We recently attempted to break down the major differences between e-readers and plain, old-fashioned books. Some folks are hesitant to abandon their budding book collections for a small electronic device that does it all. And don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting you do. We concede there are some qualities books have that e-readers may never be able to replicate.
Here are a few more items to consider when you’re weighing your options:
When you own a physical book, you own it. The only way you stop owning it against your will is if it’s lost, damaged, or stolen.
This isn’t always the case with e-books. E-books bought from online retailers like the Kindle Store and Google Play Books come with DRM restrictions that limit the way you can use your e-books. There have been stories of people losing their entire Google Play Books collection because they crossed a border into a country where Google Play isn’t available. Amazon has pulled e-books out of people’s accounts on numerous occasions. These things happen and they’re worth considering.
Want to bring your entire book collection with you on a camping trip? If your collection is made of paper, it probably occupies a lot of space and weighs hundreds of pounds, so there’s no way that’s going to happen. With an e-reader, it’s no problem.
While that may be a slightly hyperbolic example, the benefit of having your entire book collection at your fingertips at any given time is undeniable. You can have your current reads and even your school textbooks on you without lugging around a heavy backpack, and you don’t have to worry about making space in your home for an extensive book collection.
E-readers have come a long way in terms of providing a comparable — or even better — reading experience than their dead tree counterparts. Some even include LED frontlights that allow for a comfortable experience when reading in the dark. But for some folks, nothing will ever beat the experience of having a real book to hold in their hands — to watch it age and look back every bit of wear and tear with fond memories of their origins. It just depends on whether you view a book as a vessel for the words on the page, or a valuable object in itself.