Some Thoughts on Devouring Books (E-Readers vs. Print)


Reading is a personal experience for everyone, and so it’s no surprise that many readers (and writers) feel strongly about the mediums in which they consume their novels.  Book connoisseurs are often split; some say the most delectable book is a print book, while others maintain that the flavors of a novel can only be savored through the screen.  Here, in a nutshell, are my thoughts on the benefits of both.

A Print Book…

  • Can actually smell of book. E-Readers (hopefully) don’t smell of anything.  They can’t evoke sensory images of massive libraries, or pleasantly musty stacks of books stretching away into bliss.
  • Can offer no distractions other than its content. You won’t be tempted to organize your “library,” or play around with fonts, or add little notes.
  • Will never run out of battery life. On the other hand, you may love it into physically disintegrating.

An E-Reader…

  • Can fit entire bookshelves in your pocket. Hundreds of books.  All the books.
  • Can be read easily at night, or in ill-lit places, or anywhere, really, provided you have enough battery life.
  • Can (depending on if it’s a full-blown tablet or not) allow you to edit text documents as well, or browse the internet if you encounter something in your reading which you’d like to know more about. In this way, it can become an all-inclusive reading/writing experience.

So Where Do I Stand?

  • Personally, I alternate between print books and a Nook Glowlight Plus. I find the broader features of a proper tablet to be distracting, and so the Glowlight is perfect for me; it does nothing except let me read books and PDFs.  I adore it for all of the reasons listed above, and for the fact that its screen can actually manage to look like paper.  However, if a specific book is particularly important to me (for example, most anything by Neil Gaiman, or The Phantom of the Opera), I have to buy it in print.  Despite how much I love the flexibility of my e-Reader, some things can never be replaced.

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