Anyone who has visited my home knows that I have a great passion for books. I have thousands of them. They are everywhere, stuffed into every room and into cupboard space. Books are my best friends. Most of the time, I prefer to sit with a really good book than to be out socializing with humans.
Because of my love for books, I was very resistant to, perhaps even afraid of, digital books for the longest time. However, since there are now some books that are only available in digital format, I saw the handwriting on the wall. I must give in and purchase an e-reader. When I did finally purchase an e-reader, I was rocked by how versatile they were. Best of all, there is absolutely no better way to travel than with an e-reader chock full of books. I used to carry half a suitcase of books whenever I traveled and as you can imagine the weight of these books can add up quite quickly.
I can’t imagine myself sitting for hours in airports and on planes with nothing to occupy my mind other than my own thoughts so I always take more books than I actually need as insurance that I would not run out of reading material. Now I can board the plane with one little e-reader weighing 7 ounces and yet have a thousand books on it, which leaves more room for clothes or souvenirs in my luggage.
It then began to dawn on me that I could have the best of both worlds. Just because I had an e-reader, didn’t mean I had to forego my collection of p-books. Both paper and digital have their own benefits. I now have three categories for my books:
- Reference books I want to keep forever I will buy as p-books.
- Books that I will read only once (and then give away) I will buy as e-books.
- Those books that I refer to quite frequently will be bought as p-books and e-books so that wherever I am, I have access to the book.
The technology of the book is not similar to that of music or movies where the evolution was from vinyl to tape to CD/DVD to digital. Here each subsequent generation was a big jump in quality and convenience. But e-books are not simply a better format replacing an inferior one; they offer a wholly different experience. So I predict that p-books and e-books are going to co-exist.
I am now proud to say I am bibook. I love books in any form. Books are my best friends. They are my entertainment, my escape, and my ecstasy.
In the end, it’s not really important in what format we read, only that we do read.
In the following section I list 22 advantages of both book formats so that you can decide which form is best for you.
*P-book = Paper or printed book.
**E-book = Electronic or digital book.
ADVANTAGES OF E-BOOKS
- E-books save space.
- E-books are cheaper. Many are free. (However, the initial cost of the reader should be factored in.)
- E-books save on resources such as paper.
- E-books are convenient.
- E-books have multimedia and interactive capabilities.
- E-books can be stored online in the cloud and so never lost or destroyed.
- E-books can be accessed from multiple sources such as smartphone, reader, tablet, or computer.
- E-books are more private because the cover is not visible to others and they can be password protected.
- E-books are searchable.
- E-book authors can receive more profit per book due to cheaper production costs.
- E-readers are usually lighter and smaller to hold than a book.
- E-readers can have dictionaries and other resources available at a finger’s tap.
- E-readers can instantly translate words into other languages.
- E-readers may allow you to read footnotes without changing the page or losing your place in the book.
- E-readers can store over a thousand books on one half pound device.
- E-readers are back lit so they can be read in the dark without an external light.
- E-readers can adjust text size and font.
- E-readers estimate how much time is left to the end of the chapter based on your personal reading speed.
- E-readers give access to newspapers and magazines.
- Many e-books are sold nowadays with bonuses, which you usually do not get with a p-book.
- Buying e-books online is instantaneous and there are no shipping costs.
- Some e-books are not published in paper form.
ADVANTAGES OF P-BOOKS
- P-books don’t break when dropped.
- P-books do not have glare like many screens.
- P-books won’t malfunction, break down, or be subjected to viruses.
- P-books never have to be charged.
- P-books don’t require technology and don’t produce e-waste.
- P-books don’t require looking at a screen that is emitting radiation.
- P-books can be signed, numbered, and printed with beautiful bindings.
- P-books can be used as decoration in homes and offices.
- P-books are easier to borrow and lend.
- P-books have a kinesthetic experience of holding a book, turning pages, and flipping forward and backward.
- P-books have physical beauty.
- P-books have smell, feel, and weight.
- P-books are collectible.
- P-books can be written in more easily.
- P-books are nostalgic.
- P-books are easy to use. You just open them up.
- P-books require no power sources.
- P-books have no digital licensing restrictions to sharing.
- The value of p-books can rise in time.
- Multiple books can be worked on easily at once.
- One statistic reports that people read faster in print form than digital form.
- Some p-books are not published in digital form, especially older titles.