Ah, yes. The debate of all debates for our generation. I’m telling ya, people are harsh when it comes to their opinion on this topic, going from one extreme to the next! To say you prefer e-readers is almost like you’re admitting you’re a slave to technology, and that you want to hold a book burning in your backyard. On the other hand, saying you like the feel of holding a physical book in your hand can get you an eye-roll for being so last season and behind the times. So where do I stand on this whole debate? Honestly, as long as you’re reading, I don’t really give a flying rat’s behind how you get it done. Why does it necessarily have to be a debate? Just read!
In all actuality…
I have a very intimate and probably unhealthy relationship with my Kindle. I literally bring it with me everywhere. Yes, I do think it’s convenient, and somewhat mind-boggling, that I can carry around thousands of books with me wherever I go, but that doesn’t mean I’ll refuse to ever read a physical book again. It’s kind of funny though, I’ve gotten so use to my e-reader, that when I went to BookExpo America and received so many free paperbacks, I kind of forgot how to read an actual physical book. Should I hold it with one hand or two? Do I need to stop reading every few minutes and do hand exercises to get used to how freakin’ heavy they are? Will putting this hardcover book in my purse cause my shoulder to bruise from the extra weight?
I’ll admit that my main preference for my Kindle is related to convenience, especially when I travel. When I came back from BEA, I literally brought a suitcase full of books back with me, and it kind of sucked that I had to buy another bag just to bring my clothes home with me. I also like that the words on the screen look just like they would on a page. A debate I do feel very strongly about is when it comes to something like an iPad vs. the Kindle. No competition. The iPad is heavier, it doesn’t fit in my purse as nicely, and after a while I have to stop and blink my eyes a few times for moisture.
I don’t have anything against people who prefer physical books, but I do feel that they need to improve their arguments for why actual books are so much better. One of the most common things I hear is that nothing beats the smell of a real book. That’s your main argument? It smells nice? Since when did people become so obsessed with the scent of their books? Sure, it can be pleasant when you first open it, but with the way people insist on this being one of the main benefits of a physical book you’d think they’re sticking their nose right in the crease for a big whiff every time they turn the page. And then there’s the whole argument about how nothing can replace the feel of a book in your hand. Um, are you on acid or something? Why does it feel so good? Do you just sit in a dark corner and stroke your books for hours on end, because that’s sort of the picture you’re painting here. Are paper cuts your equivalent of a decent spanking? The BDSM of the book world perhaps, the perfect combination of pain with pleasure?
And you? Where do you stand in this epic debate? Whether you prefer your e-reader, or your bookshelf full of physical books, just never stop reading!