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Books vs. e-Books

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Books or e-books?  First of all, I don’t think this is a zero-sum game – that is to say, there’s definitely room for both real books and e-books in the world.  Although I definitely read way, way more real books (I have yet to pay for an e-book; I’ve only read free ones.  If I’m going to pay for it, I want to be able to HOLD it), there’s definitely a place for e-books.

What do you think are better places for e-books and better places for real books?  For example, one may be better for traveling and the other better for lending.  One may be better for reading embarrassing books (a la 50 Shades); one may be better for reading to a kid at bedtime (picture books!).  One may be easier to sign than the other…  Anyhow, check out the infographic below and feel free to weigh in!

Books vs. eBooks infographic - Novel Conclusions writing blog - writing tips - reading

Books vs. eBooks via

P.S. My favorite part might be the reminder that “Walking to the library is still the most ecofriendly way to read.”

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About Christi

Writing in SoCal.

22 responses

  1. First, I read almost exclusively ebooks now. But I still love real books. I love to go to the library and the bookstore. I buy children’s books for my grandson (real books). But I read so many books, my house had been overrun by them. It was time to change. I haven’t purchased a real book for myself in four years. But I spend even more money and read even more now that it is all ebooks.

    • I have the same problem with having too many physical books. However, I hate to get rid of them in case I want to read them again or blog about them. I ought to use an e-reader to cut down on clutter, but I fear I might spend even more money like you mentioned!

  2. Interesting that they compare hardcovers rather than paperbacks to e-readers. I never buy hard-cover unless it’s all I can find second-hand. Too big, too heavy, too expensive ($26?!!), can’t read ’em in the bathtub. Give me a nice trade paperback any day. 🙂

    I like my e-reader for non-fiction; those are books I’m only likely to read once, so I don’t want to pay a lot, and I fon’t have room for them on my shelf. E-readers definitely win for travel, and for free books (though I only have a kobo, so most of my free books are trapped on my computer). Paperbacks win in other categories: when I read for pleasure I vastly prefer paper, and I love having my favourites on my shelf to read over, to look at, and to lend out. I would definitely prefer to buy smut on an e-reader, and I don’t try to impress strangers with my reading habits, so I guess the e-reader wins there, too.

    And I’ll take my e-reader to the bathtub, but I’d be scared to take it to the beach.

    • I love having my favorites on the shelf to reread, too, and you’re right about the e-readers being better for all those free e-books. We can never have too many!

  3. I love attractive book covers, turning pages, the smell of the paper, ink, etc. That said, though, I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t won over by ebooks because of the environmental impact issue. I love trees too, so best to go paperless. But then I read somewhere that ebooks may are just as bad, maybe worse, because as reading devices (and computers) become obsolete, they end up in landfills leaching toxic chemicals. (I wonder if the petrol burned in transporting “real” books was factored into the study?) I have to say, however, other things being equal, I side with Captain Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise (and you Christi!): there’s nothing like holding a good old-fashioned book in your hands.

    • You have a good point about reading devices going into landfills. Physical books are very similar now to physical books from 100 years ago, but e-readers will probably be changing constantly.

  4. Christi – I love my Kindle and thought that I would miss real books. There are pros and cons of course. I miss being able to loan out my books. I love being able to travel with lots of books via electronic device. I still buy physical copies of books i.e. reference materials or research books; children’s books (I want them to appreciate the smell and thrill of cracking open an new story; and as gifts to people. There is a place for both and I am not exclusive to one over the over. Thanks for sharing. ~Gail

  5. I read mostly ebooks now, although when I read a super, super good one that is quotable, I wish I had it in paper copy so I could turn to sections easier and highlight. My kindle’s highlighter feature isn’t my favorite and is kind of clunky. I love how cheap and easy it is to carry hundreds of books on my kindle though when I go somewhere (versus carrying a bulky book around and then being sad when I finish and don’t have another to start).

    • I do prefer the paperbacks when I want to highlight or look things up, too. But it’s wonderful how we can bring hundreds of books with us on and e-reader.

  6. Looks like the blog crowd is also an ebook crowd…

  7. I have ebooks and physical books. And I admit that I’m trying to move out some physical books because of the clutter. I like my Kindle, but sometimes I get tired of reading a book on a screen. I like a physical book.

  8. I like both forms of books. I enjoy reading a physical book at home, and an ebook is easier when traveling. Amassing reading materials is way easier via ebooks, especially since I live in a small house. But here’s the thing for me as a writer: self-publishing is easier (though it’s not easy) and possible because of ebooks.

    • You have a great point about self-publishing — there are definitely some fantastic self-published books out there that wouldn’t have been as easy to get if not for e-books.

  9. If it’s a book by one of my favorite authors or one I think I’ll want to reread or share with my 13yo, then I’ll buy the real book. I’m a sucker for 99 cent Kindle deals though and my 9yo actually prefers reading on her Kindle Fire, even though her older sister prefers to hold the real book in her hands.

  10. I still prefer and mostly read physical books, but e-books can definitely be handy for traveling or reading at night in the car as a passenger. However, I have never paid full price for an e-book. I get the free ones or get them when Amazon has their deals.

  11. I’ve been reading alot more ebooks than printed copies

  12. I would totally agree with the statement that they’ve both got their strengths and weaknesses. I read a LOT and, especially when I’m going on holiday, feel the need to carry around at least ten books with me. This makes my kindle very convenient. But I think that children’s books, cook books and books that are very special to you should be bought in real-life format. Harry Potter as an ebook? No way.

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