E‑book or paper book, which do you prefer?

In my “book,” any­thing that makes read­ing easi­er and ac­cess­ible to more people is a good thing. E‑books and e‑readers are bring­ing a whole new di­men­sion to the read­ing ex­per­i­ence and who can ar­gue with that?

An amaz­ing fea­ture is be­ing able to read an e‑book in the dark. You can also ad­just the size of the text, high­light pas­sages and look up the mean­ing of words. Best of all, you have ac­cess to tons of books in­stantly and can carry them all on one port­able device.

Yep, e‑books are def­in­itely made for trav­el­ling. The next time I take a trip to a for­eign coun­try, I’ll con­sider car­ry­ing my read­ing ma­ter­i­al on an e‑reader. Just think how much more room I’ll have to pack clothes and shoes if I do away with my usu­al six pack of pock­et books!

But in my heart of hearts I’ll al­ways love pa­per books. To be­gin with, I grew up with them, so they’re fa­mil­i­ar and com­fort­able. I love hold­ing a book in my hands and turn­ing the page to find out what hap­pens next.

If you read pa­per books you get to use cool book marks like the one my broth­er bought me in Morocco. 

Besides, pa­per books are in­cred­ibly ver­sat­ile. As dec­or­at­ing ac­cessor­ies they add col­our and in­tel­lec­tu­al cachet to your shelves. They can also serve as door props, as well as do double-duty as stor­age areas for post­cards from exot­ic lands and in­ter­est­ing leaves found on walks. 

If you’re an au­thor you can dis­cretely place books you’ve writ­ten around the house for vis­it­ors to “dis­cov­er.” And signed cop­ies make great last minute gifts. 

Paper books are for­giv­ing too. They’re usu­ally still read­able even after be­ing splashed with red wine or smeared with chocol­ate. Even a dunk in the bathtub doesn’t have to spell the end.

But most of all, I like read­ing what oth­er people have writ­ten on a book’s flyleaf. A hard cov­er book I picked up at a gar­age sale was in­scribed: “To Edna, with love on our first Christmas to­geth­er. From your Jack. December 1932.”

So e‑books get my vote when it comes to con­veni­ence. But if you’re look­ing for char­ac­ter, pa­per books are the way to go. If you have any doubts, check out Lane Smith’s one minute video, It’s A Book.

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