Friday, 1 August 2014

Books vs E-readers

I apologise for the state of my copy of the Chamber of Secrets and also for the terrible photography.. I will never learn.
Living in a world that depends on technology, although arguably capable of destroying our social skills, is actually pretty cool. I have written posts in the past that touch on the subject of technology and it's many uses (which you can read here and here) however I have recently been transfixed on one particular debate which I want to share my thoughts on. What is better, books or kindles? 

Like many people, the scent of a new book is incredibly nostalgic to me, bringing back memories of reading under my covers with a torch after bedtime as a child. Although that seems like such a cliché, it's something that I imagine I am not alone in. Books provide an escape from reality (which is something my blogging friend Lauryn wrote about in an amazing and relatable post here). We are able to live vicariously through the characters on a page, in a similar way that a parent does through their child. There is something strangely satisfying about tackling a thick novel page by page, or marking your place with some kind of tacky bookmark or (for the other lazy people out there) folding down the corner of the slightly off white paper.

When the kindle was introduced society seemed to be torn into four groups over it:
  • Those who thought it was a joke
  • Those who hated the idea
  • Those who supported the idea
  • And those who didn't really care.
I personally was part of the first group, I remember seeing the advert and thinking it looked like somebody had ripped a page out of a book and stuck it to a bit of plastic. However, after one came into my possession I realised they were actually a good idea.

I can understand some of the arguments against it. For example, one of the Kindle's main advertising features is the 'no glare' screen which sounds impressive at first, right? But guess what else has no glare? A book. However I can also understand that this makes it superior to the likes of iBooks which was intended for reading on the shiny surface of an iPad/Phone/Pod. 

Many people were offended at the thought of books becoming extinct and never being able to experience the little quirks that only paperbacks have to offer, which tainted the vision of the kindle and created an army of people immediately against it. I think that because of this, the positives were forgotten and it became this 'evil robot book coming to take over the world'.. (maybe that's an exaggeration).

First of all, it saves paper. We're constantly bombarded with statistics about how many trees are cut down a day and told that we need to make a change immediately, yet still as humans we are so wasteful. I know that I am a hypocrite in this situation, and that debate is probably too big for even another blog post, but it seems strange to be so against something that isn't contributing to deforestation, yet still provides us with books.

I also find it to be very practical. Last year I got on a plane for the first time in my life and discovered the baggage limit (which seemed to test my limits). I found myself in a situation where I was deciding between taking an extensive, unnecessary amount of haircare products or an equally unnecessary amount of books. With a Kindle this is no longer a problem. (That sounded like an incredibly cheesy advert and I apologise.. wow..).

Something that pretty much everybody seems to suffer from is fear of change. Simple things like a new layout on twitter can cause a sense of uncertainty and it's actually kind of stupid. I used to hate change, but now I am more welcoming to it and the good that it can bring if you only allow it to. We get so comfortable in our routines and surroundings that small things can make it seem like the world has been turned upside down. I think that this is the main reason people hate E-Readers so much. The mere thought of something changing is enough for somebody to completely write off the idea of anything new.

The human race has developed an insane amount to get to the place we are in now. The technology that we have access to today has been in the dreams and imaginations of budding inventors and engineers for years. When you hold your phone you are literally holding somebodies life work in the palm of your hands. So, the next time you turn your nose up at something that is 'too futuristic' remember that we have waited years for this kind of thing to exist and that you should embrace it! Imagine what somebody from 100 years in the past would think... the word 'witchcraft' comes to mind..

Although I am fully supportive of the kindle craze, I still have a place in my heart for books and will continue to buy them. Where do you stand on this debate? Are you completely against E-Readers or do you prefer them to books? I am open to all opinions!

18 comments:

  1. Firstly, I love this post. It's so well written. My eyes literally raced through it! You definitely made some points that I hadn't thought of. When it first came out I thought it was a joke because the mere idea horrified me. The saying, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' springs to mind. Books are great. They do what they are supposed to so why would I buy a kindle? But yeah, it would save trees (but as you said, that's a much bigger debate) and change should always be welcomed and I totally agree about room in my suitcase but for me, I get so much satisfaction from books that I can't and won't get a kindle. I understand why someone would and I can see all the pros but for me it's not worth all the benefits it carries. For someone else, it might be worth it and I totally get that!

    Great post :) really enjoyed reading it and I'm gonna share it on my blogs fb page for my followers!

    Hailes<3
    To visit my blog - Hailes Hearts Fashion.

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    1. Thank you so much! I definitely agree, books are great! You've made some great points that I didn't even think of and I completely understand why you want to stick to books :)
      Also, thank you SO MUCH for sharing this on your Facebook page! That means more to me than you think and I am very grateful. Again, thank you!
      <3

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  2. This is a subject which really interests me (and a lot of people I believe). Last year, me and my friend (for a science competition. because we are those kind of people) surveyed over a thousand people asking which they prefered ebooks or paper books and the overwhelming result was paper books, but ebooks seem to be catching on, especially with younger or more tech savvy people.

