View Poll Results: When buying ukulele books, do you prefer e-books or paper books?

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  • I prefer digital e-books, if available.

    13 19.40%
  • I only buy e-books.

    1 1.49%
  • I prefer traditonal paper books, if available.

    19 28.36%
  • I only buy paper books.

    13 19.40%
  • I have no preference or it depends on the content/price/etc.

    17 25.37%
  • I don't buy ukulele books at all.

    4 5.97%
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Thread: Ukulele books: Digital or paper?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Smile Ukulele books: Digital or paper?

    A few years ago I began to embrace e-books, partly because they take up less space (1000s of books fit on one memory card), partly because there is the element of instant gratification (when I import paper books, it can take 2-3 weeks, and some paper books are out of print), and partly because of convenience (frontlit reading devices, adjustable fonts and font sizes, etc). Most fiction works I buy these days are in digital format. It's a bit more mixed with non-fiction and depends on the type of book. I'll probably get the digital version of a textbook or general non-fiction works, but will prefer the paper version of a an art book (or anything that has more than text in it).

    With ukulele books I go back and forth. Most aren't suited for epub/mobi e-ink readers (Kindle, Kobo Glo, etc) due to their high content of graphics and diagrams, so I have to use them on an iPad. I find an iPad less suitable for reading than an e-ink reader, but it works fine and certainly beats reading on a larger computer screen. I like the ability to zoom in and there is definitely something to be said for media enhanced e-books (e.g. "play" buttons under tabs to listen to them).

    On the other hand, ukulele paper books have a bit more charm, you can see two pages at once (without having to squint), and they can be resold. The ability to resell paper books is probably a strong point. They also stay with you for as long as you take care of them and they aren't dependent on an electronic device inn order to be readable. Then again, digital books can usually be re-downloaded and always stay pristine (and can be updated by the author, like software) as long as the vendor's distribution platform is available or you can make backup copies. Most e-book formats are standardized and open, so chances are they will continue to be readable or convertible even on future computer systems.

    When it comes to ukulele books, what do you prefer? Digital or paper? I'm including a poll, though it's a bit general. Post your reasons if you like.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico


    Quote Originally Posted by Mivo View Post

    When it comes to ukulele books, what do you prefer? Digital or paper? I'm including a poll, though it's a bit general. Post your reasons if you like.
    I prefer not to buy books.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    I can flick back & forth between paper pages easily - could never got the hang of it with digital.

    Definately prefer hard copy, in fact I've only ever tried 2 digital books, couldn't get on with them at all.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    I like my paper book reading, especially by candlelight on a winter evening close to the hearth. No batteries.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Depends. Lead sheets with music staff (like the Daily Ukulele books) and four-line tab arrangements are hard to see on my 9" tablet. Few of these books are well-designed for viewing on an electronic device. I am better off getting those on paper.

    If I have to perform songs that I haven't memorized, I prefer to use paper at the gig. Larger, easier to see, less likely to tip the stand over (or run out of battery). Also faster to take notes with a pencil in rehearsal. I like to stack the deck in my favor when there's an audience and that means using optimal equipment. Also getting the audience drunk.

    The vast majority of my music is in the form of chord/lyric sheets and those go on the tablet. Kindle books, PDF books, tab loaded into Mobile Sheets and miscellaneous songs downloaded in GuitarTapp.

    I wish music publishers would give more attention to designing PDF books that are usable on a tablet. Landscape format and careful use of page breaks would be a start. I also wish somebody would manufacture an affordable 9x12-inch Android tablet. And give it to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Pickering, ON, Canada


    Like most I started out strumming and singing then moved into chord melody and finger picking. Early on a bought a few books. I also have an e-book or two. I have really gravited to finding websites with single song arrangments that I LIKE and want to learn to play. I will download that piece and more often than not print them off.

    I still find playing from the printed page more enjoyable and easier then from an electronic device. Old school I guess..........but it works for me.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Southern California


    I like books. I like to make notes in them and tear special pages out of them. I also take some of them apart and put them in loose leaf binders. Then I can change the page's order and add like pages from other books.

    I like to organize stuff.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    West Virginia


    I can't see most digital in its entirety except perhaps on a 17" laptop. My laptop is a 14" Chromebook and I have to put it in Print mode to expand it. If I am practicing a bar at a time, it is great.

    I handle so many 8 1/2" x 11" documents at work (for student papers), that my preferred format is of playing from downloaded individual hard copies that are stored as digital documents in my Google Drive. But, if I had to buy a book, it is a hard copy version where I might print one song sheet to cart around. My ukulele club was just asked to buy the Daily Ukulele and I chose hard copy. I guess I don't trust that ebooks will be there down the road after purchase. Murphy's Law thinking that my thumb drive will get lost or my computer hard drive will crash, I guess.
    Last edited by actadh; 04-12-2017 at 11:40 AM.
    - Laura

    Sopranino - Vintage 1930's Camp Uke (Birch)
    Soprano - Koaloha Opio (Sapele), Martin OXK (HPL), Brueko No. 2 (Maple), Kala ASOV -S (Spruce/Ovangkol), Vintage 40's Silvertone (Mahogany), Vintage 50's Harmony (Birch), Zither Heaven (1 Black Walnut & 1 Cherry), First Act Discovery (Plastic)
    Concert - Luna (Spruce top)
    Tenor - Outdoor Ukulele (Composite Polycarbonate), Mainland (Mahogany)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    The Dry Part, TX


    I generally prefer ebooks, if they are formatted where I can read them on my tablet.
    " strange to see that I don't want to be the person that I want to be." - Amanda Palmer, In My Mind (NSFW)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    I buy e-books and then forward them to Fedex Office where they print it off and put it in a three-ring binder for me. This costs a little bit, but still monetarily and philosophically less dear than becoming symbiotically attached to an electrical device.

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