There are so many articles debating back and forth about whether e-books or traditional paper back books are better. Here is my personal opinion.
First a little about the type of reader I am, my favorite books are fiction books based on the author’s experiences in another country (specific I know), with the occasional autobiography and self-help genre sprinkled in (although I’ve recently outsourced the latter most of these to just skimming for the information on my blinkist app). Because I rarely read a book more than once, I’ll either borrow them from the library or go to secondhand bookstores rather than straight up buy the book on Amazon. Since I’ve been a lot busier doing college and now working, I’ve had a lot less freetime, which has made my book taste a lot pickier. Gone are the days when I could go to a random corner of a bookstore and choose a book by judging the back cover (haha). Now, I can only afford to read books that have been recommended from either a website or a friend.
Pros & Pros
I love paperbooks for their tactility –the smell of old books, the feel of turning each page, and the visual browsability of seeing them lined up on the shelf. The sense of personal satisfaction when my dog-eared corners move through the pages of the book as I progress isn’t easily replaceable. Nor is the finality of closing the back-cover once I’ve finished reading the book and then not knowing what to absorb my time in for the rest of the week.
With that being said, the ability of e-books to bring content available at my fingertips and the convenience have decidedly swayed me to Team E-book. Newly bought e-books will automatically download, and pdfs from class, work, or internet reads can be easily converted to ebook formats as well. Most public libraries have partnered with Overdrive, a global e-book distributor, to allow people to reserve e-books online as well. As soon as it’s your turn in queue for the specific book, you can download instantly and read on your laptop or e-reader. My kindle paperwhite has wifi, synchs to my Goodreads account, and stores all my e-books. I’m essentially carrying a whole library of books in one “book”. This minimizes the amount of things you have to carry and fumble through as you frantically search through your bag for your passport while next in line for security. Plus, you’re well-equipped to battle those long layovers and unexpected delays especially when traveling for work. I have my current pleasure reading book as well as my 838 page GMAT book (you read that right). I’m officially an e-reader convert.
E-books still have room for improvement. E-reader manufacturers like Amazon can work more closely with publishers and authors to better tailor content to devices. People are hesitant to switch over to e-readers now because e-books are just digital versions of traditional books. A great example of an idea brought up by Peter Meyer (author of Breaking the Page) is to make e-books easily skimmable for information by including diagrams, different organization, and using a markable user interface. Although e-books have many merits, Team e-book and Team traditional book are not mutually exclusive. You can always indulge in physical books, but having an e-reader is always handy for certain situations.