Rereading an Ebook

Book CoverI’ve never re-read an ebook before, but holy smoke, I’ve started rereading Instant Attraction and SLURP – I’m sucked right back in.

Which is fine because we had three inches of snow yesterday and the book still makes me want to Google skiing lessons like the dork I am.

[Note: if you won a copy in our contest, those books are on their way to all of you. My friendly neighborhood postage dude, a surly guy who isn’t really friendly now that I think about it, told me that given the storm from yesterday there may be a bit of a delay delivery-wise. Please stand by. Your book arrives soon!]

I know Jane has mentioned to me that she rereads ebooks all the time, while I, with my spatial and crapful memory, will recall where parts of a book’s story are based on where on the page they appeared and whether it was a left or right hand page – impossible to do in an ebook, and hence I didn’t think I’d ever reread one. Oh, boy, was I wrong. Do you reread ebooks? Or do you reach repeatedly for paper books when you want to revisit a favorite plot?

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  1. 1
    Lisa J says:

    I’m a re-reader and it doesn’t matter to me if it is an e-book or from a dead tree.  I don’t buy an e-book if I have the paper version so if I want to revisit the characters it’s back to the e-book.

  2. 2
    Leah says:

    I’m a re-reader…especially now that my ebook addiction might have gotten a little out of control so I am on a budget!!  What can I say, it’s long days at work, and it seems less obvious when I read an ebook that might be mistaken for a work-related pdf file than when I have a book in my lap!!

  3. 3
    ev says:

    Let’s not talk about the ebook addiction, ok? I just got some more. Sad. But I like them when they are cheap, so how can I resist.

    I am sure there will be some I will re-read. My problem is that there are so many books, digital and paper, that i want to read right now that I just don’t have the time. On the other hand, being stuck somewhere with my ereader and not having anything new to read, re-reading won’t be a problem at all. Nor is buying something in digital that I have already read in paper and having it on hand when I want it. :sigh:

  4. 4
    Rebecca says:

    If I like a book in eBook form, I will purchase it in hard copy and re-read it in that form.

    It’s hard and tiring to read a screen – however good it may be. Ink on paper is easier to read for longer periods. Also, I just like the feel of the thing.

  5. 5
    Kerry D. says:

    Damn, the system just ate my reply. Trying again…

    I generally don’t care about format if I want to reread, so would reread ebooks (and have done so). However, I’m finding my older paperbacks harder and harder to read as the print if often small and difficult to read. In that case, I have been known to buy a copy of the ebook and reread that instead.

    I must be getting old, as it is getting harder and harder to read tiny, cramped print on a paper page. In my ideal, dream world, I would only buy hardcovers for keepers, and ebooks as I find both of those easier to read – and when it comes to that need to touch and holdle a paperbook, I prefer a hardcover. I’d only read paperbacks if that was the edition the library had for a book I wanted to read and not buy. Of course, this is an ideal world where money is no object and we all know the real world isn’t like that, especially right now.

  6. 6
    ev says:

    I must be getting old, as it is getting harder and harder to read tiny, cramped print on a paper page.

    I have actually been known to request the large print type in a new book at the library. I am doing that more and more.

    And I love being able to enlarge the print on the ereader.

    I dread going to the eye dr this time.

  7. 7
    hydecat says:

    I’ve only read one ebook so far – Yorkshire by Lynne Connolly – but I have re-read it already. If I like a plot, I’ll re-read it in whichever format I have handy. In fact, that particular ebook is dangerous because it is stored on my work computer, which makes it very accessible.

  8. 8
    West says:

    I re-read e-books all the time. I’ve just learned to make liberal use of the bookmark button, and I create collections on my Sony that are starting to rival the playlists on my iPod (or which there are many, and my friends make fun of me for). I tend to group authors, series, or similar stand alones together, making it easier to find what I’m looking for.

    spamword- nearly 25, as in I have nearly 25 collections on my Sony.

  9. 9
    JoanneL says:

    I bookmark pages in my ereader copies all the time and then leave them there so I can re-read something that I may have forgotten or want to read again.

    Yes. Well. I really forget almost everything I read so, yeah for me, it’s all about the bookmarked pages and my own comments that I write on the e-copy.  I love that write-in-the-book feature the most, I think.

    I really love my paper copies that open right up to certain scenes.

  10. 10
    Dayle says:

    I also have spatial memory when it comes to books, and thus far I’ve read only short stories and novellas as e-books. I also have a bit of a mental block when it comes to paying for e-books. I read stuff for free online all the time, plus it feels like I’m not getting something tangible. Don’t know why I have no problem buying music digitally, though…

    I also tend to read e-books only when I’m in line waiting for something, etc., so reading a whole novel that way would take me forever, and I’d forget what I’d read by the time I got back to it.

