Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hardcopy VS ebook

If you know me, I'm a die-hard reader.  (Well, obviously, I have a book review blog, so I better be!)  But it goes deeper than that.  I am a die-hard reader of hardcopies.

All my life, I've prized my hardcopy books above most of my other possessions.  They have always been so beautiful, sitting upon a shelf or a nightstand, or even the floor.  They are trophies, sometimes hard-earned with babysitting money, sometimes a surprise, sometimes just because.  Either way, they are incredibly wonderful objects, full of delectable stories, inspiration, art.

But with the rise of technology, eReaders were created.  The way to transport books in an easier and faster system became popular; that system took off in society.  Now, many avid readers own their own eReader.  Nook, Kindle, Kobo, etc. - and if I'm not mistaken, some non-readers (you know who you are) have been turned onto reading because of the ease of reading an eBook.

Only recently, I purchased a Nook, for NetGalley purposes mainly, and a few short stories and eBook only books.  It's a similar experience to reading a "real book", except there are a few key differences.  1.  There is no wonderful smell.  (That alone is a huuuuge factor.)  2.  You have to tap the screen to turn the page, not actually flip the page.  3. Each book loses some of its individuality, because you think, "I need my Nook."  NOT, "I need Princess of Glass.  And Incarceron.  And Inkheart.  And Divergent."  While you can see a hardcopy at any time, you can only see an eBook when you're reading it, and even then it's very 2D.

Hardcopies, on the other hand...  Books smell absolutely incredible.  You can flip their pages and feel the movement of the paper, sa though it's living and breathing.  Each cover holds its own story - and you can see that cover and be reminded of what's inside, whether you open it or not.  Books are beautiful, with art you can display.  Books are like friends - I imagine how lonely my room would look without my 300+ books sitting around.  Books can be organized in really fun ways - by cover, spine color, by publisher, title, author, genre, etc.  Books show sign of love, wear, and even tear - all good things (unless it gets a little too torn)...  Books will show the tears that slipped from your eyes onto the page for as long as that page still holds together - for a very long time.  Can such emotion be so carefully preserved by an eReader?  No.

As you can see, I'm very passionate about this subject.  And it's obvious that I think physical books should always come first, should always be a part of our lives.  In some cases, however such as in the case of promoting new books, getting the word out - I think owning an eReader is hugely rewarding.  It's a little like borrowing books from the library - you check it out, read it, decide what you think, and maybe, if it's good enough, you'll buy a copy for yourself after you've returned it.  That's why I purchased my own copy of Everneath - it was just too good to "give back".

And these are my thoughts!  I want to hear yours!  Do you sport the eBook colors?  Or are you on the fence?  Or against anything but the pages between your fingers?  Do you do what I do and only use your eReader for NetGalleys, or do you buy lots of eBooks as well?

Share away, my friends!


  1. I think I'm a lot like you.  I've owned my nook for about a year and a half now, and while I frequently use it, I still purchase a LOT of my books.  The covers are just too beautiful to NOT hold or I have other books by the authors (I like things to match, be they all e-book, all paperback, or all  hardcover).

    While I mostly use my nook for galleys and library books, I also use it for indie authors or for great deals.  

    I'm having trouble letting go, too!

  2. I love real books, too.  Reading on my Kindle is so convienient.  Its the tool which has allowed me to read on the go.  I read far more than I ever used to with this trusty device.  I never really thought about the books sort of losing a part of themselves, by readers saying where's my kindle instead of where's my XXX (insert title of book). 

  3. I definitely use my ereader a lot more when I'm away at school since I obviously can't bring my 200+ books with me. I also use it most when I'm traveling. I don't like one format over the other because there are pro's and con's to both. When I'm home, I do take advantage of the fact that I have access to my personal library and I try to read as many hard copies as possible. :)

  4. Technology has benefited us a lot. As for me, I prefer Kindle.