    Personally, I will always prefer paper made books. The whole experience of turning the pages and holding something heavy physically in my hand while I devour a story outweighs the negatives for me (even though I feel like an awful human for wrecking the environment with all my pages melting the icebergs and that). In the future, I could see myself buying a kindle... maybe. Even though I know I would end up buying all of the books I like again in physical copies to put on my shelf!

    whoops that turned into a long comment! but your post provoked me into thinking and that's definitely good thing for a blog post to do. I really enjoyed this :D

    Alannah
    kissing winter

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    1. That's so interesting! I can definitely understand why people would choose books, as I said I also love the feel of the actual printed pages in my hands.
      Don't worry, even if you didn't buy books they would still be printed: you're not responsible for melting icebergs hahahaha.
      I am always tempted to buy the physical copy of books I loved on my kindle but I have to remind myself not to waste money D:
      Thank you so much for your comment, the longer the better, and thank you for your compliments and your opinions :) it means alot.
      <3

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  3. I atcually just went out and brought myself a Kindle with my birthday money because however much I adore books, the sheer volume that I had was literally taking over my bedroom! A kindle is a pretty amazing and useful gadget but that doesn't mean I won't be buying books or using a library anymore xx
    www.writteninblackwhite.blogspot.com

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    1. I know what you mean, my house is so full of books it is becoming a problem haha!
      Thank you for your comment! It's really interesting to see everybody's different views and opinions on this subject :)
      <3

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  4. I'm an English literature student and when I first heard about kindles, I thought they were an awful idea. I thought it meant the end of books, the end of exploring bookshops, and that in the future people wouldn't remember the smell of new pages. I recently got a kindle for my birthday, though, and I love it. I've come to realise that all the things I hated about it were really quite selfish; kindles mean that anyone can read whatever they want, whenever they want - which should always be encouraged in my eyes. I can take over 10,000 books on holiday if I wish, and don't have the hassle of buying books for university.

    Great post!

    www.astyleshake.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, I hate to think about what life would be like without actual printed books!
      You're right, it's so simple to download a book in seconds (and they're so much cheaper on a kindle). I imagine it's especially useful for you as an English student!
      Thanks for the comment :)
      <3

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  5. Such a good blog post, very well written! I think that I just feel sentimental about books - it's not logical why I would prefer to have a book in my hand than a kindle. You're right, there is no real reason why we should reject this new technology... but for me, I just love the way that a pile of books make my house look, feel, even smell! It gives off almost a shabby chic kind of atmosphere, rather than a modern one with no personality. I'll always be true to books, me! x x x

    kassiella.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much! I know what you mean, there's some battered, falling apart books in the corner of my room that I could not bear to part with, haha! You make a good point, I didn't even think of that!
      Thanks for the comment :)
      <3

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  6. Guess what? I typed out a very lengthy comment and IT'S GONE. TELEPORTED. WALKED OFF THE PAGE AND GONE WALKABOUTS.

    Let's hope this one prefers the stability and comforts of your webpage, at least more so than the other one.

    In short, this post was brilliant and you continue to amaze me, with every post. You need to keep this blogging mojo up!

    My thoughts were definitely along the lines of an 'evil robot book coming to take over the world' and those thoughts haven't really altered.

    I would love to be some kind of eco warrior and save the trees and do all of this good for the environment but my lusting for books overrules that minor wish. It's the smell, the moments of time and memories captured between each page and every folded corner; the physical memoir of a book and the aesthetics. Old bookshelves, creaking and leaning in odd places would not exist if it were not for the hundreds of beautifully bound books sitting atop of it. Book shops are my quiet safe haven, and what would happen to them? They would go digital and god, how could Waterstones with its built in Costa Coffees go?? There would be ww3!! Let me ask you a similar question: what would you do if TGI Friday's became digital? HUH? HA.

    Well that turned a bit more ranty than originally planned, but this is a perfect post with beautiful writing, insightful points and just a thought-inducing aura. Loved it as per usual.

    hugs, lauryn<3

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    1. Damn those comments, always leaving when you least expect them to.
      Thank's so much Lauryn! I know, I shall try to post more (I am so very lazy though).
      Hahaha I kind of wish I didn't mention the saving paper thing because it makes me look like an eco warrior when I am, unfortunately, not.
      I know what you mean!!!!! The smell of a bookshop is one of the best things in the world... but what Waterstones are you going in that has a build in Costa?!?! I have never even heard of that never mind seen it! omg sounds amazing.
      Don't even joke about TGI's.. I need it in my life....

      Thanks again Lauryn, you are toooo nice! (ha aura is in my name ;D.. not funny)
      Adios BBF!
      <3

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  7. Really great post and well articulated! I got an e-reader last year for my birthday and the main reason why I love it it's because when I travel I don't have to make room in my suitcase for 2-3 books! I am also travel by train, long-distance, and most of the time at night and the rest of the passengers want to sleep while all I want to do is read so the e-reader comes in handy once again!

    I also don't understand the idea we have to pick a side. I still buy books (and still plant trees), and I read both paper and digital. It works great with my lifestyle.

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    1. Thank you so much! I agree, they're really handy in that situation, plus they're super thin so take up barely any space!
      I agree, I will always still buy books :)
      Thanks for the comment!
      <3

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  8. I really love my kindle and it defiantly has its place for 'cheap' fiction but recently I've been reading a lot more paper books Gisforgingers xx

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    1. I agree, they're so much cheaper on a kindle than buying an actual book!
      <3

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  9. Great post :) I am definitely team paperback books! I just don't feel comfortable reading with the kindle, I have this thing where I have to have my finger resting between the next page! Weird?! haha.

    Ellie from LittleEllieMae

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    1. Thanks! Haha no it's not weird! I understand ;)
      <3

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