The other day I woke up dreaming about the ebook v. paperback debate. It’s something authors do. Something readers probably understand.
I am a give-me-a-physical-book-I-can-hold kind of reader.
You see, while I’m an author I adore books!
It’s not unusual for me to inhale two or three a week while managing the rest of my life including homeschooling, lecturing, and writing. I read like I breath. But one thing I have learned, if the book is an ebook, no matter how good my intentions, unless I’m traveling, I probably won’t get the book read. I just won’t.
For me, a book in the phone is a book I can’t see. A book I can’t see gets forgotten in the daily tug and busyness of life. I’ll grab the book (or two or three) that I can see every single time rather than my phone or iPad. I just do.
So I did a quick survey on my Facebook author page… you cna participate it in, too…
What I’ve learned so far is that many readers have the same preference I do. While they might have an ereader that they love for traveling, on a day to day basis, they have a strong preference for physical books. I think there are several reasons for this.
First, if you are a true book lover, you love being surrounded by your paper friends. You want to see them and hold them long after you close the cover. You simply can’t do that with an ebook. While you can scroll through your library and refresh your mind on what the cover looks like, you can’t easily flip to a passage you adored. You just can’t.
Second, if you adore books, you love sharing them with your friends. That isn’t easy or straight-forward to do with ebooks. Now I know, there is a function for sharing, but if I share it, I might not ever get the right to read it back. At least, I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. But with a paper book, you have the reminder to return it, just like I have the reminder to read it. It’s a beautiful thing.
Third, by reading and sharing the book, I can also collect those by my favorite authors and be reminded of all the wonderful stories I’ve read. Now I know this isn’t a practical reason for many of us. When my family moved last year, I gave away BOXES of books. I’ve filled several church libraries with donations. Yet I still keep my favorite books and authors to turn to over and over again.
I can admit there are advantages to ebooks. I can take a hundred books with me on a trip without worrying about paying extra in baggage fees. I can try a new-to-me author at an often lower cost than with a paper book. And my bookshelves won’t sag under stacks of books I simply can’t part with.
At the end of the day though, give me a book I can hold, smell, turn the pages on, and carry with me in my purse, and I am one happy gal. How about you? Which do you prefer?