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.


  • 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?

8 thoughts on “Ebooks Or Physical Books?

  1. eBooks are perfect for me with all the moves that we have in the military. However, I much prefer a hard copy. I like having a bookcase and looking at all the pretty covers stacked side by side

    • Ugh, I don’t even like to think about packing and moving books. I recently moved and even with my brutal culling, we had boxes and boxes of books. Some of that may be because my boys have inherited my book addiction, and I don’t get rid of their books…
      And I agree with you and Kate and Medeia: Real books are prettier. 🙂

  2. I have to say that I love both equally. There is nothing like seeing your ‘friends’ on the book shelf, to be able to share them or just thumb through them, but I love the Kindle for portability and ease of highlighting and the dictionary! I will always have both and your lists are perfect and right on. Free books that you don’t have to wait for are also a great reason to have an e-readers! Thanks for a great post and putting it so succinctly.

  3. I prefer ebooks–right now the majority of my books are in this format and I’m in love with my Kinde and iPad–but I still can’t keep away from print books. They look good on a shelf, I can put them in my classroom library to share with my students, and they’re easier to flip through.

  4. I loved to read on my blackberry before I got my Kindle3…then I got my Kindle Fire a few months ago. I LOVE my kindles. I like that they are so transportable and easy to take with me where ever I go but mostly I love that they are so light weight and easy to hold. I personally, no longer like to hold the large paperbacks or hardcovers because they just so heavy to me now (I have a house loaded with bookcases all crammed to overflowing with books.) Just don’t want anymore. I can highlight passages and make short notes on my kindle. I love looking back at those when I’m writing up my reviews. I love that it is so easy to add/delete new books. Nope, I can no longer imagine life without my kindle.

    • Ooh, yeah, that’s another thing. Being able to make notes on the Kindle. And the dictionary! When I’m reading, I’m always looking up stuff on my phone. I still have to do some of that when reading on the Kindle, but not as much.

  5. Kate, when I first heard of ereaders, I wasn’t interested, either. Then I found out I could get free ebooks and it was all over. LOL I just had to do some research to decide which one I wanted.

  6. This is the best comparison I’ve seen yet! I don’t think I’ll ever get an e-reader. The idea of reading a whole book on an electronic device just weirds me out. But I can understand the appeal for some people, especially those who travel a lot.

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