Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Books vs. Ebooks (part 1)

So I opened up my account today to see this post on the dashboard. Hopefully I'll have something a little different to say.

Today I'm going to tackle the Great Debate, the epic battle of...

books vs. ebooks

This will be a two part episode series in which I contrast and compare books and ebooks and try to resolve the burning question (no pun intended): are books a dead or dying medium?

Some say that nothing can compare to a real book. What does a real book have?
  • pages
  • substance
  • ink
  • smell
Besides, look what you can do with a real book:
  • Put it on a shelf
  • Dog ear the pages
  • Write in it
  • Put your nose in it
  • Hit people over the head with it
  • Throw it across the room when you get angry at it
Real books have smooth pages and sleek covers. They have spines that can be bent and they need real bookmarks and they can be signed by the author.

You can tell that a real book is good when it's worn and the dust jacket is falling off and there are notes scribbled all over it and there's chocolate on the pages (this happens all the time to me).

Without real books, there would be no more libraries (can you imagine a world without libraries?). There would be no more bookstores. There would be no more bookshelves full of colorful books.

Now, not everybody has an e-reader. Lots of people can't afford one, to start with, or haven't got around to buying one. Some people don't know how to use them. At my library, I've seen classes on how to use e-readers. Real books are pretty self-explanatory.

And you can't just hand a Kindle to anyone. To keep a Kindle you need access to electricity and digital money to purchase ebooks.

But a real book can be read by anyone, any time, as long as there's enough light to read by.

Real books can also be lent out as many times as you'd like. They can be passed around or given away when you've finished reading them.

Whether ebooks become the norm or not, real books will always hold a special place in my heart.

Because a Kindle just doesn't smell as nice as a real book.

What's your favorite thing about real books? Let me know by commenting!

Did you choose "books" as your topic for the letter "B"? If so, leave me a link so I can read it!

Check back on Thursday when I tackle the other side of the issue: ebooks.

By the way, my little sister wrote a pretty funny post on her typically odd art blog today. She needs more followers, so if you appreciate art and odd humor, go check it out!


  1. Oh, I love this. My thoughts exactly. Besides, with a Nook (B&N fan here!), I can't collect old books in their original form. I love antiques.

    My favorite thing about real books is the feel, the actual weight of it in my hand. Something about that makes me all light inside.

    I actually did books, as well! Different take than yours but same subject. Click the link under my name if you'd like to check it out. :)

    Visions of Other Worlds

  2. Hi Lauren
    thanks for visiting my blog (word splash). I like your word art and this was a good post. I'm torn. I held off on the Kindle for a long time, but Santa brought me one this Christmas (I wanted to see how my book actually looks in e-pub - not bad, I formatted okay). Anyway - I'll still stick with paper, but the Kindle is very handy for travel, for sneaking in reads at work. I hope both worlds can just get along and keep growing.

  3. More stuff you can do with a real book:

    Save two places in the book at the same time with your fingers.
    Read without staring into your own reflection.
    Read without getting a headache or ruining your eyeballs.
    brush off dirt without accidentally turning the page.
    Slam it shut when you finish.

  4. I'll always prefer a real book made of paper (or some matter that can be made similarly), but I did get a Kindle and start getting certain books on there. I'm coming around, but an e-book will never be the same.

    Aside from that, I'm your co-host for the A-to-Z! If you didn't get an email from me the other day, it may have gone in your spam box. Please feel free to contact me via my profile or reply to that email if you need anything or have any questions.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  5. Jessica - I love collecting old books! I own a few from the 1940's/50's, and a first edition Horatio Hornblower book. On an e-reader, dates and editions don't really matter. Thanks for leaving the link to your post! I'm off to read it now. :)

    Joanne - The Kindle is handy for taking on trips. It's easier than packing a suitcase full of books. I think both mediums have their uses, and I hope we can keep both! Thanks for stopping by!

    Ava (Spidophile) - I hadn't thought of those. "Brush off dirt without accidentally turning the page" -that one's especially true. Do you like that I linked to you, little sis? ;)

    Shannon - I downloaded the Kindle app on my iPad and I've read a few books on there. But you're right, it will never be the same as a real book. I did receive your email. Thank you very much! I'll be sure to let you know if I have any questions. :)

    Andrew - Good! Thanks for following.

    Forever and ever and ever.

    E-books are fine foe some stuff, but I do not have a gadget to "read" them on.

    Books rule because they are real. In the cyborgland we are all encouraged to be a pseudo part of, e-books just seem like taking yet ONE MORE human element out of what makes us mammals different from the other animals.

    Screw e-books.

    oh, and I still write letters. as in paper, pens, stamps, etc. and no, not just for birthdays.
    because i want people to look and feel my love.
    so there!

    Violet @ Revolution ~ Evolution

  7. Thank you for your comment!

    I will never ever own a kindle or anything like that. I love love love real books far too much for that. I love turning pages, I adore the smell, getting chocolate everywhere, dropping it in the bath and getting crinkly pages, leaving it somewhere for another person to pick up. I love writing my name on the first page, so that my name gets to travel with every new reader of the book I bought. Nothing beats a good book!

    This was a great post :) Have a lovely Tuesday :)

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  8. It's a fascinating debate. For me, though, there are only really stories - and the technology (be it paper or eInk) is just a way of delivering the words to my brain. So I'm kinda indifferent. I love both books and eBooks.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm now a follower!

  9. Violet - Thanks for commenting. It is nice to have physical things in our increasingly digital world.

    Nikki - oh yes! Dropping books in the bath - I forgot about that one. And leaving them in the rain... I've done that before. Thank you for your lovely comment!

    Simon - thanks for following! I believe that both books and ebooks have their uses, which is why I'm covering both sides of the issue. :)

  10. Couldn't agree more with Simon. To me it's all about the story, so the fact that people feel so strongly about the medium the story's delivered in is baffling, but fascinating.

    1. I guess some people are attached to certain mediums because they are familiar with it, or feel a particular loyalty toward it...

      I like both mediums, but I grew up with real books and I'll always love them. :)



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