Ebooks VS Books

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Since E-Books first came out, I was against them. I’ve always preferred to actually hold a book, to be able to enjoy the smell of a new or very old book. So, when everyone was telling me to get a Kindle and my Dad was offering to buy me one, I kept refusing it. That was until this year, when two people I knew got a Kindle and a Kobo and I found myself starting to waiver in my opinion of E-Books. Two months later, I had a Kindle and I can’t deny the fact that it has been pretty useful.

However, owning a Kindle takes out some of the fun having buying and owning books. I like the fact that when people come around to mine, they will see all the books I own. They will see three bookcases full of every genre of books you could possibly think of. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that. Whenever I’m in someone else’s house/bedroom I’m looking at the books they owned and seeing if they have any that I’ve read. This is a great conversation starter, especially with people you don’t know that well. You see you have something in common and you can start a conversation. But with a Kindle you can’t do that. No one knows what books you have on your Kindle, your friends might not have a Kindle, so it’s not really a social thing to do.

What I mean by this is that it’s harder to engage in conversations about books when a person won’t know what books you own. I like the fact that when people see my books, they will see that I have every Jane Austen book, that I have bookcase dedicated to History books, I like them to see my collection of Churchill Books. It’s taken me years to get the collection of books that I have today. I’m only twenty years old and I know my collection will keep growing.

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Saying that, I am starting to appreciate having a Kindle. Mainly because Some Classics have quite small font in written form, so having it on a Kindle where you can change the size of the font which valuable for a person with poor eyesight and who struggles to read small print books for a long time. I did this when I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. If I hadn’t got the book on Kindle, it would have definitely taken me more than a week to read it.

What worries me about the Kindle is that people will buy books electronically rather than from a bookshop. For me, half the fun of getting it book is going to the shop and browsing through the shelves, looking at the books that have just come in, trying to decide if I should buy the book that I’ve been wanting to read for months or wait a little longer and get it as a present.

As Kindles become more and more popular, we won’t be able to do this anymore, which makes me sad. When I think that future generations are going to pick up an electronic device first and miss out on going to libraries and bookshops and spending hours looking for the perfect book. Whereas younger people will just go straight to the internet and download what they want. It’s not the same and that’s a shame.

As much as I support the Kindle and E-Books – At the end of the day, reading is reading and if Kindles are getting more people reading, that’s a good thing. But if you tell your friend about an amazing book you read, you can’t lend it them because it’s on a Kindle and not in paper form. Which is kind of sad, I think.

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For me, being able to tell people that a book is amazing and being able to lend it to them and then talk to them about it, is half the fun of reading it and not being able to lend someone a book that I thought they love, is disappointing. Books are meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

As long as I can afford to, I will always buy paperbacks over E-Books. I like seeing the books on my bookcase and being able to show people that I have that book, makes me quite happy.

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3 thoughts on “Ebooks VS Books

  1. I know this feeling. I’m always anti-technology in general to start… then I get a toy and I go: “Ooooh!” Personally, I love my Kindle. For me, it’s the ability to highlight and easily look up your highlights later. Because I love quotes.

    But it’s a double edged sword…as you said, with bookstores becoming obsolete. One of my favorite places in Salem was this tiny bookstore with books piled EVERYWHERE: on tables, in shelves, on the floor. And the shopkeeper knew exactly where everything was, but there was no real discernible system. And you had to weave between stacks and the smell of books was everywhere. I firmly believe more bookstores like these are needed.

    It’s gone out of business now. It’s so sad. When I found out they were closing, I went and bought about a dozen books.

    Anyway.. the only point of this comment is to completely agree with you about everything.

  2. At age 53 I have hardly any space left for paper books, so have had to resort to a Kindle. I like browsing in bookshops, so try to give them some business.
    Waterstone’s get some commission if you buy a Kindle book whilst connected to their WiFi, and one of the branches near me has an in house Café W rather than a Costa or Starbucks franchise. I usually go to it when visiting the shop, spending about £4, That gives them same revenue, and probably more profit, that they would get if I bought a paperback novel every other visit.
    When I want to buy a paper book, either because I am using a book token, the book does not have a Kindle edition or it is too well illustrated to want the Kindle version, I go to a local independent bookshop.

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