Discussion: Physical or E-Reader?

Hello everyone! I thought I’d break up the monotony of reviews I’ve been posting in favor of one of the most frequently debated topics of bookworms: do you prefer physical books, or eBooks? Like most people, I’d say there are pros and cons to both.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, and until recently I was a staunch advocate of physical books. A project I was forced to do in my Language and Writing class forced me to take a look at both sides, and now I find myself (reluctantly) using my Kindle more often than usual. Here are my thoughts on the two formats.

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Just some pretty physical books I’d like to share 🙂

Physical books: pros and cons. So, I think this one has a lot of pros. It’s all about sensation–the weight of a book in your hands, the smell of the freshly printed ink and creamy paper. While researching, I found that this haptic connection we have with physical books actually helps us form deeper connections because we remember plot and sequences better when we can feel the pages shift from one side of the book to the other, which absolutely fascinates me. The format of books in a culture is directly tied to how we perceive the events that take place in it. How cool is that? Plus, who doesn’t love collecting, or browsing at a bookstore? It’s one of my favorite feelings to place a new book on my shelf…though this leads to some of the cons of physical books. The main issue I have is sustainability. It’s pretty clear that books use a lot of paper, and mass consumerism means that many more books are printed than are actually needed. And then what? They sit on our shelves, collecting dust, until we decide that we don’t need them anymore. Then they get donated and passed on to libraries, where they’re discarded when they aren’t presentable anymore. Yes, I’m sure some end up in recycling–that’s great. But how many more end up taking space in a landfill? Of course, there’s also the convenience factor. While I don’t think this is a big deal (I have spacious purses), this is one of the main reasons people have for liking eBooks better. What do you guys thing of this?

eBooks: pros and cons. It is with great reluctance that I admit that eBooks are very convenient. Not only are they cheaper, but they’re easily accessible from almost anywhere–no shipping or printing necessary. I can buy a new release on the midnight it comes out, right from the comfort of my home. I can borrow and return digital library books with the touch of a button. I can read on the bus, on the subway, while standing in line. I see the benefits for publishers as well, especially with ARCs–it’s a practically free way to publicize new novels. Of course, there’s also the lack of environmental footprint. While there is energy used to create and read eBooks, it’s almost nonexistent compared to physical books. So, there must be a trade-off for this seemingly magical way to read. That brings me to this question: what are we sacrificing for convenience? Are there connections we can make with a physical book that are impossible to forge with an eBook? What do you guys think about this? For me, the answer is absolutely. There’s something about real books that an eBook can never capture, and I think it comes down to a sense of ownership. In a way, when we buy or borrow a book, we become the masters of that story. We are holding it in our hands–the way we read and perceive it belongs solely to us. Each book feels different, just as all of the stories they contain are different.

I think there needs to be a balance between the old souls inside of us and our more practical, modern selves. For me, I’d say that balance needs to start with buying books that I know I’ll like. I’ve found that, for the most part, I agree with the general population of Goodreads. If a book has more than four stars, I’ll probably enjoy it enough to buy a physical copy. If it has bad reviews but I still think I’ll like it, I borrow it from the library. Anything that doesn’t fall under those categories will be found on the Kindle store, Kobo, or Netgalley. (You guys just witnessed me make a promise to myself. Hopefully this will help my wallet and cut down on my TBR of books that I own).

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree with me? Which format do you prefer, and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Quick side note: Thank you all for 150 followers! I know this may not seem like a lot to some bloggers out there, but I think this is a pretty hefty milestone. Huge gratitude to those who have followed since the beginning as well as those who have recently decided to join me on my journey. I was thinking about maybe hosting a giveaway when I reach 200 or 300 followers, so stay tuned :). I’m so glad that I’ve become a more active blogger, because I love this bookish corner of the internet. Everyone is super friendly, responsive, and informative! I’ve learned so much from everyone’s thoughts, opinions, and comments, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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10 thoughts on “Discussion: Physical or E-Reader?

  1. libby @ dimscreen says:

    What a great discussion! I hear people talk about the pros and cons of each so often but you brought up points I hadn’t thought of. E-books are great but I don’t think anything can replace the feel of a physical book. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Olivia Emily says:

    Great post!! I’m a user of both, and frankly I tend to choose the cheapest option, whether that’s E-Book, new book or second hand. I love my e-reader for all the points you mentioned: it’s convenient, light, portable – but also I can read from it in the dark and without my arms aching! I love the smell of books, and if I enjoyed an e-book, I tend to buy the physical copy, anyway. I guess I don’t really have a solid preference 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you 🙂 and I totally didn’t think of the backlight! That’s a great point, it’s super nice to use a kindle at night and on road trips. And I love that you have ebook and physical copies of a book, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Writes Things says:

    This is such a great post! I personally love both. I have a Kindle and it’s so great for travelling, it makes highlighting my favourite parts really easy, and I can read books my brother buys even if we’re away because we share the same Amazon account. And I can lie down when I read, which I find hard to do with physical books. But I also love physical books and they’re so pretty! So I tend to buy the physical books that are pretty and the ebooks of ugly books I want to read lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mel says:

    Physical books! I am one of the idiots that always carries one around and on my last trip I took about 10 with me. But then I leave them behind in hostels and hotels and hope that someone else will pick them up. There is something for me not only about the physical book but also about the feel of a book and the way we experience things through touch.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lauren says:

      Haha! I have definitely lugged a book with me to some places that maybe an eBook would have been better (Disneyland lol). I think it’s great that you leave them behind, honestly that would be such a lovely surprise. I’m sure many people have picked up the books 🙂 That is a very kind practice, and I might have to start doing that myself.

      Like

  5. thoughtsallsorts says:

    Interesting…I’ve always felt I remember a physical book more than a eBook. Somehow it just sinks in better. Almost like the eBook is as quick to be forgotten as it is to be obtained.
    As for your followers…congratulations. That takes quite a while to achieve.

    Liked by 2 people

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