Ebooks Or Physical Books?

By now everyone has written a post or article about why they prefer ebooks or physical books, the pros and cons, and all that good stuff. I’m probably the last blogger to do so. I’ve only had my Kindle for a few months, so I’m a little behind. Nothing new there. Better late than never, so here’s my list.

Ereaders

  • With the light on my Kindle case, I can read at night or in an area with low light.
  • I can enlarge the font.
  • There are tons of free ebooks available. Most libraries loan ebooks now, but you can also get free ebooks from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Even those that aren’t free are usually cheaper than physical books.
  • I can start a book instantly. I don’t have to wait for the book to arrive in the mail or for a trip to the library.
  • I can carry hundreds (okay, thousands) of books on my Kindle.
  • Whether I’m looking for a book on a specific subject or looking for a specific word or phrase in my current book, I can do a quick search and pull up all instances of a word or phrase.
Physical books
  • I’ve found it’s easier to absorb content reading a real book. Whether it’s psychological or something to do with the printing process, I found it to be the case before I ran across any articles about it.
  • I have limited room for book storage, and as I rarely reread books, there isn’t much point in keeping them anyway. This would seem like an ereader “pro”, but stay with me for a minute. I also like to share books with others, either by giving them away, trading, or selling them. I can’t do that with ebooks. Also, if I don’t like an ebook, I’m stuck with it. Sure I can delete it, but I can’t sell it to get part of my money back or just pass it on to someone who might like it. Which is why I stick to free or cheap ebooks.
  • I can flip back through the book to reread a section. This can be done on an ereader, but I find it much easier in a real book.
  • I can see how far I am into the book. The Kindle has the percentage read on the bottom of the page, but I’m a visual person and I want to actually see how many pages I’ve read and have left.
  • A real book never needs to be charged.
  • I don’t have to worry about my kids taking my grown-up books. They like the Kindle a little too much.
  • You can’t really browse ebooks. I can go to a library sale, a thrift store, or a book store, and look at the covers and spines to see what catches my eye.

I’m loving my Kindle, but I don’t see myself ever giving up physical books. I think there’s room in the world for both. Some of my points above even seem to contradict each other. That’s because what I prefer sometimes depends on the mood I’m in and what’s going on around me. Where do you stand on the ereader vs. physical books debate? Why?