2 Comments

Paper or electronic?

I read a lot of books.  Every time I want to learn something new, take a break from reality, expand my perspectives or just veg – I reach for a book.   Reading isn’t just about the words on a page – it is the tactile experience of turning a page, feeling the paper and inhaling the scent of a BOOK.

For someone who loves technology as much as I do, that probably seems incongruent, but when it comes to books I am a Luddite.  I’ve never cared for reading long articles on the computer and printed out reams of documents while in graduate school.

So why is this an issue?  For my birthday, my in-laws have ordered me a Kindle.  My husband is already a convert after downloading several books to his netbook.  I have my doubts.  What if I drop it in the bathtub?  What if I don’t like reading off the screen?  What if I forget to charge it before a long plane ride?

I’ll admit, the idea of being able to carry an entire library with me has benefits.  I might not have to add any more bookcases to house the perpetually growing stacks of reading material.   I could actually carry another change of clothing when I travel without the 4 books I usually pack.

And yet there is that pesky issue of habit and the comfort of pages turning.  What do you think about e-readers?  Have you used them?  Do you like them?  What do I need to know that will help me enjoy the experience?

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2 comments on “Paper or electronic?

  1. Nancy, I gave an iPad and use both iBooks and kindle apps to read ebooks. And i still love book books. My overflowing bookshelves are histories of my intellectual explorations and relics of how I spent vacations. I hate to part with my books. Yet, like you, I like the idea of having my collection at my finger tips. And I like being able to share books with others, which is not possible with an ebook. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what qualities of a book make it such that I would prefer electronic version or paper version. I haven’t been successful yet in developing that criteria, and I suspect that I might not know the answers to use the criteria until after reading the book. Very challenging. One thing I notice is that when I want a book NOW, Ebooks make the impulse purchase easier to do.

    • I can see how the impulse purchase option could be fun but also too much of a temptation! I suspect I’ll also find some balance between what I read electronically and on paper. I can’t see ever giving up hard copy books entirely!

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