Books versus eBooks

Some of my books below

I am back after another bout of procrastination. Being a writer, one should have a love of books. Because obviously, how is one to learn to write novels and short stories and poems if you don’t read them in the first place.

But now a days, it isn’t just hard copy books that you can read. With the advance in electronics we have electronic readers or ereaders for short. You can read books on a Nook, a Kindle, your iPad, or other tablets, and on your smart phones. For this article, I’m not going to talk about listening to books being read because this is about reading books yourself. I guess there are pros and cons to both physical books and eBooks, so let’s get started, shall we?

Books: The Physical Attraction

I like to hold books in my hands. Feel the pages as I turn them. And yes, smell the pages. I actually have a copy of Lester Del Rey’s Twilight of the Gods that is held together with a rubber band because the pages have come away from the binding. It was after I read Mr. Del Rey’s book that I decided I wanted to be a writer. That has been a long time ago.

Having a physical copy of a book allows me to go back and easily check for information I may have missed in my reading that is critical to the part of the book or book of a series I am currently reading.

So, confession time. I do have an eReader. It is a cheaper model than Nook or Kindle but does just fine for me. I actually have the first six books of George RR Martin’s Fire And Ice series on it. And I have gotten the first two books so far in physical Trade Copy physical books. Why?

Why would I get physical copies of books I already have on an eReader. Well, in this case, after watching the HBO series GoT, I believed I had missed some important info when I was reading the books the first time. Having the physical copies will allow me to go back to the previous book easily when I come across a passage where I believe I missed a very important piece of information and then I can say, “Aha! I found it.”

There are cons to physical books. Space for them is a big concern, especially if you are a series reader like me. I have read and reread series of books by Marion Zimmerman Bradley, Mercedes Lackey, Piers Anthony, Laurel K Hamilton, and Kim Harrison to name a few. Series of books take up a lot of space.

They also don’t handle moisture well and get ruined if not stored in the shed in an air tight container. The pages will brown with age and like the Lester Del Rey book, after many readings the pages will come loose from the binding.

eBooks: Don’t Have to Worry About Losing Page if Dropped

My eReader below

If you haven’t noticed because you haven’t read my previous Medium posts, this is my first post with pictures. I took the pictures using my iPad and that is where I am writing this article using Medium’s app. Isn’t technology wonderful. I’lol probably write a future post about computers versus tablets when writing. But back to the current article.

What do I love about my eReader? Well I won’t lose my page if I drop it for one thing. It also has settings to read in sunlight, and in a dark room so you don’t need to have a light on to read. Flipping pages is as easy as touching an arrow to go forward or backward. I can take several books with me on vacation with little space used up by packing the eReader. I can get some novels cheaper or free on my eReader.

Now, the drawbacks. I can only read so long before I have to plug it in to recharge it. Eventually I will run out of room on the eReader for books and will have to give up some books to get newer ones. I can’t flip back easily to check on information to get my “Aha!” moment. Eventually my eReader will become outdated and not be able download eBooks anymore.

So Which One?

In conclusion, it really comes down to personal preference. Are you from the Age of the Page or the Age of Tech. In my mind, there will always be a place for the physical book and the bookstores that carry them. People love the feel of the page as they turn them. We learn that at a young age and never let go.

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