Friday, August 3, 2012

E-books v. printed books

Books in the Douglasville, Georgia Borders store.
Georgia Borders store. (Wikipedia)

In a reading world where the trend has gone as electronic as Kindle or Kindle Fire, we hear talks of booksellers worrying about sales of traditional books or worse, going out of business. The lot are wary of ebooks but not Michael Popek, author of Forgotten Bookmarks who is also a used bookseller in Oneonta, N.Y.

Popek cited one good point why he is not afraid of the new reading medium: "e-books can't replicate some experiences that readers of the printed word are after - the collector of modern first editions; the new mother passing her childhood favorites down to the next generation; the reader of forgotten and esoteric texts unavailable digitally--all are seeking out an experience greater than the words on the page."  He goes on to comment on each kind of book -
E-books are fantastic at keeping us reading; traditional books are great at reminding us why we started in the first place. We're fortunate to live in a world where we don’t have to decide on one or the other.

As I'm someone who still loves having traditional books around, I say that's the spirit! I love keeping a bookshelf. My king-size bed is littered with books and I'm enjoying the sight. I feel uneasy if I could not buy books at least once a month. Traditional booksellers will always find a buyer in me, and it will probably be like that for awhile.

But I don't mind a Kindle either. The NY Times sciences section poses this question: "When an e-reader is loaded with thousands of books, does it gain any weight?"

I haven't wondered about that but now I do. And a U.C. Berkeley professor of computer science answers 'yes, sort of.'  Here's the technical explanation:

"... the amount is very small, on the order of an atogram. This amount is effectively unmeasurable. It is also 'only about one hundred-millionth as much as the estimated fluctuation from charging and discharging the device's battery'"

Whatever our purpose for reading or acquiring books, here's to more lovely experiences with the word, electronic or printed.


  1. i've given e-books a shot but it is not really for me! nothing compares to the sensation of holding a new book in your hand for the first time + thumbing through the fresh, crisp pages while inhaling the scent of every page! priceless....

  2. I've actually pondered about the same thing, as I use my phone now to store a lot of the ebooks that I got online. I really love reading actual paperbacks, and I also love the smell of the paper through every flip of the page. But whenever I do bring books when I go off somewhere, I fail to read any of them (my bad). But whenever I do bring with me my phone, I can always read on the go. Nonetheless, I still love the experience of reading an real book on hand.

  3. I'm going with e-book since it is much easier to navigate once you get used to plus you get to control font size.

  4. I have e-books stored on my phone. I used them when I'm in travel. But I still prefer the traditional books. Its just better to read if I'm holding the real book itself. Haha!

  5. i enjoy reading the printed books, even my youngest son who's a bookworm prefer it than an e-book, but i also have an e-book collection hehe

  6. As much as possible I want everything to come in handy, I am not much of a book reader but if there is something I want, I always go for eBook as I use the internet most of the time

  7. I read more with ebooks but the disadvantage is not being able to
    pass favorite stories on to others like I would do if I had an actual

  8. I still love reading printed ones rather than ebooks.



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