • What is/are your source(s) for these great prices?

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Nan — December 6, 2022 @ 10:50 am | Reply

                • Bookbub.com I get offers daily! (You can customize your “feed” as to genres, etc. Great service! Each book has links to online retailers.)


                  Comment by Steve Ruis — December 6, 2022 @ 10:53 am | Reply

                  • Ahhh yes. I think I was signed up with them for awhile … but the regular flow of emails got to be overwhelming since I don’t spend THAT much time reading (books) anymore. Most of my reading time is relegated to blogs and/or online sources of interesting articles/news. (I also enjoy playing computer games when all else is done. 😛)

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Comment by Nan — December 6, 2022 @ 11:00 am | Reply

                • Nan, if you scrounge around the Kindle store on Amazon you can find all sorts of deals. Lots of completely free stuff or that cost less than a couple of bucks.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by grouchyfarmer — December 6, 2022 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

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