Favourite way to read #20sbprompt

When I saw this blogging prompt on 20sb, I knew this was the topic for me. So the question is, how do you read and what do you prefer, eBooks vs real books?


I’ve had my Kindle for a couple of months now and it’s about time that I share my experiences plus I’ve been lacking blogging ideas lately so this is great.

It took me ages to finally decide to give eReaders a try because I’m a traditionalist and love books. The real books, physical ones, those you can touch, hug and smell; where you can write in the margins and put your name on the first page to make sure everyone knows this one belongs to you. I also love being surrounded by books and being able to stand in front of my shelves and look upon them is really soothing and a thing I would not want to miss. However, not every book I read is one I need to store and have an actual physical copy of. That realisation hit me when I was running out os shelf space. Again. So I finally took the plunge.

The thing is though, I cannot really give you a definite answer to the prompt; there is no favourite way to read for me, both have their pros and cons.

I like how a real book smells and that you can flip forward through the pages to see how many pages are left to your chapter or even take a peek (yes, I do that sort of thing, shut up). But I am also really anal about my books and don’t like cracked spines, so reading them without flexing the spines too much so they won’t break is pretty annoying at times. That, however, is not a problem you have with an eReader.

When I buy an eBook, it is in my hands almost instantaneous whereas I have to wait for it to be shipped to me when I buy a physical copy. Underlining passages and even searching for specific words is really easy but what I do miss sometimes is the ability to add comments to your highlights. Technically you can do that and maybe other eRaeders are better at it than my low tech Kindle but that’s what I got. Right now it is just really slow and annoying. Taking notes in a books margins is way easier. This, of course, adds to my not every book is a good eBook approach. And this is really something for everyone personally to find out, I guess.

The takeaway for me is, I like both. I like that I can fit thousands upon thousands of book pages into this tiny eReader and carry it around wherever I go which is sometimes problematic with bigger books, especially when you travel or don’t want to carry War and Peace around with you. But real, physical books will always have their special place in my heart and in some way, they are more real to me than eBooks. Not entirely sure if this makes sense, but hey, I love books so give me a break.

So what’s your verdict? Are you as ambiguous as me?

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  • I’m firmly in the middle too. Writing my name in the front of a book is like crack to me. But sometimes, I can’t justify spending $20-$40 on a physical copy when there’s a $5 ebook edition. Plus, it’s WAY more convenient when travelling!

    That said, the periodic formatting issues with ebooks (particularly ARCs) drive me insane.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I also write the date I bought the book inside becuase I’m weird like that.

      I don’t think I had that many formatting issues yet with ARCs plus having read a whole bunch of Penguin Opular Classics editions in paperback will probably have prepared me for anything.

  • cupitonians

    I remember I used to be so anti ebook but then I went to Tanzania for a “month” that turned out to be nearly a year. Kindle saved my life. But then there’s nothing quite like the feel and the familiarity of a paperback. They become your best friend – every scar you leave on it, every folded page.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Oh god, you fold pages??? I know this is a really stupid habit but I like to keep my books looking as if I haven’t vene touched them which is why I only write with pencil in them and never with anything you can’t easily remove.

      • cupitonians

        I like my books to be lived in. I don’t fold pages any more but there are scars from being lugged around Bangalore or the world, when I’m off travelling. What’s the point of it looking like you’ve never used them? You know how worn out your favourite t-shirt would be, there is comfort in knowing that you have really got into a book and it has travelled with you on adventures.

        • I totally agree, although i wouldn’t really like it if my borrowers dog-eared it. Dealbreaker. I also never liked the idea clothing it in plastic wrappers.

