Battle of the books

Henry Richa/THE CONCORDIAN @hhenryricha

Answering the question, if books are better than ebooks

Let me start off by stating this: I love books.

With eReaders like Kindles and Kobos, and subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited, there seems to be a reason for people to choose ebooks over physical books. Over the last few years, I have been told by many people that digital is the way to go now that reading print books is a thing of the past.

But for me, the physical book will always be better than the ebook. Here are my top three reasons why. 

(I’ve excluded audiobooks from this conversation because that is an entirely different experience.) 

1. When I hold a book in my hand, it is an entire experience. I can run my hands across the cover and feel the texture. I get to feel the pages against my skin and I feel like I am fully part of the experience of the book. Sometimes the covers have different textures and that makes the reading more of a sensory experience. I get to turn each page and get the genuine excitement of seeing the words on the next page. 

2. The smell of the book. Books have their own smells, and that makes the reading even better. An ebook doesn’t have that. It’s just a piece of plastic with words on it. It feels like I am just scrolling on my phone. Why would I want reading a book to feel like reading a text message? I want to hold the book close to my face and experience the different scents and moments. 

3. The impracticality of the sizes of books is such a part of the journey for me as a reader. It makes choosing what books I am reading more of a challenge. Can I carry it with me? Does it fit in my bag? It makes me think through what book I can make my main book. And the challenge of making the books fit into my purse makes reading even more exciting. I am someone who reads three books at a time, so getting the physical change that accompanies each book helps distinguish the stories. For me, it’s part of the process. 

Even when it comes to textbooks for class, I will always opt for a physical copy of the book. Again, I just need that experience of having the physical book in front of me to really get immersed.

I can only hope that people are wrong about physical books being a thing of the past. I will say, there is a trend of a lot of indie/self-published books that are only available in digital formats, and that truly is a bummer. Maybe someday they will decide to publish physical copies of their books so I can read them too.


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