It must come to no surprise to many that I simply adore books. I love the covers on them, how they smell and feel and how they look in my bookcases. Why on Earth did I buy a kindle then several years ago?
Well for me it was purely because I also love tech gadgets. I wanted to see if the hype around the kindle was just that: hype, but never able to replace my books. Now my very first kindle was small and I loved the fact that it was so light to carry around. In fact I could have so many books on it that I always had something to read. But with the old kindle came also the horrible way of navigating through my endless list of books. I could only see titles and authors and I absolutely hated it. I’d much rather look at my bookcase, see the beautiful cover and grab that book to read. Soon my kindle was pushed into the back of one of my cupboards.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t return to Kindle, until a new version came out. One that shows my library of books as the covers….. and not something so dead as just the title and author. Obviously I had to get this new gadget.
I’m now two years down the line of owning this new kindle and I think I’ve reached a final verdict in the case of e-books (Kindles in my case) vs paper books. Before I will reveal my personal outcome, let’s have a look at the arguments for both sides from a very biased perspective. (For those needing to know, I do not own the latest and most expensive Kindle. It’s a simple Paper white version I got on the cheap because they brought out a new model a month later. I love a good bargain.)
Why would I prefer the Kindle over a paper book?
- Holding the Kindle. While I’m reading in bed I find it easier to tap to go to the next page, especially if it’s a ‘big’ book. Most of the time I just use one hand to hold and tap to the next page with my thumb. It also makes for easy reading in the train or bus while standing. I can hold onto anything to keep my balance with one hand while the other holds my Kindle. don’t have to be afraid to let go of anything so I will loose my balance, just to turn a page.
- Talking about reading in bed and especially at night; I love it that I don’t have to get one of those awkward clip on lights for my Kindle. I often read while my boyfriend is already falling asleep and I don’t want to leave any lights on to keep him awake. The built in backlight of the Kindle is subtle enough for me to read, but not bright enough to wake anyone up.
- Portability. My Kindle is as light as a feather. No matter how many books I store on it, it will always weigh the same and I don’t have to worry about how heavy my bag or suitcase is going to be. Nor do I have to worry about trying to stuff 3 or more books in with the rest of my stuff. Also stuffing books into bags or suitcases often means they get damaged. No matter how careful I am with them. My kindle has a carrier case which keeps it pretty safe.
- Convenience. Finished the first part of that trilogy and have the urge to immediately read part two? Not a problem on the Kindle, with a few clicks it will be delivered to your device. No travelling to the in that horrible weather or braving the busy shops hoping they have the book you want. Or if you do order it online, no waiting for at least a day with Amazon Prime. Of course you will need wi-fi connection to get that book immediately delivered to your device.
- Price. A lot of e-books tend to be a bit cheaper than the paperback (let alone the hardback) versions of the book. Saving you more money to buy…. More books.
- Lots of classic novels, which have entered the public domain, are now free on the Kindle and it’s not just classic novels. There are many other books free on Amazon. However, ‘In love with the terrible T-rex’ might not actually be your cup of tea.
- Remember seeing all those people trying to hide the fact they were reading ‘50 shades’? Well with the e-reader no one knows what you are reading. No more prying eyes trying to read the cover of your book.
- Reading in bed might be easier, but so is reading while eating. No food stains you will never get out of the pages and you only need little space next to your plate to put your e-reader compared to an open book.
Why I would pick a book over an e-book:
- I have often accidentally tapped on my kindle, skipping several pages of the book without me wanting to and trying to find my place in the book again. I would never have that happen with just holding a book.
- Water and Kindles are like living on the edge… will it fall in and be ruined or not? No one would want their paper book to fall in water, but at least you can still salvage those, whereas you can say goodbye to anything electronic.
- Finding a second hand book you always wanted in a second hand shop still feels like finding treasure. How many e-books are secondhand……
- The Feel and smell of a Real Book. I just love having an actual book in my hands. Turning those pages and seeing immediately how far you are into the book, can make me childishly happy. You can display it on your shelves, almost like a tiny piece of artwork.
- Bookshop browsing. My boyfriend often jokes that if he wouldn’t keep his eye on me in a bookshop, he’d lose me. Which is true. I love going through shelves of books, picking them up and just getting the ‘feel’ for a book and nothing is more satisfying then walking out of the shop with a bag containing 1 or more new books. Buying a book on the Kindle has never given me that thrill.
I think it must be obvious by now that my clear winner is: paper book(s). I use my Kindle every day, but that is purely because I don’t want to travel from and to work with a heavy book or I don’t want people to bother me about the book I read. However, there is just something special about paper books that is is a deeply rooted inside me. I suspect it started with the weekly library trips my mother took me on when I was really young. I love using both, but I will always prefer books.
What about you — which do you prefer?