Mind the Gap weekly writing challenge: Books vs eBooks

This week’s Mind the Gap: How do you prefer to read, with an eReader like a Kindle or Nook, or with an old school paperback in hand?

I have a Kindle which was given to me as a gift last fall. It is the most basic Kindle, but I find it convenient for carrying to work or on trips, where I can have a lot of books or magazines stored, yet it is small and lightweight. For travel, I would say an eReader is essential these days – two years ago I went to Spain and while there, I purchased some books. Plus I still had the books I’d brought with me because I didn’t want to leave them behind. I ended up having to pay extra for overweight luggage due to having so many books!

If I buy children’s books for school, of course I would have to buy the physical books, but a lot of weight could still be saved because I had downloaded my personal reading material onto my Kindle.

That said, I still prefer actual physical books. There are many advantages: First, on a Kindle, you can’t see what page you are on. It just has a line on the bottom with a percentage, so for example, I’ve read 18% of the book I’m currently reading. This makes it difficult if I want to go back and refer to something I read earlier in the book. I do this a lot!  I also don’t get to see the cover of the book and I can’t flip through it before I buy it either. In fact, I don’t even remember the name of the book I’m currently reading! I just turn on the Kindle and it goes straight to the page where I left off.

Highlighting is possible on a Kindle, and in some more deluxe types you can actually write margin notes, but although it says how to do this in the tutorial, I can’t get that feature to work. I also want to shut off the highlighting by other people, but I can’t do that – I can only turn off the number of people who highlighted that passage.

In a physical book, you have pictures sometimes, you can use post-it notes to mark favorite or important parts, and you can do your own note-taking or underlining (I always use pencil!). Also, a physical book can be a conversation starter. Maybe I’m waiting for a train or a bus, or I’m on a commuter train, in a doctor’s office, or wherever people entertain themselves while waiting. Someone might see the cover of my book and inquire about it, or I may see theirs and ask them about it. Maybe that person is reading a book I’ve been meaning to read myself, but have forgotten or never got around to it. This is a good chance to chat a little about the book, spark interest, and then remember to buy or borrow it. I might borrow it from that person, if she or he is a friend, and then I don’t have to buy it. If I like it well enough, though, then I might buy my own copy.

Which of these captures your interest?
Which of these captures your interest?

Books take up more space, either in luggage or on a shelf, it’s true, but what could be more relaxing than spending an afternoon browsing in a bookstore or library? And I still like to sit in bed at night, a book propped on my knees. And last of all, the books I most cherish remain on my shelves, so that I can take them down again, reread them, or just enjoy remembering them.

One of my several bookshelves
One of my several bookshelves

One thought on “Mind the Gap weekly writing challenge: Books vs eBooks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s