Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ebook vs Paper

By Eva Maria Hamilton  @HamiltonEvaM

It's that time of year again...

Judging for the Romance Writers of America’s annual RITA Awards have begun!

I’ve been judging this contest for many years now, but this year they’ve changed one very big thing…

Do you know what's different?

This year I didn’t receive my usual box in the mail. The one that feels like a late Christmas present where I excitedly unwrap it and hold all the books I hope I’ll love.

This year, all the books I have to judge are in digital format!

I see both positives and negatives. (Too many to list.)

For instance, I’m a little sad to no longer receive signed copies, but I won’t have to add anymore bookshelves to house these books, and the savings on delivery charges must be substantial! And that’s always in everyone’s best interest.

Did you know there are some contests I can’t judge, because I live in Canada. 

They’ve deemed it too expensive to deliver the books here. (Although, when they’re in a pinch they have sent me ebooks to judge, which I loved.) So, for contests like that, I’m completely biased to having them turn to ebooks and eliminate that restriction.

But I ask you:

Do you like reading ebooks? Or do you prefer paper in your hand?

About Eva Maria Hamilton

Eva Maria Hamilton is the author of Highland Hearts, a Love Inspired Historical novel published by Harlequin. Her novel, Highland Hearts, won 2nd Place in the Historical Romance, as well as the Traditional/Inspirational Romance Categories in the Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Awards, and was an Inspirational Series Finalist in the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her short story, Disinherited Love, can be read in the anthology, A Kiss is Still A Kiss. Eva Maria Hamilton is also the owner of Lilac Lane Publishing, which is currently publishing the Jane Austen Colouring & Activity Book series.

To connect with Eva Maria Hamilton, please visit her at www.EvaMariaHamilton.com


  1. Hey Eva, good on you for judging. And yes, receiving a box of books is always special. As a judge in a few contests and living in Australia I tend to receive ebooks both due to cost and time. I've got used to ebooks now but I'll always prefer a good paperback. And I still love love a hardback but they don't come around too much except Biographies and such tend to be hardback.

  2. There is something to holding a book, especially if you love it and want it on your keeper shelf!

    All but one of the books I have to judge don't have a cover, so there might be some merit to anonymity and a good cover not be able to bias a judge.

    Hardbacks are rare! Always nice to have those first edition ones :)

    Hope you're enjoying your summer!

  3. Hi Eva Maria, I am a Ebook fan. I have so many print books but I find they are harder to hold now at times where the kindle is very light. also I can read ebooks on my laptop. I would say I read over 90% of books via the kindle.

    1. You are definitely a convert, Jenny! Those are some good points! It can be great not having to hold the books open :)

  4. Hi Eva, I’ve judged the RITA in previous years and looked forward to the box of books arriving on my doorstep. I can read print books faster in a shorter space of time than ebooks. I read both formats, but for contest judging I’d definitely prefer print over ebooks.

    1. Hi Narelle is it partly due to being able to mark a book if you need to where its harder to do that with an ebook? Also easier to find a page in a print book as apposed to a ebook?
      I would think when judging sometimes you would want to go back to certain pages but then I could be wrong.

    2. That's so interesting, Narelle! I don't know which I actually read faster. But as long as I can read ebooks with a large print (because I hate straining my eyes) I'm happy :)

    3. Hi Jenny & Eva,

      Jenny - Yes, I like being able to mark pages and I find it easier to flick through print books, and move backwards and forwards between the chapters. I know you can do it with ebooks, but it’s not the same.

      Eva, I find I tire easily reading on a screen whereas reading print is somehow more relaxing. :)

    4. You gotta do what makes you happy, Narelle! :)

  5. I'm a print book person. I have a few e-books on my computer, but I don't read them because often I read in bed, and you can't comfortably take your computer to bed with you. I also don't want to have to re-buy all my favourites as e-books because I'm a big re-reader (I've read some of my absolute favourites more than 5 times each). My shelves are currently past capacity, but there's also the problem of not all e-books working on the same reader devices. The e-books that I do have are in a few different formats so I have had to download a couple of different e-reader programs to my computer. I think if I was to extensively travel I would consider a kindle (or similar), but for now I'm content to still buy print books and re-arrange my books shelves to accommodate them.

  6. Beth, it is clear you love your books! You must look at your books and feel your friends surrounding you! :) How nice!