Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap…Paperbacks vs E-books

This week’s Mind the GapHow do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand?

To check out this weekly writing challenge, please follow the link HERE and join or check out other entries!

My answer: Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore.

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This covers its all: Young adult, fantasy, fiction, mystery, mangas…

Call me old-fashioned but I have to go with paperback. I’ve considered buying an ebook reader before I got my tablet.  At least it would beat having a crazy growing collection of books, that have not infested my bookcase to the point where I don’t know where to put any other ones.  I even tried to test run that by reading the sixth and seventh Harry Potter novels on the computer.  I did finish it but it took eternities.  My eyes would ache after scrolling through 10 pages max.  It takes away from the excitement of the text in front of me.  That’s a feeling that I don’t particularly enjoy.  Of course, you could argue that ereaders don’t have a glare and maintain the nice gentleness on the eyes because of that feature.  That would make it more bearable than a computer (or even a tablet).

What doesn’t cut it for me is the experience of reading.  That idea of going to the bookstore and browsing through a physical book in your hand. The feeling of the spine and the texture of the pages in your hands.  When you bring it home, it can sit on the desk as a constant reminder to pick it up and read it to enter into another world that sucks us away from reality.  As the book hits the peak and excitement grows, you can flip the pages. When you reach the end, you can close the book quietly (or loudly if you’d like) and hold it in your hands and reflect on everything you’ve read, the adventures, fun or not fun.

When you return it to the book shelf, you can look over days, months or years later and think about re-reading it again.  It’ll bring back the good and bad memories of what you did read.  And then if it was good, you can send it over to a faraway good friend, or lend it to a relative.

The satisfaction of reading a physical book is almost irreplaceable.

How about you-paperback or ereader?

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20 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap…Paperbacks vs E-books

  1. Books are great but I am just the opposite. I like e-readers because you don’t have to go to the book and browse and look for something you might like. It is quick and you always find what you are interested in at the cyber book store!! That is just me though. I respect and understand the touch, feel, smell and look of a physical book in your hand. Unfortunately they aren’t as practical. I commented somewhere else today, that one of the turning points in my adult life was getting an Ereader and reading about 80 books in 8 months. Couldn’t have done it any other way. Reading expands your knowledge and understanding and once that expansion happens it is impossible to go the other way. Keep reading, it is the best thing you can do for your brain no matter what type of vehicle you use. have a great day Kim!

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    • I love reading, ever since I could remember. By the time I was 8, a book was always by my side no matter where I went.

      I’m actually trying to get into the ereader thing. I just installed it onto my tablet and started reading short stories to just get started. It is way more convenient not to mention, it saves from lugging around a big heavy book. Especially when novels are always released in hardcover first, so there’s the wait for the paperback. But somehow, its a nice feeling to hold something physical in my hands especially when life has turned so electronic and distant from physical beings..haha!
      Whichever way it is, its what makes us comfortable and happy that matters. I like to hear the other opinions people have. Thanks for sharing Jonathan!
      Have an awesome day 🙂

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  2. I can see the advantages to both. Yes, call me a fence rider. I love book stores, but hat having books lying around at home that I will never read again. Tryint to re-sell them is a joke, because the value is similar to a new car in that as soon as you finish it the vlaue goes away. My wife says she reads faster on the Kindle I got her for Christmas. Plaus she can easily take multiple books with her while sitting waiting in doctor’s offices or anywhere.

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  3. I got the Kindle Fire for Christmas and quickly downloaded several books, two Ligotti titles that are out of print (and are selling used for $40 – $160 on Amazon & ebay, even for the paperback editions) and Moby Dick, which I haven’t read but didn’t want to pay $10 for just in case I can’t get through it. At the same time I am reading tradditional paperbacks. I don’t know about the other e-readers but I set my kindle to sepia tone and it doesn’t bother my eyes at all (you can also adjust the brightness), plus, I can read without angling toward the light or with no lights on at all. With the price of paperbacks, it is better for me to buy ebooks for a couple of dollars, because I am a finicky reader and there are plenty of books I start and don’t like, especially when it comes to modern novels. So, I will continue on both paths and see no reason to choose one over the other.

