e-Readers vs. Good old fashioned Books

When e-readers first came around, I was skeptical. I am a book lover. Ever since I saw the Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” with her library so big Belle needed a ladder to reach her books, I have always wanted a library of my own. I am in love with the idea of walls lined with books. I even have a board on Pinterest dedicated to what I’d like my future library to look like.

But I couldn’t argue with the portability of an e-reader. I always carry my current read with me wherever I go. Despite weight and heft, I bring books in the bag I take with me to work everyday, and they end up in my car, on my nightstand or wherever the last place I was reading. Getting lugged around so much can leave a paperback a bit banged up. Which is okay by me, I like a book that has been loved. Books are meant to be read, not preserved like items in a museum. So the lightweight and easy to transport features of an e-reader have a one-up on printed-and-bound books.

I read while I’m doing other things, mainly, on my lunchbreak at work. Trying to juggle a sandwhich or eat a bowl of soup while holding my page and keeping a book from closing can be difficult. Another point for the e-reader.

Intrigued, I asked for a Kindle for my birthday last year. I love that it is easy to read and not back-lit like a computer which causes eye strain. I like that it is lightweight, easy to carry around, easy to hold. I like that it lies flat so my hands are free while I’m reading. On our honeymoon in Cancun, I brought my Kindle to the beach with me each day and could hold it without awkwarding trying to hold the pages open.

I am a Kindle user, but I am still a book lover. I still love going to bookstores, used bookstores and the library to browse the shelves and see what strikes me. I love the heft of a book. I love thumbing through the pages while I read, feeling their soft edges. I love the smell of books.

When reading on my Kindle, I miss being able to pick up a pencil and underline a passage I like. Kindle has a highlight feature, but it’s just not the same as physically marking words that you want to come back to later. I miss the ability to quickly flip back a few pages or a few chapters to look back at something that has happened. Navigating the pages of a book on an e-reader is a bit more tedious and difficult to find exactly what I’m looking for.

While it seems e-readers are the way of the future, I don’t think I will ever give up the good old fashioned book.

What’s your reading preference?