E-Books versus Book Books

Thursday, 19 June 2014

If you are a reader of those longform things called books, do you have a preference for either e-books or paper books?

I love both.  And while e-books are sooo good, what they can't do is give you a lovely tactile experience.  Well, they can, if you have, say, a fur-lined reader cover, but it's not quite the same thing.

I recently read a book that I loved, and I also enjoyed the look of it just as much as the content of its innards.  When that happens, it gives an extra dimension of richness that an e-book can't provide.

I love the colours of this cover.  The earthy browny-purple made me hungry.

That colour continued on into the edges of each page.  They looked quite beautiful.

My cousin and I used to read a lot of books together when we were young - one page each, reading out loud, often in bed at night.  It was a delightful combination of sharing something while also getting lost in the lovely solitude of another world.

Apparently I used to do this thing while I was reading with the hand that wasn't holding the book, running it along the pages and flicking them and stuff while I was reading.

I think I maybe was doing some of that a bit more than usual here.

Of course, the cliche stands firm that it's what inside that really counts.

But it doesn't hurt to have a little beauty on the outside as well, as beautiful women floating through doors closed to the rest of us could well testify.  But if you ain't got anything but fluff on the inside, where's that gonna leave you when your outside beauty has gone?

So how about you?  What are your reading habits - e-book, paper books, a combo of the two, or a sadly dwindling reading of bookery now the interwebs is on the scene?  I love getting away from the computer, and its snippets of stuff here and there and the relentless urge to click on the next thing without having fully digested what I've just been reading.  To sit or lie down with a book, in whatever form, which is the same thing over and over, is harder to do since the advent of the net ... and also better.


  1. I am a fan of my Kindle...I have one of the old-fashioned black and white ones, and I love that I can carry around dozens of books everywhere I go, and that I can read it out in the sunshine because it's e-ink, and the battery lasts for-ev-er. . But, there's something about having real books on the bookshelf...

    1. It's such an amazing thing, isn't it, this being able to carry dozens of books everywhere. I mean, awesomely awesome!

  2. I'm a paper book lover, through and through.
    There's a kind of sentimental, romantic intimacy when curling up in an old comfy chair, with a cup of tea, clutching an old friend with yellowing pages and slightly musty scent that can never be recaptured digitally.
    I have huge reference books that would be a pain in the arse trying to sift through on a small screen, but is an absolute delight, flipping through myriad pages searching for one thing, but getting lost down a rabbit hole when distracted by another beautiful image. Great way to while away an afternoon.
    And, bookcases lined with hundreds of paperback and hard spines are very sexy and inviting, to me :)

  3. Ah interesting timing. I just last week got my first e-reader, a Kindle. I have some Wool-by-Hugh-Howey spinoff short stories that I got free on Amazon to read. I like how cheap e-books are. Plus sometimes I get books from the library and they have dubious marks on them. And having recently read The Luminaries and The Orenda and with the supermassivegiant Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell weighing down my bedside table, my arms are ready for a rest. And another thing, if I read Improving Books I like to scribble on them with a pencil. Kindles don't take kindly (pardon t.p.) to pencils.
    But I also do like the feel of a book. and it's impossible to read Brian Selznick's books on an e-reader - well any graphic or graphic-heavy novels I suppose. Both, in summary, we need both...

  4. Both. Like you, I love the tactile experience of actual books, and have many which I've read time and time again, as their creased spines show. I could never read poetry on the Kindle. I tend to read fiction, especially mysteries, on the Kindle - so for example all the Gamache stories by Louise Penny are on the Kindle, not hard copy. It does frustrate me sometimes not being able to flip back easily through the pages to remind myself of what a character said. If I had completely unlimited shelf space, I would buy more physical books and save the Kindle for travelling.

  5. I mostly read real books but have lately been borrowing my hubby's Kindle to read some series that are not available as hard books. I thought I'd hate it but actually it is great! Yesterday the power was out here and it got so dark with big storm clouds overhead, but i could read anyway just by upping the backlight. :)

    I also appreciate the technology since I could publish one of my own novels to Amazon as kindle only and save myself the difficulties of finding an agent/publisher, something I am not yet well enough to manage.

    One warning, though, beware of leaving the wifi on. I bet it would affect you badly like it does me. I even muscle-test better for its use with the backlight right, off so only use it in 'emergencies'.


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