This is a post that I have been meaning to write forever and I am very excited to be sharing with you all today! In the book community, one of the biggest debates are whether eBooks or physical books are better, and most people in the community are pretty strong in their support for one or the other. However, I haven’t really met anyone like myself who is 100% neutral on the debate, and I’m gonna try to explain why I think both are equally lovely and why I really cannot pick over the two as a cause of experiences with both as well as the typical reasons people have for supporting either.
So firstly, I cannot pick between the physical book and the eBook because both have been very significant parts of my reading life. I’m one of those people who started reading because everyone around me was reading. I have two older siblings and parents who are super into books and stories, and I was surrounded by physical books my entire life. Because I had all these books in my home and everyone in my family was reading, it made it really easy for me to pick up a book and get into reading as well.
However, I really only read books that my older siblings recommended, or their books that they had in the house. It was when I got my kindle I was able to buy my own books and branch out into different genres that weren’t just the books we had at home. Don’t get me wrong, libraries definitely helped in allowing me to find books in genres and styles that I liked before I got my kindle, but the kindle for sure added to this ease of getting books I wanted, especially when they were new and the library didn’t have them yet.
Secondly, the kindle makes it so much easier to read. Now hear me out here. I mean this in the sense of accessibility. If I ever want a book, purchasing an electronic copy is easy, quick and cheap to do. Speaking of price, eBooks are much cheaper, and that definitely makes a big difference with the amount that I like to read. If I were to buy a physical copy of every single book I’ve ever read, I would be pretty broke. In addition, eBooks are almost always available. So I’m a third culture kid (TCK), which by definition means that I was “raised in a culture other than [my] parents’ for a significant part of [my] early development years.” (If you guys want to read more about life as a TCK, please let me know! I’d love to write about that) Basically, I’ve moved around a lot my entire life, and having lived in 5 different countries, I can say that books are not always easy to buy. For instance, I lived in a country where new releases would come into bookstore about a year after they were released. Also, these stores would mainly only stock famous and well known books, and smaller lesser known ones were practically impossible to come by. Therefore, getting the books I wanted to read when I wanted to read them was definitely a struggle. With my kindle, I was able to get whatever book I wanted whenever I wanted it.
In contrast, I still love physical books for several reasons. I love having a physical book in one hand and being able to physically turn a page. I love displaying beautiful covers and collecting different editions of certain books. I love having bookshelves to show off my favourite titles. Physical books are incredibly beautiful and bring something to reading than an eBook simply cannot. And we cannot forget about libraries and bookstores! Yes, I know libraries now have eBooks that they can lend out as well, but bookstores and traditional libraries are wonderful places, and I cannot imagine a world without print books and without these places to house them. I still love going to the bookstore and getting books because it’s nice to have a physical copy of a story that I can show people and call mine. It’s nice to gawk over the hardbacks without their cover and how pretty the font, pages and illustrations may be. Like I said, the physicality of these books make them special. However, they are really expensive and not really affordable if you read as much as I do.
Lastly, eBooks are obviously easier to travel with and carry around. I never have to be worried about running out of things to read with my kindle while travelling because I can just get 10 books on my kindle before my trip.
Though physical books can also attract other people who love to read. They can ask you what you’re reading and you can show off your book, or you can bond with someone over the title. On the opposite side of the spectrum, kindles let you read those books that you may not want other people to know you’re reading (coughcough Twilight coughcough).
So yeah, that basically rounds up why I’m neutral on the topic. I can definitely say I do read more on my kindle, but if you took me to the bookstore tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to leave without buying myself a physical book (or two :P)
What are your thoughts on this oh so famous debate? Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to discuss with everyone!