It’s always been a dream of mine to have a giant library filled with books, a la Beauty and the Beast. I’ve rearranged my shelves multiple times, and I love always having things to read whenever I have a spare moment.
Whenever I go to a store or a garage sale, I always gravitate toward the books. And you better believe I’m there every time my local libraries host used book sales.
So I was pretty perturbed when eBooks started to show up. Why would anyone want to substitute the feeling and smell of a great physical book?
Well, after a few years of going back and forth, I’ve finally made up my mind. We live in a world where both can thrive.
Here’s the thing I will never understand about eBooks. They’re the same price (if not more expensive) than physical books, despite not having to be printed. How does that make any sense?
I can understand the relatively expensive cost of an eReader, because it’s made of complex technology and physical materials that need to be purchased, shipped, and assembled. And I am all about paying the authors royalties for their creative work. They worked hard (I hope…) on their book, so it’s only fair that we pay them for it.
But it still doesn’t add up. I’d assume the author gets the same payment for an eBook as they do for a physical book. But a physical book costs more money to produce, so why is an eBook the same price, if not more expensive? eBooks should be a fraction of the cost.
But, whether you’re reading an eBook or a physical book, you can get it from the library if the cost isn’t something you want to deal with.
This is a category that eBooks win, hands down. They take up so much less room. That’s why I always have my Kindle / iPad / iPhone with me whenever I travel, rather than carrying around big, clunky books.
I really wish I had had my Kindle when I was living in Ghana back in 2011. My mom insisted I only needed two books, but I finished them within the first week I was there. So I had five weeks left with nothing to read. The sun went down by 6 p.m., and we were told that as obronis, it was best to stay inside after dark. Luckily, the study abroad center had plenty of books for us to borrow. But imagine if I had a Kindle with hundreds of books at my fingertips! Problem solved.
Especially with the ongoing minimalism trend, books are some of the first things to go. Which makes sense, because they can take up a lot of room, and you can get them for free from the library whenever you want.
It’s no secret that physical books are much more beautiful than eBooks. I know I’m not the only one dreaming of a personal library filled with shelves on shelves on shelves of books. You just can’t get that same effect on an eReader.
I personally color-code my books, and arrange them by height within their respective colors. And I love it. They’re so visually striking and fun to browse through. Other people arrange their books by author, others in groups based on when they’d like to read them. And that’s beautiful in and of itself.
Ease of Use
This one is a toss-up. There are pros and cons to both eBooks and physical books when it comes to the ease of use.
On one hand, if you’ve got the Kindle or iBooks app on your phone, you’ve always got an eBook with you. Plus, the book is only as big as the size of your phone, so you’re never struggling to hold a heavy book over your head while laying down.
I definitely used this to my advantage while I was reading the Game of Thrones books. I got the entire series in iBook format for $5, and I didn’t have to worry about lugging around a big book everywhere I went. (Seriously, those things area heavy.) Plus, if I had a few minutes while waiting for an appointment, I always had my book with me. Easy peesy.
But, on the other hand, physical books are a bit easier when you want to look ahead or look back at something you’ve already read. You don’t have to sit there pressing buttons to get back to a specific page. You just flip through the pages and skim the content. Voila.
Personally, I love having both at my disposal. It was great having eBook versions of Game of Thrones, but who doesn’t love diving into a good physical book? They’ve both got their benefits, so I don’t see one winning out over the other any time soon.
Do you have a preference when it comes to eBooks and physical books? What are you reading now? Let me know in the comments!