Thursday, January 3, 2013

An Epic Showdown: Books vs. eReaders

As you may have noticed, I'm currently reading Song to Wake To by J.D. Field, and, to a little bit of my shame, I'm reading it on a Kindle Fire.

I only got the book in the first place because I had received a message from the author on Goodreads that it was going to be free on Amazon for a couple of days, and I thought to myself, Free book? Seems legit. So,  I borrowed my mother's Kindle Fire and gave it a try...and I'm actually enjoying the experience.

I now present to you the epic showdown that is currently ensuing in my brain (and has probably been seen on the Internet a thousand times before this): Books vs. eReaders

But before you go through it all, I'm gonna have to ask you to prepare yourself to use your best inner announcer voice!

Is it ready? Then read on (:

In the first corner we have the sleek new kids on the block...E-READERSSSSS!!! 

(Specifically, the Kindle Fire.)

Well, there's no way of getting around it: the thing is just flat-out handy in multiple ways.

I love that it tells you what percentage of the book you've read. Sometimes, when I'm reading a real book that I'm having a hard time getting in to, I'm all, Oh look! I've read...12 pages. Crap. However, I can tap the screen on the Kindle, and I'm all, Hey, I've read five percent more of the book! Which makes me feel quite a bit better.

I'm also loving that you can select a word or phrase and either highlight it or note it, eliminating the need to color in the pages of an actual book with a marker, or--God forbid--actually bending the corner of a page in attempt to find that one beautiful passage more easily. You can also choose to look up the definition of a single word, which I find to be extremely useful. I can't tell you how often I run across a word in a book that I'm not too sure about, and I just blow it off, telling myself I'll look up the meaning later, but I hardly ever do. But has that been happening at all on the Kindle? Nope. And it's magnificent.

And, ah, the bookmarking tool. Once you select the book, it will automatically open to whatever page you were last at, so if you always leave off on the last page you read, you're in good luck. If, for whatever reason, you don't always do this, you have the option to bookmark the page. The best part? You can have several bookmarks at once! This provides yet another way to locate a specific part of the book that you may want to look through several times. I can only imagine the possibilities when reading a mystery on the Kindle. Muahaha.

The Kindle is also terribly useful in that it provides one spot for several novels that is roughly the size of a booklet. It's pretty nice to pick up one little device and have access to multiple books instead of having to take a whole stack with you so you can decide what you're going to read in that moment.

Finally, the free books are amazing. When I searched "free books" in the store, I got over 54,000 results! True, these may not always be the highest quality books, there are loads of classics. If you're a classic enthusiast like myself, you'll be in heaven. I bought both The Grimm Fairy Tales and The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in one sitting. I'm psyched.

And in this corner we our beloved veteran, BOOOOOOKSSSS!

Look, it's no secret that books are amazing. Since we've all read physical books before, I won't go into great detail of why they're awesome, but here's a quick list of reasons.

1. There's nothing like being able to feel and smell the pages between your fingers. Nothing.

2. One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is walking out a books store with a little paper bag holding the new books that you just bought.

3. You can't beat that "Awww yeahhh" feeling you get when you pinch together that chunk of pages that you just read all in one sitting as you brag about it to your slow or non-reading friends.

4. They are more easily lent out. It's pretty simple to pull a book from your shelf and hand it over to a friend for a couple of weeks, not so easy to do the same thing with your eReader.

5. You can put them in your shelf and watch your collection swell in positive correlation with your geekish pride.

6. They're mostly durable. You drop your copy of Pride & Prejudice on the concrete? No biggie. Pick it up, dust it off, it's good to go. You drop your eReader on the concrete? Probably not so good to go, unless you have a case.

7. There are probably more reasons that I'm forgetting.

And the winner is...

Books. Duh. 

Look, books may not look quite as fancy, be stored quite as easily, or have all kinds of fancy tools accompanying them, but that doesn't make them inferior. When it comes down to it, holding a book in your hands cannot be replaced by holding an eReader; going to a bookstore will always be more fun than going to Amazon; seeing real books fill the bookshelf in your home will always be more satisfying than them filling the virtual one on your screen.

Physical books are something to hold in your hands and treasure. They are physical embodiments (which the little red underline is telling me is not a word?!) of nostalgia and sentimentality. They can be replaced on a shelf by eReaders, but they can't be replaced in our hearts, and that's why they will always win out.

Holy cheese-fest, Batman.

Anywaaaayyys. Let me hear your thoughts! Do you have some arguments for either side that I forgot to list? Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Comment and let me know! Thanks!


  1. I totally agree that Books are the way to go. I recently considered buying an e-reader because there were so many books that were only ebook format that I was dying to read. But I just can't bring myself to do it just yet. Lol. I love good ol' books too much, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon :)

    Ps.Another addition for the e-book argument is that they save trees! :)

  2. I recently went through this same battle myself. For me my Kindle Fire won though. I still love physical books. This may be kind of odd, but I love the way they smell and how the ink isn't perfect and the feel of the paper. I have stacks of them lying around my apartment, but that's part of the problem. For me it was just more practical, and less expensive with how much I read, to buy and read most everything on my e-reader.

    This was a nice post, and helpful as I'm sure lots of people are weighing their options when it comes to whether or not they should buy an e-reader. You might find a post I made that was similar to this interesting. The Amazing E-Reader: Why I Love My Kindle Fire

  3. I prefer physical books, but do read about 10% of my books on my ipad.

  4. At the moment my kindle is winning the battle, but only because my bedside light has a dead lightbulb and I am too lazy/poor to buy a new one, and it is sorta difficult reading in bed in the pitch black. Yay for the backlight on the kindle fire.

    But in general, physical paper books will always win for me; for all the reasons you listed, but also the knowledge that there is no battery level to worry about, and being stuck on the train with no power to read with.

    Fantastic post. New follower!

    1. Well, that's definitely all very understandable!

      And thanks so much; I'll be sure to follow you back!