Face Off Friday: EReaders v. Traditional Book


First off, I would like to apologize for my slacker status this week. On top of being busy with revision stuff, I have had a super cranky toddler who is suffering with a painful ear. So I have gotten ridiculously behind on blog reading and commenting. So if you haven't seen me around your blog or I've let super short comments, that is why. Hopefully this weekend, I will get some time to catch up. I miss reading all of your great posts.
Alright, so on to our Friday Face Off ...
As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently purchased a Kindle. I did this with the utmost reluctance. I couldn't imagine enjoying reading on an electronic device. Books are so, well, perfect. Some people use retail therapy, I have book therapy. If I've had a bad day, a few hours in a library, Borders, or the used book store will rejuvenate me like a soak in a hot tub. So how could I possibly like some plastic box that claimed to be a book substitute? *places my nose high in the air*
However, my closets were starting to tumble over with piles of books and my husband kept mentioning that those Kindle things look pretty cool--HINT HINT YOU FRIGGING PACK RAT. So, when I received some money for a holiday, I decided that maybe I should give one of these new fandangled devices a try. I checked to make sure there was a return policy (there is) and then put it in my Amazon cart. I literally closed out the order three times in the matter of two weeks before I got myself to hit the purchase button. Then, I finally did it.
And now.
*ducks book-loving head in shame* I'm a convert.
So I thought I would give my opinion about the pros and cons of each method for those of you wrestling with the decision like I did. I know there are many other ereaders besides the Kindle, but since I have no experience with those, I will speak specifically about Amazon's Kindle.

Traditional Book v. Kindle

For those who sniff books and say ahh....

  • Looking for books in a store/library is half the fun
  • A book won't break (although it may fade, get worn, etc.)
  • Books are relatively inexpensive
  • You can check them out from the library
  • You can buy/sell them used
  • Friends can borrow them after you finish
  • You always have a physical copy if you want to save it
  • Covers are pretty to look at
  • Shelves of books in your house makes you feel warm and fuzzy
  • Anytime you want to flip back through a book, it's there
For the progressive...

  • One device can hold hundreds of your books (mine holds 1500), saving your closets
  • What we love about books is the story not the paper and that stays the same
  • After the initial cost of the device, ebooks are often cheaper, hardbacks are 9.99
  • You can take your library with you anywhere
  • You can read books with covers or titles like these in public and people are none the wiser. You could be reading Chaucer for all they know. Not that I ever do this, *ahem*.
  • There is a whole world of ebooks (some very good) that are only available in e-format. I was totally missing out.
  • Not printing all those paperbacks is more friendly to the environment
  • Instant gratification--you want a book, you can download it in 60 seconds wirelessly
  • There is a built in dictionary, which I didn't expect to be so helpful, but is great
  • You can upload word documents onto it--so you can read your own manuscript or your crit buddies' on it
  • There are tons of free ebooks and promotions available
  • Your purchases are saved online, so if your reader breaks or you get a new one, everything you bought is still available to redownload
  • The battery life is ridiculously long
  • You can highlight and bookmark passages, which is super helpful for me with reviews. If I run across a quote I love, I just highlight it and it saves it in a file for me.
To be fair, I'll also point on some of the concerns about E-readers.
  • The upfront cost ($299 or more) is steep
  • You can't lend/sell your books after you've read them
  • You lose the library option (although they are looking at ways of incorporating this option)
  • They can break and eventually (like any electronic device), you'll want to buy the newest version of it
  • Some are concerned about straining their eyes--I will say this worried me, but the e-ink technology really does read like a book, not a computer screen. Most of the time I completely forget I'm not reading a paper book.
  • You don't get to see the cover/back copy and there are no page numbers (just percentage done), which I hope they change in the future.
  • Not all books are available as ebooks. This was a huge concern of mine, but all but one of the books I've wanted lately were available. The selection is huge.
So that's my take. I ♥ my Kindle. I still hang out at the bookstore, but I just make note of what I want then look it up when I get home. I never thought I'd be such a believer, but my experience has sold me.
So how about you? Would you ever consider getting an Ereader? For those of you who have one, what's been your experience? And am I the only one who's sniffing books?
**Today's Theme Song**
"I'm A Believer" - The Monkees
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)