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    • I’ve heard really good things about Kindle readers. I had contemplated it before. I didn’t end up getting a reader but a tablet because its more multipurpose, so its a bit different from readers I think because of the glare.
      However, I do see your point. Sometimes when the books are extremely horrible, I feel like I wasted my money. Ebooks are cheaper usually, right? I am working on balancing the two.
      I did download the Kindle app on my tablet and had downloaded some classics and short stories collections to just start myself off. It for the sake of the writing challenge that I chose one over the other however both do have their pros and cons. Especially the days when I was lugging around The Invention of Hugo Cabret around and well, thats also why I postponed reading Les Miserables since its approx. 1200 pages.
      Thanks for sharing 🙂

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      • Yeah, 1200 pages fits nicely into a reader, lol. The Kindle Fire is basically a tablet that has the kindle reader within it. I get internet, apps, mp3s, waste a lot of time playing angry birds – it runs on the android system. I think the K-reader is easiest on the eyes.

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      • Ah…you see there are so many tablets out there, I don’t know them all anymore. I have the Samsung Tab 2. Oh yes, Angry Birds…I just got Bad Piggies. Haha!
        Next step is definitely moving part of my reading onto the tablet 🙂

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  4. Great post!! It’s nice to hear the side of someone who still likes the physical books 🙂 I used to be like that…the smell of them, the feel, being able to look at it and see how many pages I put between where my finger was and where my bookmark was from earlier…it’s a great feeling. I remember reading the Hunger Games on my uncle’s iPad – and absolutely hating it!!! Just like you said, it hurts the eyes; I’d be reading through tears late in the night. The glow is just very exhausting.

    Then a couple years ago, I was on an airplane with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on my lap – the large print version (present from a friend who apparently thinks I’m blind) which was extra huge and cumbersome. Next to me was a businessman, holding a Kindle…and thousands of books…with one hand. He convinced me, in my moment of weakness, that the kindle was a good bet. When I got home I bought the bare bones version. There was no point in getting a kindle Fire, which would be just like an iPad. I got the Kindle4 (no touch but better than Paperweight cuz it has real buttons on it) and fell madly in love. It’s thanks to that I demolished like 20 books last year, including the Song of Ice and Fire tomes, on my commute. The eInk really does make a difference, it’s completely true that you can read it for hours without exhaustion interrupting you, and it’s nice to hold a “book” in one hand without worrying about damaging the spine.

    Sometimes I miss real books, because then I can lend them to people easily… I can give other people certain DRM-free (ripped) eBooks, but it doesn’t feel the same. With a physical book, they are 99% likely to read it, in my experience, whereas when I give an eBook via email it just gets added to the pile of 1000 other eBooks on their eBook reader; lost in the fold.

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    • Pros and cons! We just have to make choices but you know, I’m starting to see this in a very different light. Its motivating me to really give this a extended time of evaluation and hopefully I’ll get into it too. I’m sure I’ll never give up the love for it but maybe there can be a balance. It’ll be economical also and more space efficient so definitely worth the change 🙂

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  5. Which do I prefer? The choice for me is an easy one. I don’t own an e-reader and don’t plan to buy one. I don’t like having to buy and learn how to use the next new tech gadget just to read a book, or depend on something like that to pull up the internet (via a smart phone). Nor, do I want to bother having to recharge an e-reader, or go through a process to keep what I read secure from misuse or abuse. I like the convenience of pulling out a paperback or hardback whenever I am at home and reading while sitting in my ‘reading chair’ in the comfort of my home. I have more difficulty reading from the smaller tech gadgets and prefer the close up range of a printed copy using my reader glasses. With the paperback or hardback copy of a book, I just take it with me where ever I am going like to appointments and can quickly open it up to read without needing to turn it on or warm it up. That is too inconvenient for my lifestyle.

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  6. I can see the point you are making. Physical books are convenient in the point where you don’t have to wait for the device to charge up or be worried that you’re in the middle of a good part and the battery runs out. Its equivalent to watching TV episode and then it cuts off at a cliffhanger. The pain of that..haha!
    A good point made! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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