What’s your take on the debate: ebooks vs Printed Books? Which does your family prefer?
Let me back up: I’m 33.
Not really so old and yet, not exactly a spring chicken either.
As each year passes I understand the value of a good book more and more. A book can entertain, inspire, admonish, or enlighten. It can be terrible (ugh, those are the worst!), or it can become the bar to which you aspire.
These days there are many different options for buying books.
Being a tech-minded family, we quickly jumped on the e-reader bandwagon. All of our family members aged 8 and up have Kindles. We keep them loaded with all sorts of fiction and nonfiction. Science tutorials, adventurous fantasy, and the social studies book du jour are on my fifth grader’s kindle. Easy chapter books, carpentry designs, and picture books fill the e-reader of my second son.
Alternately, my husband’s kindle holds an interesting blend of science fiction and church leadership fare.
And me? I keep a typical housewife blend of parenting, marriage, ministry, and fiction. The only outlier is my collection of polar explorer biographies.
I can’t get enough of those 🙂
Without an e-reader, these collections would not only cost us a whole lot more than they do, but they would also require an extra bookshelf or two.
Even in light of this preference, sometimes it’s just better to search out the paper version of a book. Here are the pros and cons of ebooks vs printed books:
Printed book pros and cons:
- Physical Connection (pro) – An e-reader can’t mimic that satisfying feel of paper underneath your fingertips.
- Lend Ability (pro) – Want to lend your printed book to a friend? No problem! Not such an easy task with a digital book copy.
- Book Weight for Large Books (con) – Reading a paper copy of Harry Potter? Your wrists will pay the price! In this ebooks vs printed books debate topic, the ebook gets a clear win 🙂
- Single Book (con) – With an e-reader you have thousands of books at your fingertips. Even more are just a few mouse clicks away. When holding a printed book, you have what’s in front of you. Perhaps a few more available with a quick trek around the house.
Ebook pros and cons:
- Multiple Books on one Slim Device (pro) – Think of an e-reader as an entire library of books at your fingertips.
- Built-in Light (pro) – No more sitting in bed with a headlamp or book light if you have a Kindle Paperwhite.
- Instant Digital Library Lending (pro) – No more driving to the bookstore or waiting for a new read to arrive in the mail. Instant delivery, baby!
- A Disconnect With the Physical (con) – There’s just something satisfying about turning paper pages. Forgive the drama, but I think it soothes the soul.
- You Can’t Easily Lend eBooks (con) – It is possible to loan a kindle book to a fellow kindle user, but you can only make a loan once for each purchase.
Which do I use?
That’s easy — both!
As you can read from the list above, each style of book has its own strengths and weaknesses. While the majority of my personal (and children’s read-aloud) books are on kindle, I still purchase some paper versions.
I also use printed versions of our family’s favorite picture books. No matter what anyone says, those really don’t translate well to ebook format.
Last week I ordered two paperback books for the first time in a long while. Wild and Free & For Better or for Kids are two books that I’m really excited to read. Because I expect them to be share-worthy, I’ve purchased the physical version of each book. I plan on passing them on to other women when I’m finished.
That way I not only get the benefit of a good read but also a chance for stimulating community as well.
That’s a win-win! 😉
Which method do you prefer in the eBooks vs printed books debate?
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