Are Ebooks Better Than Books? Say It Isn't So!

I love technology and all those cool kinds of electronic gadgets that come from it: digital cameras, computers, iPods and mp3 players, iPhones and other smartphones, iPads and various other tablets and mini-tablets, media players, and other whatnots that are out there. All these devices in different types, shapes, sizes, and colors, luring us with the many cool things we can use them for.

However, I admit that even though I love all this technology — own and use some of these devices a lot — I often think it's a bit too much and overwhelming, and that we've started to forget, all too often, to put it down and communicate with each other the old-fashioned way rather than through the Internet or with our eyes on the screens... but that's not what I want to talk about today.

One of those cool electronic devices that I love is the e-reader. The magical gadget that allows us to take our whole library with us whenever we want, wherever we want. I own one, and I absolutely loooove it and would not want to be without it. In fact, when I got my e-reader, I started reading much more than I did before. I think that many books — printed, "real" books — are way too expensive, especially where I live, but e-books are usually cheaper, and often way more affordable. And I think it's brilliant to be able to try a lower priced e-book before deciding whether we love it enough to buy the book. If we don't love it, we don't have a book taking up space on our shelves.

After realizing how much I use my e-reader and love e-books, I sometimes wonder whether e-books will eventually triumph over "real" books and cause them to become extinct over time. Personally, I don't think that will ever happen, and I sure hope it won't. What a tragedy that would be.

But then I wondered how I would answer if someone asked me whether I thought e-books were better than books. I suspect many people think they are. After all, e-books have become hugely popular over the years, and understandably so. They are easy to travel with, you can take all of them you want with you, it's easy to highlight (and unhighlight) quotes and chapters, and they're just very convenient. But better than books?

Let's find out how I feel about that after the jump...

Battery Low

You're in a car, a plane, or any other place where you can't plug in your charger — or you forgot your charger at home — and you are reading your e-book, all wrapped up in the story. Something exciting, revealing, funny or... hot is about to happen, and then... this damn warning pops on your screen. Ugh. As much I love my e-reader, this warning can be soooo frustrating and can come up at the most inconvenient times! Those are the moments when I wish I had bought the book instead. I mean seriously, the book would never die on you like that. It just wouldn't do that to you.

Sun vs. Moon

Hola1 Hola2
During a day with beautiful, warm weather, I can't think of a better place to be than sitting comfortably outside, with songbirds making music in the background, the smells of nature around me, and a book in my hands, and life is fabulous. The only problem is that I can't read my e-books in that setting. I need the real deal. Because, unlike several other e-readers, mine — which I wouldn't trade for any other because of all the features it has — doesn't have that e-ink feature, so it's useless outside during the day.

That being said, when I go to bed at night and my hubby dearest is trying to sleep, so I don't want to bother him by turning on the light, I can't read my books. I need my e-reader. Which works perfectly for me in those cases, and I can even adjust the background light to my preference.

Scent Of A Book

Seriously, for a book lover, nothing smells like that. Whether it's a new book I just bought or an old one I've had for years, there's just something so wickedly wonderful about the scent of a book. And going into a bookstore or a library, where my senses are filled with a familiar smell that makes me feel like I've arrived at the perfect place, thinking ahhhh, this must be how heaven smells.

Try to get that feeling from an e-book... nope, that's not even remotely possible.

And here's a frightening thought... without books, we wouldn't even have libraries or bookstores.

“A Home Without Books Is Like A Body Without A Soul”

I admit that I don't have walls of bookshelves around my house, filled with books promising me adventures every time I walk by them or see them waiting for me out of the corner of my eye — adventures I might never experience if I don't open them and read them.

My e-reader, my wonderful portable library, is filled with adventures that I don't have to worry about finding space in my house for... and I don't even have to dust them.

But I could not imagine my home without any books. Books aren't just printed words on sheets of paper, they also decorate your house. Some of them have such beautiful covers, which you wouldn't be able to enjoy in e-book format.

Can I Get An Autograph?

I've never had the opportunity to meet my favorite authors and ask for their autographs, with their books in my hands, but I hope that I will one day. Reading a book is like going on an adventure, and I think that meeting our favorite authors at book signings, interacting with them (no matter how little), having them sign our books and maybe write a personal message, is another type of adventure. And such a memorable one I imagine.

I know you can get an e-book (or an e-reader cover) signed, but come on, that's nothing like having a signed book.

A Book Makes A Great Gift

"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!"
~ Neil Gaiman
I know this quote could apply for e-books as well, and I would love it if someone gave me a book in e-book format.

However, receiving a package, opening it, and holding a printed copy of a book in my hands is something I love even more. Make it a book signed by one of my favorite authors, and I'm smiling the biggest smile, having a fangirling moment, and sending all my love to the person who made my day. Head Wench Barb once made my day, and I still smile every time I see that book on my bookshelf.

Recycle And Spread The Love

There might come a time when you decide a book has served its purpose in your life or you have extra copies that you decided to part with. A difficult thing to do, sure — unless it's a book or series that disappointed you. But the wonderful thing about parting with your books is that you can give them a second home with someone who will treasure them as much as you have, if not more.

Second-hand books often have a story behind them that no one will ever know about — where they've been, how the previous owner(s) came to have them, how much they were treasured, how many times they were read, etc. Sometimes you know exactly what the story is behind a book, and sometimes that story makes you treasure the book even more. Isn't that magical?

There are many ways to share and spread the love for a book you've enjoyed many times, or even a book you've read only once or twice. Just seeing it on your bookshelf can make you think of a wonderful memory. Whether it is a children's book or an adult's book, you can always find a new place for it. You can swap or sell it, give it to a family member or a friend, or just donate it to a kindergarten, school, hospital, or library. And it will have a new life with its own story behind the story.

Can you say the same about e-books? I don't think so.

Me, Myself, and My Very Own Book

No matter how I come to own a book — whether I buy it, win it, or it is given to me — it's mine. All mine. Whether I buy it through the Internet or a local bookstore down the road, the seller I bought it from won't ever come and take it from me. Duh, of course, that's obvious.

But what I thought was just as obvious is that this should apply to e-books as well. If I buy a Kindle book through, let's say, Amazon, I should own it, and the seller shouldn't be allowed to block me from my e-book, which I have bought and paid for, right? Well, according to this article, I shouldn't be so sure of that.

I know right?
So, after giving it some thought, if someone were to ask me whether I thought e-books were better than books I would say: "Hell no, books are better. Simple as that!" And my reasons above are just the ones that came to me quickly, off the top of my head. I'm sure I'll think of many others over time.

But what about you, my fellow Saucy book lover, what do you think? Are e-books better than books? Sound off below.


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