Books Vs E-Books

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It’s a debate I’ve listened to and participated in for a few years now. I was strictly all pro-books for a long while. A couple of Christmases ago, my husband asked me if I wanted a Kindle. I said no. Did he listen? No. LOL But he had good reason. When we travel (and we do travel quite a bit), I’d pack 3 – 8 books (depending on the length of our trip) in our suitcase, making it VERY heavy. He gets that I need books to read, that I want books to read, and that no trip is complete without a small library for me. The Kindle (or any e-reader I’m sure) is wonderful for travel. Now I can download as many books as I want without worrying about running out while I’m traveling – and I can also buy books while I’m away. Plus, the house we have in CA is very small and I had to limit my book buying since I didn’t have a lot of storage.

The truth is, though, I still prefer books. I love the heft of them, the smell of them, and being able to flip pages. I have a large collection of bookmarks that I love to use. I pick a special bookmark for each book I read.Β  And I love to own books written by friends and I love getting books signed.Β  A friend recently shared with me what her nephew (?) said about having “trophy books”. Love that! That’s exactly how I feel about my books – I love to display my library proudly. Now that we’re moving into a bigger house and I’ll have my own writing studio with built-in bookshelves, I’ve been buying books like crazy. Shhhh. πŸ˜‰

I love having choices though. And if I read a book I end up loving on my Kindle, I buy the actual book to have in my library.

What’s your feeling about e-books vs books?

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19 responses »

  1. I like both for different reasons. The lack of flipping is one of the major drawbacks with the kindle. It’s particularly a problem with non-fiction and reference material, but even with fiction, there are times when I want to refer back to a point in the book. If I can remember a phrase or keyword, I can pull up a screen and s-l-o-w-l-y type in that word and maybe then find the page. But in a physical book, I find I have a visual memory of where in the book that part is that I want to find and it is actually faster for me to just flip back and find what I want. With reference material, it’s so much easier to skim through a physical book for the things you’re looking for. The kindle kind of forces you to start at the beginning and read to the end.

    However, I adore being able to carry 500 books in my purse! If I’m bored with one book, I can pull up a different one. I also like it better for reading in bed! So much easier to curl up on your side with the kindle!

    Some of these sound like minor nitpicky points, I know! But they add up and they add up to….I find them both useful.

    • I completely agree with you on the flipping pages thing! It’s why so far I only buy books for nonfiction and reference material. I was frustrated when reading OKAY FOR NOW – the book included plates of Audubon’s birds – and when the story referenced a plate, I couldn’t go back and find it to look at it.

      And I agree about reading in bed too. Having the Kindle hit my forehead when I nod off is less painful than a big hardcover book. πŸ˜‰

      I should start carrying my Kindle around in my purse at all times – what a great idea to always have a library of books at your finger tips! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Pros:
    I hate wearing reading glasses so I read on my IPad using the largest font
    Instant download, if I hear about the book I can download and start reading immediately
    I can read at night after my husband goes to sleep without using a night light

    Con: can’t share books with friends and family

    Never thought I would like to read an e book – but I’m a convert

  3. It’s a tossup. I love the ease of e-book. When I can’t sleep at night, I can dim the screen and not have to worry about waking my husband. My book light wakes him up every time. But I too also love paper books and have a huge collection of them.

    I love the idea of trophy books, that’s kind of how I feel about them too.

  4. It’s interesting to see that more book readers are coming around to ebooks. It is convenient, and I love the instant gratification, and the ebook deals (!) Like you, if I love a book I’ll buy a print copy (and sometimes an audio copy too) but I do enjoy having the physical book in my hand to read and to refer to. Even though there are a lot of advantages to ebooks like as you said increasing the font size, and for ease of traveling.
    And I absolutely agree with your last line that it’s great to have choices. There is definitely a place for books in all the various formats.
    Great post and comments!

    • Thanks for chiming in! πŸ™‚ I forgot to mention that my teen daughter prefers books, as well. However, I’m worried that this next younger generation will be the one to effect the change toward e-books. I see a lot of toddlers with iPads. Eek! I keep buying books for my young relatives.

  5. It’s like apples and oranges. Or apples and applesauce. I love books, I love holding them, smelling them, the feel of paper, the turn of the page. I love sharing them. (which is one of the bigger downsides of e-books) But I love the option of having an e-book when I need/want it. It doesn’t replace a book, but gives me a way to read when having a real book isn’t practical. I just downloaded Vampires In The Lemon Grove into my iPhone when I was stuck in the post office line today and was so happy to have a good story to read while I waited!

  6. I like both for different reasons, too. For cookbooks, art books, and picture books, I like the actual physical book. Some reference books too, because it’s not as easy to flip through an e-reader when you just want to browse around. I don’t have as much shelf space as I’d like, so I have to be discriminating about buying real books.

    • Oh yes, cookbooks! Def need the real thing for that. I’m a messy cook – would hate to spill on and kill my e-reader! LOL πŸ™‚ I think in the next few months I’ll be leaning more and more to books now that I will have more space, but for travel, I will continue to read e-books. πŸ™‚

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