When e-readers trump books (and vice versa)

E-readers are better when:

1. You want to hold a cup of tea and read at the same time without cramping your hand.

2. You’re reading in bed and want to keep your arms warm under the covers.

3. You’re on the go and can’t pack a dozen books to take with you.

Actual books are better when:

1. You find them used somewhere — because discovery is half the fun.

2. You want everyone to see what you’re reading, especially if it’s massively long because ooohh, or you want to turn pages and smell them because aaahh.

3. They’re signed.

Or, if I need to throw something at someone, I’m definitely not going to hurl a $300 device.

Why do you prefer one or the other?

7 thoughts on “When e-readers trump books (and vice versa)”

  1. I prefer real books since they smell and feel good, though I’m not all that alien to reading e-books on the go.


  2. It’s a little like watching movies on disk or online versus seeing them in a theatre; one is more convenient and handy, but for the full experience you just have to immerse yourself in it. Personally, I still think books are a passing fad and am just waiting for scrolls to make a comeback.


    1. Scrolls, huh? ;)

      That’s a good point about movies in theaters vs. at home. I personally think our preferences at this point are purely psychological; the story is the same no matter what format it’s on. But people like the sensory associations of print books.

      It’s the same with movies, to go with your example. Tradition (going to the theater, which is a social experience) does tend to win out even though conveniences like Netflix and OnDemand (comparable to e-books), for instance, are on the rise.


  3. E readers are good when you read in bed because they go to sleep when you do. They are also good if you are in a hospital or waiting room–less stuff to gather up and you can download more to read. Books are better when you want to get prior knowledge from covers, prologues and things like that before you start to read, and they are more friendly.


  4. I love this – there are certainly pros and cons to both. But I’m old fashioned; I still prefer a real book.



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