I’m probably a little behind the times on this one. But, I figured I’d chime in. Don’t worry, I’m not going the way of “e-books aren’t real books.” However, I do have my pros and cons.
I have a Kindle. Just a plain old kindle, black and white, nothing super fancy. I do have a sweet leather cover for it so it feels like you’re holding a book. Which, I must say, helps the experience. People are often worried it won’t “feel” real, but the cover helps, sometimes I even find myself reaching for the upper right hand corner of the reader to turn the “page” instead of just pushing the button. Win for e-reader.
Con for e-reader: you can’t write in it, or dog ear. I know there are highlighting tools, and the truth is I really haven’t learned to use all the functions of my e-reader, even though I’ve had it for 13 months. Sometimes a pencil and my notes in the margins just feels better. Also, sometimes I remember where something significant is by how the page looks – paragraph breaks, the feeling of 1/3 of the book in my hand as I search for the exact page. Not something you get in an e-reader. So the opposite of this paragraph would be a pro of paper books.
Paper books also are just … nostalgic. Not that there’s anything wrong with a digital book. But paper books just feel different. It’s an intangible feeling I’m having difficulty explaining – please tell me you can relate. Also, this might not be an issue on fancier e-readers, but I miss cover art. Just sayin’.
Another big downfall of e-books/positive of paper books is this recent development of ebooks no longer being yours after you die? It makes me sad at the prospect of not being able to pass down books.
In summation, I like my e-reader. I buy books on super-discount from amazon that I might not otherwise. They are available instantaneously without me having to get off my couch – I mean, come on. However, if there’s a book I want to analyze, or a non-fiction book, I’d probably still go with paper. And, let’s be honest, perusing the pages of amazon.com will never trump rifling through the pages and spines of books in a cute, musty, coffee-infused book store.