2014 in reviewI have written already about my best e-reads of the year, and about how much they cost me and what devices I read them on. But…what about the paper? Yes, you heard that right! On an eBook blog, why would I be writing about reading paper?

Because to me, one of the most annoying Threads That Never Die in the eBook world is the myth that this is a zero-sum game, and either paper or eBook is going to ‘win’ and that will be that. In my home, as in many, there is a mix of eBook and paper. There are some books which, to me, are better suited to the paper form, and some genres where I continue as a consequence to purchase them that way.

So, what were my best paper buys of the year? Here they are, broken down by genre for your convenience.

1) Children’s Books. Half the fun, for me, is bringing the child with me and helping him to pick. We have been seeing a certain dear little child in our life on a somewhat more regular schedule this year, and I have made it a goal of mine to buy him one quality book—not a media tie-in, but an actual beautiful piece of literature—every time he comes. I look forward to seeing our children’s library grow over the years. Our additions this year included two from the Harry McLary series—he loved the one we got him, and my mother got him the second one—and a few classics from my own childhood. He was a little young for ‘Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,’ but he enjoyed most of ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.’ I have a French copy of the latter book and plan to use it as a ‘novel study’ with my Grade 3 French class next term.

2) Cookbooks. I like having these in paper because the photos and illustrations come out much better, and I can’t follow a recipe unless I can see the whole thing on one page. My best cookbooks of the year were ‘100 Days of Real Food’ by Lisa Leake and the books from the Happy Herbivore series.

3) Art Books. I picked up a new hobby this year! The art gene runs in my family and I always thought it had passed me by until I picked up the book ‘Let’s Tangle’ by Kathleen Murray, on a whim, from a table display at Indigo. At least, an art technique I can do! I have since picked up several more books on this method, including ‘One Zentangle a Day’ by Beckah Krahula and ‘No Excuses Art Journaling’ by Gina Rossi Armfield, both of which are fabulous and well-worth what I spent.

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. You say,

    “There are some books which, to me, are better suited to the paper form, . . .”

    In addition to your list, I would add;

    4. Books that make great gifts.

    Even better, is when you can get the author to autograph and personalize the book that makes a great gift.

    The fact that my “How to Retire, Happy, Wild, and Free” makes a great gift is no doubt in my mind a reason for its success.

    It sold around 9,000 copies in 2003, the first year it was released in the U.S. Sales then increased to around 16,000 copies in 2007, decreased for two years, then from 2010 increased again. In 2010 I established a goal of having sales eventually reach 2,000 a month or 24,000 copies a year by utilizing my 50 to 100 own unique creative marketing techniques. In 2013, sales reached 24,500 copies, with print sales being around 19,500 of the total. Better still, 2014 has turned out to be the best year ever even though I have done little to market the book for the last year and a half. Sales of all editions (print, ebook, and audio) have now reached over 47,000 copies for the year with print sales being around 40,000 copies. Sales are the highest around Christmas.

    Here is another example of a great gift book. Check out the Number 1 selling book on Amazon overall this Christmas and it is the print edition of “Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids” by Rob Elliott. Another similar title “Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids” by the same author is also in the top 10. This was also the case last Christmas.

    Moral of the story: Print is not dead and won’t be for a long time. Also, if you want to make a great living as a writer, write a great gift book.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    The Prosperity Guy
    “Helping Adventurous Souls Live Prosperous and Free”
    Author of the Bestseller “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”
    (Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller “The Joy of Not Working”
    (Over 275,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

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