Traditional Books vs. Ebooks: A Comparison

As all of you must know by now, I LOVE to read!! The whole point of me starting my first blog all those years ago was to show the world my love for reading. My favourite time in school was where I could spend my time in the library, just so I could go through the shelves and pick something to read. And trust me when I say I go wild in a bookstore, so many books, so many options to choose from and read but such a little time *sigh*. I have been a traditional book reader all my life and I could never imagine myself otherwise.

But with my love for reading comes a few problems as well, not only is it an expensive habit but I have started to run out of shelf space back home. There are literally books everywhere! There are books on the table, on top of cupboards, inside wardrobes and even on the floor in a few rooms. And as much as I would love to buy some more and increase my TBR, my house is saturated of shelving space. This necessity has made me turn to ebooks. Now, Ebooks are something of a technological marvel. With today’s tech you can have a huge novel on your phone or tablet with you at all times! Why carry a book with you when you can have it in your pocket instead? I’ve started to love reading digitally so much that I have finally talked myself into saving for a kindle by the end of this year.

So this got me thinking. What would be better? Reading a traditional book has it’s own charm whereas an ebook is convenient. After comparing the two I came up with the following points, both in favour and against traditional books and ebooks.

Traditional books, the pros are endless and this will always be my favourite. There is something about going book shopping in a bookstore, smelling the sweet fragrance of ink as you pick up a book from the shelf, holding it in your arms and gently flipping through the crisp pages of a brand new book. I don’t know what it is, but it gives me a strange sense of satisfaction. Anybody else?

Traditional Books make you “look smart”. Ever looked at someone looking into a tablet/smartphone and went “Wow! Don’t they look smart with that phone in their hands?” No, you haven’t. Nobody has, because this is something that I’m sure most of us do on a daily basis. But when you walk by someone reading a book, when you see someone holding a bunch of books, your mind immediately tells you that this is a smart person. Also, the thicker the book, the smarter you look and more curious reactions you will get from people.

Traditional books make beautiful backgrounds. You can decorate your house with them and show off your reading habit with pride! Books make a house look cosy and welcoming. Have an empty spot on a table? Fill it up with books and it won’t look so plain anymore. Bookshelves give a dull room a splash of colour and can brighten the darkest spot.

Traditional Books can be used in many other useful ways. Loose paper? Use a book as a paperweight. Need to prop something higher? Put it on a pile of books! Want to watch something on your phone but don’t want to keep holding it? Lean it on a book and sit back.

I guess the only three cons of a traditional book that I have are one, they are expensive! Any bookworm on a budget will know what I mean when I say books are expensive. All the more if it’s a first edition or hardback. Two, it takes up a lot of room in storage. Proper care and storage is needed if you want to preserve the books you have. Being natural, they are perishable and the slightest dampness and mould can destroy even the toughest of books. Lastly, books are made from paper, which is derived from trees. With the way we are going now, we need those trees to preserve the environment more than we need those books. This can be solved with recycling but still it is a problem.

Coming to ebooks, there are many good things about this platform and with how technology is getting more and more included in our daily lives, I’m pretty sure there will come a day when everything will go digital and there won’t be any traditional books left! Depending on the size of the ebook and the storage of your device you can have hundreds of books at your fingertips. Not only does this solve the issue of running out of storage space but it gives you a lot of material anytime you want it.

Comparatively, Ebooks are cheaper to buy. Most online sites will sell the ebooks at a far lesser price than they would for the traditional book.

Ebooks can be read anywhere and at anytime. You don’t have to bother about there being less lighting or room to carry a book in your bag. It’s very convenient to read a book on the go when it’s in an ebook format.

Of course, you cannot decorate a room with an ebook, or use it as a prop and that does take away the usefulness a bit for me. Once the battery dies of your device you will need to put a halt to your reading until it is fully charged up again, but this does depend on the kind of device you use and is not really a fault of the ebook format so it can be excused. And unless you are used to reading from a digital device, reading for long hours at a stretch can lead to headaches and eye strain which can be avoided with regular breaks. Most Ebook readers are pretty much budget friendly these days but with basic features, if you want a good one then it may fall expensive, but then again, it is a one time investment. (As I write this section of my blog I realise that most of the cons are regarding the device and not the actual format of the book so I shall leave it here.)

At this point im pretty much undecided over which I prefer over the other. Have you tried other formats of reading?

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8 Comments

  1. This is a great post, Zenobia! I still prefer reading physical books, and they account for about two thirds of the books I read. But ever since I got my Kindle, it has been a big help, too!

  2. I am so old fashioned…E-books really made me realize how important the tangible feeling of paper between my fingers as my eyes scroll down the pages is to me when I’m engaging in stories. Great points on both sides!

  3. I love both but living overseas in a tiny studio apartment in Tokyo makes me prefer my kindle/ebook more. But I still buy physical books because there isn’t much difference in price lol. Sucks.

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