Thursday, April 4, 2013

E-books or Paperbacks?

A few years ago, I wanted nothing to do with e-books. I wanted my trusty paperback - the weight of it was a comfort to me. The new-book smell (you know what I'm talking about!), the ink, folding the pages, bending the spine....Treasured ritual! Part of the experience!

In my life, the downsides of physical books are plentiful. Hundreds of books weigh a lot, and - being that we move around the country so frequently - that starts to add up in box count (and price). Books can tear, or - if you drop it in the tub - become unreadable. If you lend the book out, be prepared for it never to return. The dog can eat it. (True story...Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, in billions of shreds, all over my bedroom.) 

The downsides of ebooks are much less for me. One pound device (or whatever my Kindle  Touch or Fire weighs) holds millions of pounds of boxed books. It won't tear. If I drop it in the tub, I'm hoping that whole stick-it-in-a-bag-of-rice thing works, but if not, I can still access my books on the other Kindle, my computer, or phone while I'm waiting for the replacement to arrive. :) The dog won't eat it. (He's much older now, and has no interest in electronics.)

The instant gratification I can have with ebooks is frightening, though - I see a book, read an excerpt, then click that handy "Click to buy!" link. Five minutes after I've first discovered a book, I'm reading trekking to the bookstore (although that is fun), no gas used, and I'm happily stirring my tea as my eyes are glued to the screen.

I don't get headaches (unless the story is that bad) and I don't get eyestrain (thank you Kindle for making the e-ink). But I do have an enormous library of books at my fingertips, which means if I'm sitting up in bed and finish one book, I can simply open another when I'm finished without getting out from the cozy covers. Lazy? Not really. I'd do it if I wanted to read a book I have in paperback...but the uninterrupted continuity I can have (reading happy endings, as it were) with my Kindle makes my "me" time that much better.

And as far as signed books go - I have many signed paperback (and hard cover) books and a couple of digitally-signed ones. First thought -  anyone could have typed up the "digital" message. But then again, anyone could have signed my hard copies, too, right? 

It's a draw for me. I love both equally. 

What do you prefer? Paperbacks or e-books?

1 comment:

  1. It was the same for me. Few years ago I was in love with the paper version. Then I received my first Kindle as Xmas present and I fell in love with e-books. Now I can't live without my Kindle. My third actually. Kid1 destroyed the display of my first device and Amazon replaced it (The guarantee was still valid), Kid2 destroyed the display of my second device and I'd to buy a new one. Hopefully I'll be able to keep as long as possible.
    Why i love my Kindle so much? Same reasons. I hate to move books around, I can buy a new book the same instant it catches my attention, I can read everywhere, and so on.
    Never say never again, as James Bond once said ;-)