Okay, I’m really doing this. Ahem. I prefer eReaders to real books. Now, before you report me to your local library for crimes against literature, let me explain. Maybe you’ll hear a new reason to give eReaders a chance.
This is a pretty touchy subject among readers. People who prefer physical books are often very passionate about that. It feels like people who like eReaders are the ones who have to defend their position. So allow me to defend my position.
Temporary Is Okay
First, let me start by saying I am not anti-physical books. I love real books. I love looking at cover art and I love the feel of a physical book in my hands. I think eReaders and books can peacefully co-exist.
My perspective on the place for eReaders vs real books is similar to how I view other forms of media. I might see a movie on Netflix that looks interesting and only watch it once. I don’t need to own a physical copy of it. Some things can be temporary.
Now, if there’s a movie or an album of music that’s important to me, then I want the physical copy. That’s the same philosophy I have toward books. There are so many books that I’ve read once and haven’t thought much about since. Owning the physical copy would just be adding clutter to my home.
Important, meaningful books are the ones I want to have in my possession forever. For everything else, the temporary feeling of an eBook makes an eReader the perfect option.
There are very literal “streaming” services for books—such as Amazon Prime Reading—but even the general experience of an eReader is similar in a lot of ways to how we use streaming services.
Streaming services are great for browsing and easily switching between media. One day you’re in the mood for comedy, the next it’s drama. When you finally find something to get into, you can easily jump right into it every day until you’ve finished it.
That’s what I like about eReaders. I can easily browse through my library and decide what I’m in the mood to read. If a book doesn’t grab my attention quickly enough, I can easily switch to something else. I don’t have to bring a stack of books to my bed.
Physical media is a much more deliberate experience. Choosing a Blu-ray and putting it on is a commitment. Taking one book to the couch is a commitment. eReaders give you flexibility.
More Books, Less Weight
That flexibility also comes with some real-world benefits. Books are heavy, there’s no getting around that. If you want to take multiple books somewhere, you’re going to be carrying a lot of weight around.
The average eReader—such as the Kindle Paperwhite—can hold around 1,000 books per gigabyte of storage. That’s a lot. You can essentially go on vacation with your entire library of books in a device that weighs less than 8 ounces.
It’s really hard to overstate just how amazing that is. People love phones and streaming services for this same reason when it comes to music. It’s awesome to have all your music with you all the time. So what’s wrong with doing the same with your books?
Best eReader Overall
The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition improves on the previous generation with more storage space, USB-C charging, and an adjustable warm light.
Can We All Get Along?
There are a lot of things to get passionate about in life, especially when it comes to technology. iPhone vs Android. Windows vs Mac. Overused fonts. How to say GIF. I don’t think the eReader vs. real books debate needs to be one of them.
Nothing is ever going to replace physical books. Streaming music services are extremely popular, yet music is still being released on CDs and vinyl records. Movies still come out on Bluray and DVD. eReaders have been around for a long time and real books are still here.