  11. 11
    NancyB says:

    Most of my ebooks are comfort books I read first on paper, and I know them so well I can pick them up anytime and start reading at any spot. There’s nothing that would stop me from re-reading a book I first read in digital form, but I’m another one who forgets about the ebook reader (OK, it’s my iPod Touch) when paper books are available, and can take forever to get a first read done.  Then if it wasn’t an A+ read, I’m not likely to come back to it.

  12. 12
    Jennifer says:

    I don’t reread them. Sad but true. I have this habit of flipping through a book when I’m rereading it and going to the good parts, and this isn’t so doable in ebook. And somehow I never reread them in full either.

  13. 13
    Shae says:

    I have all of my ebooks on my bebook (best ebook reader ever, seriously) and I’m a constant rereader. So if I’m between books I might open and read a few pages of my favorite parts.

  14. 14
    Jessica G. says:

    I have too many ebooks on my to read list, I don’t have time to reread anything :(

    I think I’ve only reread Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (in my life).

  15. 15
    SonomaLass says:

    I’m still new to e-books, and only read them in pdf format on my laptop.  Most of those are freebies or books that I can’t get in print for whatever reason.  A while ago, I read the free copy I got from Tor.com of Kage Baker’s In the Garden of Iden; I had read it before in paper, so maybe reading the e-book counts as a re-read?  (I lost the paper copy in the divorce, sigh).  For the most part, the books I like enough to re-read are ones that I already own in print.

    I have nothing against the idea of re-reading an e-book, if I like one well enough to do so.  But I’m another one with the spatial memory thing, and that’s a lot harder for me on a single-page display.

  16. 16

    I am not a rereader in book or ebook. There are too many good books out there that I don’t have time to read (I wish I did). But I do have some keepers on my shelf (just in case I want to reread them in the future).

    I keep a “read” folder in my ebook folder on my laptop. I delete ebooks after I read them if they are OK or terrible. I put good ebooks in my “read” folder. Again, just in case…

  17. 17
    Claudia says:

    I reread a lot of ebooks since most of them—and my audiobooks—are of cherised keepers and other faves. I’m more apt to reread ebooks because my   ipod touch & palm tx are always within arms reach. Their backlights preclude futzing with lamps/booklights and both are easier for my rsi-ed hands to hold and prop up in bed. Both are discreet and make me look like I’m always busy at work :)  When I’m multitasking, either device can be used to play my audible downloads, podio books,  and mp3 tracks saved from my books on cd.

    Otherwise, ebooks are my preferred format for categories and older genre fiction that can often be had for $2 or $3. I’ll be adding some of my favorite Clancys to my e-lib now that they’re availalbe.

  18. 18
    Sally says:

    Whether or not I reread a book depends entirely on how well I like it. E-book, paperback, hardback-the format doesn’t matter at all. 

    Actually, it never even occurred to me that there should be any issue with rereading e-books, so I find the idea of this thread interesting.

  19. 19
    mearias says:

    I re-read a lot.  I read about 2 books a day; sometimes 3.  There aren’t enough new books by my favorite authors, so I’m constantly reading the ones I love.  Sometimes too, if I’ve read a really sucky book, it’s like a palate cleanser.

    One of the many reasons I love my Sony; I always have my favorite books with me.  I’m desperately hoping they digitize all my favorite authors backlists, so I can carry those around as well.

  20. 20
    Saam says:

    Since I reached my limit of number of devices I can install Microsoft eReader on at Christmas with my new computer, I have been vociferously rereading my ebooks.
    Haven’t yet bit the bullet to install a new version – I’ve been wondering if a different ereader would be better in the long run. Anyone got any suggestions for a program for my phone?

  21. 21
    Midknyt says:

    I’ve always been big on rereading, and now that I have ebooks it hasn’t changed a bit.  If anything, one of the appeals of buying a Reader was that I would have the opportunity to keep those books I like to reread with me at all times.  Like right now, I’m rereading my favorite romance novel, for quite literally the fifteenth or so time.  The thing that is funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it) is that I still am staying up too late reading and have to force myself to go to bed, even though I know the story by heart.  If a book is that good, I like being swept up back into it, reliving the details again and again.

  22. 22
    J Davis says:

    For some reason when I read an ebook I go into Data Collection Mode and don’t get the same emotional contact as when I read a paper book. Some part of me remains detached while reading ebooks. I suppose if I could make a keyboard feel like the smooth warm comfort of worn paper then I’d be hooked.

    Maybe the ereaders should try and emulate the feel of paper in the texture of the plastic that you hold?

    So for me, re-reading is pretty much only for paper books. Ahh, my beloved friends. Like the Donovans? I’ve read that series so much I could claim them on my taxes. I tend to use ebooks for trying out a new author or a new genre. Then if I don’t like it then somehow I feel better about it. Perhaps my expectations of paper books are higher.

