Print vs. Digital Books: Where Do You Fall?
On National Book Day, I like to reflect on my reading from the past year. I know I’m a total nerd, but it got me thinking about how my reading has changed from mostly print publications to mostly digital in the past year. I still love print, but I wanted to see what others thought. So, I asked the Beadwork staff what they prefer and use, print or digital books. Keep reading and then join the conversation!
I’m an avid reader or, I’d like to be, especially during the summer. If the wind is right and time is mine, you can find me stealing away on a chair in the sun reading a magazine or the latest installment of one crime series or another (I keep up with two). When asked if I prefer a hard copy to a digital version my immediate reply is hard copy, of course!
Then I pause and remember the adage, think before you speak. As time has gone on and technology has improved, I find I do like digital copies of books, especially when it comes to technique-based publications. I can then have the book with me no matter where I go or where I sit—my studio, an airplane, hotel room, or the couch! This way, even if I can’t be “making” at the time, I can be thinking of making and plotting my next move or beading supply purchase.
The latest book I’m revisiting is Hubble Stitch by Melanie de Miguel. I love this stitch and know it has more in store for me than I’ve allowed time for. Having this book in digital is also great as it allows me to zoom into images and illustrations—something that wasn’t originally needed for my eyesight, but now may be part of my appreciation (wink!).
Editor, Beadwork magazine and Group Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry
I am a specimen of the rare breed of readers who have not chosen a side between print or digital. I enjoy both! If I’m doing research or trying to find something in a book or magazine for a project that I’m working on, I like digital. The search function available in many digital publications, like the digital editions of all of Beadwork‘s magazines, is great for finding stuff fast. You can use the built-in bookmarks to easily skip to the front page of whatever project you’re looking for. If I’m reading for enjoyment or relaxation, especially before bed, it’s print all the way. Everybody needs a little less screen time in their life and reading a print book or magazine is a great way to “turn off.”
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine
After 25 years of working on print publications, including more than 4 years with Beadwork magazine, I fall firmly on the side of print media. I love the feel of a book or magazine in my hand. When I’m reading, whether for pleasure or information, I often flip back and forth between pages. I also like to highlight sections of text and make my own notes in the margins, especially if I’m working on a beading pattern. Although I do appreciate the ease of electronically searching through a digital file, I still find it easier on my eyes to skim a printed page than to scan a glowing screen. Luckily, some of my favorite Beadwork books are available in both print and digital formats.
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine
Maybe I’m more than a little biased by working for Interweave books, but I’ve always been a die-hard lover of print. There’s something about the feel of the paper and flipping through the pages for the first time that really inspires creativity for me. Books are also much easier to pull out quickly and reference, which means not losing steam in the middle of a project.
Editorial Coordinator, Interweave Books
A year ago, I would have most likely condemned digital publication. Not that it’s so bad, but it just doesn’t compare to a physical book. Today, I write mostly in the digital format via blog posts. While print has many benefits, (I do work for a print magazine) I am coming to see the value of the digital publishing world.
First, it lets us produce a lot more content! With print runs, there are a specific number of pages printed for monetary reasons, so things have to be cut. With digital issues, space isn’t an issue and many more ideas can be explored and published.
Second, mistakes can be fixed quickly. While we do our best to edit and reread everything that goes out to our audience, no one is perfect. Things slip through and we can put up corrections for print editions (see our errata page), but the mistakes are still there. In blog posts, when something isn’t quite right, our wonderful web producer goes into the posts and can make a correction in minutes!
Last, the search function, the bookmarks, and the website links make the digital edition efficient and easy to use, especially when I’m looking for something specific. I’ve spent a lot of my life searching for a pattern in books because I just can’t remember which one it’s in and what page it’s on!
I’m not saying that I don’t love print books. There’s nothing like owning your own copy of your favorite book you can pick up without internet connection or battery life. However, with patterns, I find it easier to just use the digital edition (and then print a pattern out if I’m sick of looking at the screen.)
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine
Which type of publication do you prefer? Do you love the feel of a book in your hand or the efficient and accessible digital edition? Let us know! We love to hear from you and can’t get enough of this conversation.
Find print and digital books and issues at the Interweave Store.