Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book vs e-book

I have owned a Kindle since July 24, 2012.   What motivated me to buy an electronic book reader was my desire to be able to travel with lots of reading material that didn't take up large parts of my luggage space.  I picked the Kindle brand because I shop mostly at and since Amazon makes the Kindle its nicely set up for me to buy e-books through them.   I also hoped that since it was also one of the first electronic readers to come out that they have smoothed out all the kinks.  The Kindle brand has been a good choice for me.  I'm happy with how it operates, how it looks, the ease at getting electronic books on it, and purchasing books for it.

The big question for me though was how it would compare to regular books.  Here is what I have found out so far since I started using the Kindle and continued to read regular books.

Book advantages:

  1. I can leave a regular book sitting on a chair or table or beach blanket in public and not be terribly worried about whether its going to be stolen while I'm away unlike leaving my Kindle in these spaces. 
  2. I can pick up a regular book and quickly envision my progress based on where the book mark is located.  I don't get that same kind satisfaction from looking at a bar chart on the bottom of the Kindle as to what percent progress I have made.  
  3. With a book, I can give it or loan it to a friend quite easily or I can trade it in to a used bookstore for credit.  I'm not sure I can do that as easily with an e-book.
  4. Not all books are in e-book format yet.  An example is I wanted to read Roger Zelazny's Dream Master book (published in 1966) but it was not available on in e-book format.  
  5. There is a short time period on airplanes where you can't read e-books but you can read regular books.
  6. My library does have e-books available but often the book I want is not in e-book format while it is on the shelf!
  7. A book can sometimes serve as conversation starter and I have had fun discussions in waiting rooms or airport gates with someone about how they are enjoying their book or how I like my book.  This has not happened to me with an e-book.
  8. I still prefer the touch and feel of a real book to the touch and feel of my Kindle.
E-book advantages:
  1. I can buy new e-books just about anytime I want.  I don't have to wait for a bookstore to open or wait for the book to come in the mail after ordering it online. Its really fun to want to read a book and be able to buy it and start reading it in literally minutes!
  2. It is handy to be able to set the text size for an e-book.  I can't change a book's text size.
  3. An e-book is great for reading hefty sized books (think War and Peace).  The Kindle is small and light like a paper back book but you still have the entire hefty book inside it!
  4. Its much easier to carry around lots of e-books than books!
I don't think I'm going to give up regular books any time soon.  I'll keep my Kindle and use it in the situations where its handy like while traveling or when I want to get and start reading a book right away, but for most of my reading I will probably continue to stick with regular books.