  23. 23
    Aunt Lynn says:

    I am a notorious re-reader of both formats.  People think I’m crazy for the number of times I re-read books I’ve liked enough to consume again.  Sometimes I’ll go back to comfort reads after I’ve read a string of dreadful stories just to help deal with the disappointment.  Sometimes, if I’ve loved a book that muchly, I’ll even start over as soon as I’ve finished to experience it all again.  And, if it’s a book I’m reviewing, I always read it at least twice to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

  24. 24
    tosca says:

    I very much enjoy re-reading in any format – paper or ebook!  I refuse to buy an ebook if I already have the paper format.  So why do I buy ‘em?  ‘Cause the public library where I work sucks at retrospective buying for series and will sometimes start in the middle without going backwards – D’OH – and, I must admit, I often want to read titles faaaaar racier than they’ll ever buy with covers faaaaar more sexual than you ever see on their shelves and they don’t buy a lot of m/m or even m/f/m :)  I read mostly on the Blackberry (I know, I know it’s so tiny but a book is a book is a book is a book and I’m a book freak who’ll take it any way she can get it) ‘cause I can’t be naffed taking the mac everywhere I go.  Do I re-read anything in particular?  Depends – perhaps something I see will job my memory about a plot or character and I’ll feel like I just gotta/wanna have it right now.  I have over 1500 ebooks so I have a good selection to choose from.  A lot of my colleagues are snobby about the whole ebook thing *sniffs*

  25. 25
    Wendy says:

    I’m an inveterate re-reader, and always have been. If I liked a book the first time, there’s a good chance I’ll re-read it, regardless of format.

    On that subject; thank you so much for the link to the eHarlequin free ebooks offer; I’ve already found one that made it onto the ‘reread’ list, and now my friends are asking for the link!

  26. 26
    jenny says:

    I reread print and ebooks. I have had trouble with books I kept in my attic becoming too dusty and musty for me to read comfortably. I am allergic and I will get a reaction if a book is old. It hasn’t kept me from reading old books, but it makes me want to minimize the time I do that in the future.

    Some books are not published all that well. The binding is not as good as it should be. I am very careful with my books while reading, I don’t use bookmarks or leave them open face down to keep my spot. I still find too many are just not as perfect as $17-25 should have bought.

    I have been buying more books to reread since I realized LIBRARIES ARE NOT FOREVER!!!!

    I always assumed that if a book was at the library, I would not have to bother buying that one, I would get the other one (book two in the series or whatever.) As I have returned to libraries after years away, I see that they “de-accession” (throw away or sell) anything that they don’t have space for. So I started to buy every book that I might conceivably want to reread. Every book of every series. Because I hate to miss book four of seven. My local library is New York City, and I have definitely read books that are now gone forever. Can’t we find one warehouse big enough to keep all of the paperbacks in the Bronx somewhere? 
    How can I enjoy Maggody properly if I have to start at book six? I want to start over from the beginning! I know they had it. They were the reason I didn’t absolutely have to buy it when it was still in print. There were copies of the early ones everywhere.
    I stopped reading the A is for Alibi, etc. mysteries because I lost my place during college and could not find the right combination to get back into it. Ebay let me buy used from A to P, but I gave the paperbacks away. It was over a cubic foot of solid paperbacks. If I had these as ebooks I would be happy.

    I must reread the whole series when a new book comes out. (I timed the latest Suzanne Brockmann perfectly- just through serendipity. I feel so smug. Usually this delay is just a way to control my spending for a week or two.) Needless to say my apartment is filling up very quickly. I read ebooks on my palm and store them on a 1 gig card. I am using ~200 megs to keep 450 books and short stories. By the time I fill the card, the technology will have moved on. I do think there are some books on the card that I won’t bother with for another few years. So what? It is barely any space.
    I wish Amazon would release software so I could read their books on my Palm, I don’t really want to buy a Kindle, I have what I need already. I bought a short story from Amazon that is amazingly hard to read on mobipocket – the title keeps running through the text every few pages. I don’t want to invest much money in that.
    I wish mobipocket let me organize books more exactly so that I could keep books in reading order. I wish Adobe didn’t separate pages so awkwardly. I wish eReader let me do half the things that mobipocket can do. (The bookmark is harder to visualize, the reader won’t show my battery life, I haven’t managed to sort books at all – maybe there is a way if I were more skillful.) Fictionwise keeps pushing eReader and I just don’t like it quite as much.

    I particularly like buying a bundle of books that are already in reading order, or chronological order by publication. It is so much simpler to buy and keep two or three bundles of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s books instead of 15 paperbacks kicking around the house gathering dust. I know I will continue to reread. Again, maybe not every six months, but I have years of reading ahead of me.
    I know I want to reread about half of Georgette Heyer’s books every two or three years for the next fifty years. They take up a lot of room, but I can’t trust that any particular book will be available if I don’t keep them. It took me seven months to track down an affordable copy of Cotillion. (2 months later it was rereleased. I would have bought the damn thing. Instead I am “borrowing” my mother’s copy for a few years.)
    For instructional books with diagrams, I am still going to buy big pretty picture books (and those I reread as I use them.) But I am actively avoiding hardcover books.

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