Monday, January 24, 2011

E-reader vs. Paper Books

Hey there, you look great today! Have you been working out? ;)

Well here we are again. It's Monday, and I am right back on track (even if the track is very, very late). So something that has been on my mind a lot lately, as well as a big topic around the interwebs, is the battle between real-life, paper books, and e-readers. People everywhere are sharing their opinions, letting the world know that their preferred method of receiving and reading books is the one that will last for eternity.


Why does it have to be a battle? I love books. I love the smell of new books, and the smell of old books. I love the crinkling of the paper beneath my fingers, and the way the spine of a new books cracks when you open it all the way up for the first time. Hardcover or paperback, I care not. Although the only type of book I have ever gotten a signature on was a comic book, I love the fact that you can get your favorite author's autograph right on or in your book, and save it forever.

This may make you think that I am all pro-paper books. Even though I am very pro-paper books, I am in no way anti-e-reader. I think it's brilliant, and I remember how excited I was when my friend, Lucas, showed me his first e-book (this was ten years or so ago). It was "Through The Looking Glass" and it was all there. The illustrations and page numbers, and of course, the story itself, all shrunk down and kept inside of that tiny magic box.

As I stated earlier, I love books. However, books can be unwieldy at times, and who hasn't borrowed a library book that was missing a crucial page (or even torn a page themselves)? Also, for those folks with a tight budget, (cough cough, like me) buying new books can mean digging out loose change and sighing a lot.

Of course, e-readers have their weak spots as well. Like the Wicked Witch of The West, water will take those little guys out. Although buying the books to put in your e-reader can be cheaper than paper books, most e-readers are not cheap. The initial expense may be more than most folks want to pay (especially if they don't know how much they will like it).

The point of all this rambling is to say that I am on both sides. Pack your e-reader in your carry-on luggage and choose what you want to read, when you want to read it. Grab whatever paper book you are currently reading, and hop into a nice hot bath (water is not good for paper books, but an accident doesn't mean the end). The great thing about e-information is that it doesn't take up any space. You can still fill your bookshelf with paper and cardboard, even if you have a Kindle full of Harry Potter.

Any thoughts?
I need more coffee.
Ok then, buh bye now


  1. I agree with you. I'm a traditionalist, but I'm not shying away from new technology. If - WHEN - I get my book published, I'd prefer for it to be in paper form first, and then maybe ebook later. I want to see it in print and sitting on a shelf.

    I once went to an Ian Rankin book signing, and I always remember him saying that despite how great ebooks are, paper books will never die out. Why? Because when people go on holiday and sit on that sunbed reading, they're not likely to put their e-reader down whilst they take a dip in the pool. That's a lot of money to just leave lying around. Paper books on the other hand - it'll be a disappointment but not a huge loss if that gets stolen...

  2. I agree, I am aching to see a story I wrote bound and printed, sitting on a shelf somewhere. As a writer, traditional books hold a huge appeal to me. As a consumer, I bought a six dollar book at the airport, fell asleep, and left it there. What if that was a $100 e-reader?!?! Big loss.