The superiority debate between ebooks and paperbacks has been going as long as ereaders have been around. Both are viable methods of reading books, but which provides the most enjoyable reading experience? The answer, of course, is this: It depends on who you’re asking. Some people love the convenience of carrying several hundred ebooks around with them wherever they go. While others point out the sensory features that come with paper (such as the smell and feel of the pages). As with most things, it all comes down to personal preference.
Looking back, I remember how much I loved being surrounded by books when I was in my 20s. My husband and I have always been big readers and our combined book collection was once a major feature in our home. We had hundreds of books! And they weren’t there only to be read. They were to be savoured, adored, talked about over giant cups of tea and leisurely glasses of wine.
Then we bought Kindles and started to purchase ebooks. Oh, the convenience! Suddenly, I was able to purchase a book and start reading it straight away, instead of waiting weeks for it to show up in the mail (the books I wanted were almost never available in my local bookstores). I continued buying paperbacks for some of my favourite authors for a while, but eventually I transitioned to ebooks for all my fiction. These days, the only paperbacks I buy are non-fiction (I still love to flip back and forth through my books on writing craft, and my business and self-development books).
Recently, I borrowed a couple of paperbacks from my Mum. It was the first time I’d read a romance novel on actual paper in years. Now, bear in mind, the only time I have to read for pleasure these days is when I go to bed at night, which means I’m lying down while reading. But I have to say… I hated it. Trying to read a paperback while lying in bed is annoying as all hell! Not only did I have to hold the book, I had to hold it open. The. Whole. Time. I can hear the miniature violins playing for me right now and I appreciate each and every one. Seriously though, I am way too used to lying down with my Kindle propped up against the covers. The only time I touch it is when I want to turn the page. For me, that level of comfort is going to beat out smelly pages every time.
There are days when I miss having novels all around me. Our collection has been culled several times over and now the remains are on shelves in my husband’s office. And when I see other people’s bookshelves on display on Instagram, there is a part of me that sighs with nostalgic pleasure. But I love my little kindle, which is still going strong to this day and has never been replaced or upgraded. It may be small and odourless, but it is bursting with book treasures. So, I suppose, at the end of the day, I’m Team Ebook all the way.
What about you? Do you have a preference for ebooks or paperbacks? Or do you love to swing back and forth between the two?