I know, I know. We’ve gone over this before. Real books vs. eBooks. Parts I, II, and III. All the sequels. All the reboots. All the remakes. So why am I dredging this up again? Because this is my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want. Plus I couldn’t think of anything else to write about.
I realize there are those of you who feel that a book is a book is a book, whether digital, audio, or hardcover. I disagree. I feel there’s a definite difference, just like there’s a difference between MP3s, CDs, and vinyl. When you go digital, you don’t capture the complete sound wave, losing richness and warmth that can’t be duplicated no matter how much remastering you do.
To me, it’s the same with books. Real books are warm while eBooks are cold. I realize eBooks are the future and that the future is now, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I also realize that as an author, I earn money from the sale of the electronic versions of my novels. I even have a short story collection that is only available as an eBook.
So I’m not here to say you shouldn’t buy eBooks. Buy books in whatever format you prefer. However, if you are an eBook fan, I encourage you to purchase eBooks from local independent bookstores who have partnered with Google. You can get eBooks for your iPad, Nook, Android devices, and Kindle Fire if you do a side load. At least that’s what I’ve been told. So support independent bookstores rather than Apple and Amazon.
Okay, that’s it for the eBook PSA. Now, without further ado, here are my 10 Reasons Why Real Books Are Better Than eBooks:
- Real books don’t run on batteries.
- If you spill water on a real book or drop it in the pool, it still works.
- Bookcases are windows into a person’s soul. When I go to someone’s house, I’m not going to browse through their Goodreads shelf or their iBooks library.
- You can’t sign an eBook.
- eBooks rob me of the thrill of seeing someone reading my book out in the wild.
- Real books are conversation starters. I’ve never seen anyone ask someone with a Kindle if they liked what they were reading.
- Real books have historical gravitas. They connect me with all of the writers who came before me.
- There’s no such thing as a Used eBook Store.
- You can’t own an eBook. You can only purchase a license that gives you the right to read it.
- Real books smell like home.
That’s my argument for real books vs. eBooks and I’m sticking to it. You can take my old-fashioned Luddite novel from me when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Filed under: Movies and Books,The Writing Life — Tags: eBooks — S.G. Browne @ 6:50 pm
Modern digital technologies today can easily substitute almost any analog that people had been using for decades or even centuries. Bulky vinyl players have turned into tiny iPods, huge TV sets have become super-flat plasma wall panels, phones are getting more and more impossible to distinguish from pocket computers, and so on. Books have also undergone such a transformation, and today many people prefer using an electronic book, or e-book, rather than a regular printed one. Why? Because e-books are in every possible way better than printed books, no matter what the antique book lovers say.
The most obvious advantage is portability. If you have been a book lover for a long time, you most likely had to carry a book or two with you wherever you go. If you could afford carrying a backpack around, it was not a problem; however, if you are a lady or a clerk in some serious corporation, most likely you either had to fit a book into your purse or folder, or leave it at home. On the other hand, any modern e-book is almost flat and light weight, so you can easily carry one—even in your pocket. You can read it in any position, and take it anywhere with you. By the way, try to make it comfortable to read a printed book while lying on your side—it is almost impossible (Snarkynomad.com). With an e-book device, all your problems with a book’s weight and shape are solved.
The next reason why e-books are more preferable is that even a cheap e-book device allows one to carry the whole Library of Congress in your pocket. Depending on an e-book device’s memory capacity, you can store gigabytes of data on your device. The file format is usually not a problem: many e-book devices support all popular formats of electronic books, such as fb2, djvu, pdf, azw, kfx, and so on.
Also, electronic books are reasonably cheaper than printed ones, and the price depends on which store you buy them at, so in fact you can get a lot of books for a humble price. A device costs more than a book, but this difference in prices pays off quickly (Spreeder.com).
We live in a age when ecological problems have turned from unproven scientific hypotheses to a disturbing reality. Vanishing of the Amazonian rainforests, massive deforestation all over the planet, and the extinction of species of plants are only some parts of a larger ecological problem. The industry of book printing contributes significantly to global warming, because for the paper on which books are printed, they need to cut down trees. There are many books printed on recycled paper as well, but their overall percentage is tiny. Therefore, by preferring an e-book over a printed one, a customer can actively contribute to the matter of saving trees. The less print books you buy, the more trees you help to save (Epublishers Weekly).
If you like old things, then you most likely stand for print books. However, the majority of rational people today stand for e-books, and there are several strong reasons for this. E-books not only help to save the environment (since they do not need paper to be printed on), but they also take up less space, are cheaper, and allow owners to carry entire libraries in their pockets, wherever they would go. All this proves that choosing an e-book over a printed one is a wise and reasonable decision.
“Ebooks Save Millions of Trees: 10 Ideas for Sustainable Publishing.”Epublishers Weekly. N.p., 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
“10 Reasons Why You Might like Ebooks Better than Paper.” Snarky Nomad. N.p., 07 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
“Ebooks VS Printed Books: Which is Preferred Now?” Spreeder. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
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