I'm a bookworm. Unfortunately, I'm also a poor bookworm, so I go to two places for books: Amazon Kindle, and the Book Depository. eBooks are often cheaper, but most of my books are print books.
In my twelve years of reading books, no eBook has left me with as strong an impression as a good print book. I will love them, yes, but I won't fangirl over them as much. And often, it's simply because of a different medium. In the grand narrative of the print book vs eBook debate, here's why I stand by print books:
1. Print books give me pressure simply because of their physical presence.
It's extremely difficult to ignore the steadily accumulating books on my shelf. Since joining the TBR Smash Challenge, I've read four physical TBR books and zero eBooks. The books just compel me to read them when they're scattered next to my bed for bedtime reading. A Kindle conserves space, but that same virtue becomes a curse when I forget completely about it.
And to be honest, I've only ever reread one eBook, The Book Thief, which was one of my favourite books of all time. Whereas I reread print books all the time. Case in point:
2. Less skimming, more absorbing the book through sheer willpower.
Don't you ever have the urge to just press your face to the page as you read and absorb all the bookish goodness through diffusion and sheer willpower? Because I do that. All the time. We tend to skim more on a screen than on paper. Don't just take my word for it; the Washington Post explains how print medium lets us "slow down, savor and think".
Experiment carried out by your resident takeout devil—pick up a double-sided sheet of paper: your homework, a notice, whatever. Read the first page in 15 seconds and turn it over. How ridiculous do you feel? Typically, a page has 250 words, so you're reading 16 words per second. But most people spend only 15 seconds on a web page. The guilt-trip from flipping physical pages quickly is much greater than just scrolling or tapping on your Kindle.
3. C'mon, books.
|There is something incomparably thrilling in first opening a brand new book. A Book Depository bookmark.|
Don't get me wrong, there are many benefits of eBooks.
I mean, any form of the written word is a blessing. And eBooks are cheaper, you can get them instantly, and they've opened up ways for self-published and indie authors to reach an audience. But don't give up on print books. If you can, buy the print version,
Takeout: do not discount the power of a print book.
Are print books more powerful? Do you prefer print or electronic books? Comment below!
I'm such a hypocrite, typing all this out. I'll even ask you to tweet:
- Here's why @AlyssaC_HK stands by print books and not eBooks. (Click to Tweet)
- .AlyssaC_HK pledges to read the printed word. (Click to Tweet)