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Debating Books Versus E-Books? Carol Browne Offers a Compromise

Carole Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.

by Carol Browne

Photo by adamr.

As a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader kindly gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how to use it (three weeks well spent), my perspective underwent a sea change.

When I bought my first eBook and saw it download to my Kindle, it was a magical moment. I was also delighted to discover the device doubles as a flash drive.

There’s something amazing about travelling around with an entire library of books at your disposal and in these days of multi-tasking, being able to read, eat and drink at the same time in total comfort is most welcome. To someone like me on a low income, the availability of cheap or free eBooks is a blessing too.

From an eco-friendly point of view, no trees are cut down to make eBooks. Digital publishing also allows more authors to put their work before the reading public, often publishing great work that traditional publishers have rejected because they aren’t commercial enough.

I once assumed the device itself would be a distraction but, if you’re an avid bookworm, the body of an e-reader is no more of an intrusion than the body of a paperback; no more of a hindrance to your enjoyment than a screen is when you are watching a good movie.

Many will disagree. A teenage friend of mine prefers printed books because he likes the act of turning the pages. For me, the Kindle’s page-turning function is quicker and easier. Plus, you can say good-bye to the exasperation of having your bookmark fall out and not being able to remember where you were up to.

Meanwhile, another friend of mine is changing her opinion about eBooks. While moving to a smaller house, she regretted her vast collection of paperbacks that would have to be accommodated in less space—and then discovered many of them were mouldy and infested with mites. Yuk. She’ll be buying her first Kindle soon!

There is still a place for printed books in my home. I have about a dozen I will always cherish, but these books belong to an exclusive club. It’s unlikely I’ll be adding new members.

Unless they’re written by me, of course.

Carol Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover. Stay connected with Carol on Facebook.

4 comments

  1. Certainly it is a lateral move. I am enjoying the options of what and where I read. Print will be my choice for a book I want to keep for rereading. I sometimes pass through my living room and give ole Robert Frost a fond pat. But to sample a variety of authors, I love ebooks.
    Emma J. Lane

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    1. I have all of the Discworld books in hard cover. When I pass by the shelves, I admit it does make me smile. I am especially proud of the ones I had to order from England because I could only get the paperback version here! Ah the pre-Amazon days. 🙂

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  2. I am not convinced by the eco credentials of ereaders. I wrote a post on this a few years back but it basically focuses on the lifespan of books vs e readers, wood as a renewable resource vs the metals and minerals used in ereaders and, ultimately, the reading habits of the average reader.

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    1. I tend to buy both. I like the convenience of a E-reader but at the same time I love hard cover books. I save the hard cover purchases for those books I want to keep forever. The way I look at it–I will own an IPad or tablet for other reasons. The reading app on it will not effect the environment. My Kindle purchase (physical e-reader) would. So it is a mixed benefit.

      Liked by 1 person

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