          • cupitonians

            Ugh, yes. When other people do it to MY books, it just really annoys me.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          To me, it would be like hurting my books and I just can’t do that. I have been carrying my books around in plastic bags to keep them from getting dirty or torn. I get your point about them being worn out and comfy and all that but it’s just not who I am :D

  • EmilyHornburg

    Yup. I’m totally in the middle. But with ebooks, unless it’s one that I REALLY want, I try not to spend over $5. If I’m spending more than that I’ll splurge and get a “real” copy. Although I hate that I can’t share my ebooks. My friends and I love to loan books to one another, but so many times there’s one I’ve read but it’s on my iPad and I can’t let anyone else borrow it. :(

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I’m the same, I just think that eBooks must be cheaper since they don’t have to be printed and transported through the world and all that so when they cost more than 6€ I rather go for the physical copy.

      Isn’t there a share option for some eReaders though? I think my friend has a Sony and she mentioned something of that sort. I know it doesn’t work with Kindle, not sure about the others.

  • A traditionalist here, though i do feel the frustration of when the book you are so itching to read is not in any local bookstores. But i tell myself, take heart! If there’s a will, there’s a way (read: special orders). No, I dont mind waiting for days, weeks, or months. I’m patient with my trophies that way.

    I’ve tried ebooks, mind you. The thought was exciting, more so when you see them in queue, such a pretty sight, but as soon as I start reading, a strong feeling of guilt washes over me. Never fails. I have never lasted more than 3 minutes. I doubt I would.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      The tech-y geek-y part of me gets really excited about the eReaders and they are just really nice to carry around and you can also have multiple books with you without adding any baggage which is nice. Though I do understand not being into them.

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  • I favor real books over digital books, but there are certain instances when my iPad comes in handy. For example, when I travel, I don’t have to cram 3-4 books in my carry on. And when I just HAVE to read the next book in a series, I love that I can download it and start reading in a matter of minutes. That said, I almost always end up buying a hard copy of anything I download (especially books that are part of a series) because seeing a full bookshelf makes me inexplicably happy.

    P.S. I’m glad you liked this 20SB prompt. Hopefully you’ll love the new one that just went up too! It’s another book-related prompt.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Seeing a full bookshelf makes me happy as well but I’ve just come to the conclusion that there are books not worth storing for all of my eternity.

      I saw the new prompt earlier today and already spent too much time at work trying to think of my 3 novels :D

  • makeupandmirtazapine

    I don’t know whether it’s because I don’t have an actual ereader I just have the kindle app on my ipad but I just haven’t warmed to ebooks. I don’t like reading them. One of the most annoying things is that I can’t read them outside because of the screen glare, which I know isn’t a problem with proper ereaders. But, I don’t know, I just don’t feel like I can curl up with an ebook, a mug of tea and some biscuits like I do with an actual book and at the same time silly because it’s not really that different.
    Plus I have an entire room full of books because after I watched Beauty and the Beast when I was little and he gave her the library I just thought that would be the most amazing thing ever, to be all grown up and able to have your own library. So even though my ‘library’ is really my hall it’s still got four whole bookshelves full of books and it’s my library; and having only a kindle library just wouldn’t be the same.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Ah yes, the glaring screen would annoy me as well. I guess it really depends on the person but I like both ways to read. Having a real and proper library is still a goal I am pursuing and just because I do read ebooks doesn’t mean I don’t buy paperbacks anymore.

  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    Like you said, they both have their pros and cons. I love how I can instantly get a book on my eReader (Kindle). And if I don’t have the money in my Amazon account, and I see a review on a book that sounds interesting, I download a sample of it. That way I won’t forget about the book, and I don’t need to rack my brain to remember the title.Then later on if I want, I can go and download it. And it is a huge space saver!

    However, I love holding a physical book. I am a visual person, so I like to see the physical progression I’m making through the book. And a lot of times I go to the page of the next chapter, and put my finger there while I read. What a weirdo, huh?

    By the way, this was a great idea for an article! One of the great debates going on right now.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yes, just the other day I suddenly decided I needed to read something else, so I went on Amazon, downloaded the book I wanted and read that instead of the one I was holding in my hand. Being able to do that is just really handy though nothing will ever be a s good as having a physical copy or a book your love to hold in your hands; smell the pages or clutch to your chest.