Books vs E-readers

February 25, 2019Hels

“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”

Libraries and bookshops are some of my favourite places. There is nothing quite like holding a book in your hand, flicking through the pages and admiring beautiful covers. I was never particularly interested in getting an e-reader, there is nothing that quite compares to the feeling of a physical book. However, I got a Kindle as a graduation present when I finished my degree, and upgraded to a Kindle Paperwhite a few years ago, and now I read both physical books and e-books.

I thought I’d share my thoughts on books vs e-readers…

Space

Books: Physical books take up space. There’s sadly no getting around this fact. We currently live in a flat and it doesn’t have a huge amount of space, (plus most of our available space seems to be taken up by Dougie and his train track which tends to run through every room in the house…) so I don’t have a proper bookcase. My books are piled up in our living room and stacked up beside my bed. I play a risky kind of book jenga each time I want to get a book out which is far from ideal! My bag is noticeably heavier when I am carrying books around, and if I’m heading on holiday anywhere then I’m much more limited with the number of books I can take.

E-reader: Space saving is a huge positive of an e-reader. You can have literally hundreds of books on one 6” tablet. I don’t need to worry about running out of floorspace, and the file sizes of books are so small, I doubt I’ll ever run out of space on my Kindle! If I’m going on holiday, it means I can take a huge selection of books but I don’t need to worry about space in my luggage. I tend to only take hand luggage when I go away, and my Kindle means I don’t need to worry about space and weight limitations.

Price

Books: Physical books, especially new releases and hardbacks, can be pricey, and it can be frustrating when a hardback book costs £20, and the paperback isn’t due to be released for months. Books don’t have to be expensive though – I absolutely love borrowing books from the library (our library also has books for sale for extremely low prices) and taking part in book swaps. Browsing charity shops is also an amazing way to find cheap books – you can find some incredible bargains and even stumble upon rare books by hunting around.

E-reader: The e-reader itself obviously has quite a high initial cost, although I personally think they are fairly priced. Ebooks themselves however, are often much cheaper than the physical books. The Kindle store often has sales, and many books are available for as little as 99p. You also don’t have to pay (or wait!) for delivery.

Appearance

Books: I mean, for me there is no contest. Books are beautiful, and I am so excited to move into our new house and get a proper bookshelf so I can display all my books. I’ve also found that since my Instagram became a bookstagram account, I’ve definitely found myself wanted to purchase the physical books more, which is not great for the space in our flat, but it’s making me more excited to fill our future bookshelves. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, from time to time we’re all drawn to books with gorgeous covers! I bought The Binding a few weeks ago, I wanted to read the book anyway, but I couldn’t resist buying the hardback when I saw the cover. There are also books that feature illustrations that just can’t be replicated on an e-reader.

E-reader: Some e-readers have coloured screens, so you can see the covers when you open the book, which I think is lovely. You can also buy cases for e-readers, and there are some beautiful ones you can purchase that look like books. My husband got me the most gorgeous Harry Potter case for Christmas and I love being able to hold my Kindle like a proper book. E-readers can make it more challenging to take good bookstagram photos though – but it’s a good excuse to get a bit more creative! There’s also the added anonymity you have with an e-reader, no-one can see what you’re reading.

Convenience and reliability

Books: I kind of covered this when I was talking above about space, but books aren’t always convenient for day-to-day due to limitations of bag size, weight restrictions etc. However, they are much more reliable. Obviously you want to take good care of your books, but they won’t break if they’re dropped, they can’t run out of battery and they don’t need updating or upgrading.

E-reader: From a convenience perspective, I think e-readers have the upper hand. Books you purchase are in your hands within seconds and the size and weight of an e-reader is amazing. Reliability however, can be a different matter. The battery on my Kindle is excellent, it lasts a couple of weeks and doesn’t take too long to charge, but I’ve found that sometimes on holiday it can overheat and it tells me the battery needs recharging. I’ve also gone through several chargers over the years, which is an annoying expense. My Kindle is a few years old now and can sometimes run a little slow, and if I want to turn back to an earlier page to check something it can be a bit of a pain. But, the fact that my Kindle is now several years old and still working absolutely fine is amazing. My Kindle isn’t waterproof, but some of the more recent e-reader releases are which is amazing – I’m always anxious if I’m reading my Kindle in the bath!

I love the convenience of e-readers, though nothing quite beats the feeling of holding a real, physical book. There are so many positives to both however, and ultimately I think however you enjoy reading, the main thing is that you’re reading!

Do you have an e-reader? How do you prefer reading your books?

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