Physical Books VS eReaders

opened book near ceramic mug

Ever since eReaders became more popular, there’s been a lot of debate between physical books and eReaders. I own many, many books, but I also own a Barnes & Noble Nook, and I think both have some pros and cons worth noting.

Physical books: pros
There’s nothing like holding a real book in your hands. You can flip through the pages, see the how much you have left, watch the left side grow larger than the right side as your turn more and more pages…it’s just all around lovely. I’m also one of those people who would bottle up the scent of books if I could.

You can write on physical book easier as well. I know eReaders let you highlight passages and leave notes, but it takes so long! (At least, it takes me a long time. But maybe y’all are Nook Wizards who can highlight in the blink of an eye and that’s not a problem!) I don’t often write in fiction books, but sometimes there’s a passage or quote I want to remember, so I stick in a little tab or sticky note with an arrow pointing to that quote. For non-fiction books, I do mark up the pages at times, and it’s easier to flip through a real book to find those pages than it is to tap through the pages of an eReader.

Physical books: cons
Physical books take up a lot of room. My poor shelves are just bursting. Then, when you’ve finished a book that you didn’t care very for much, you either have to take up precious shelf space or find it a new home. With eReaders, you just…poof! * presses delete button * and it’s gone!
Physical books are often bulky. Sometimes, if I know I’m going to be traveling during a time I plan to start a new book, it affects my choice. It’s much, much easier to stick my tiny paperback Narnia book into my bag than it would be to lug around my enormous hardback Eragon book.

eReaders: pros
One eReader can hold a library’s worth of books, and that’s so convenient to have on hand when you’re out and about and can easily switch between books without actually having to haul around multiple books. I like to switch between my fiction stories and my non-fiction writing craft books, but it’s not always practical to have multiple books on hand.

eReader books are often cheaper, or, in some cases, free. Many public domain books on the kindle were either free or about a dollar. I have a lot of Sherlock Holmes in my Nook and Kindle for that reason. Even newer books are often less expensive on an eReader. Moreover, if you’re in a pinch and can’t get to the bookstore, you can have your book instantly! It’s been very helpful to be able to purchase new books during this time of quarantine when the bookstores are closed.

eReaders: cons
I am forever terrified of damaging my Nook. The books may often be cheap, but the eReader wasn’t, and I like to read in precarious places. (At the barn, in the bathtub, in a tree…you name it) The lighting isn’t always right, especially when the eReader is more of a screen than the models where the lighting is softer. It’s just not a real book. You can’t see the pages, you can’t smell the scent…it’s just strange.

In some cases, the pros do make up for the cons, and all in all, I love my Nook and it’s really helpful to be able to have so many books on hand. But I love my library as well, and when I have the option, I’d take a real book over a Nook book any day!

6 thoughts on “Physical Books VS eReaders

  1. Great take on the pros and cons. I’ve set time aside myself for quality reading! Definitely a luxury some take for granted. It’s certainly an opportunity that I relish! I prefer paper over reader.


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