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August 17, 2014

Books vs. Kindle

A couple of months ago, for my birthday, some of my cool friends got me a Kindle. After using it for a while now, I feel like I can wade into this discussion.

kindle vs book
In favour of the e-reader
  • You can get classics for free, as copyright has expired (you can also get other books for free, if you're a horrible person)
  • You can get books instantly and have loads to read with you at once - especially good for travelling, so you don't have to decide which two books are going to take up precious luggage space and weight (I hope my two ASOIAF books enjoyed their tour of China).
  • You can read embarassing books in public (ahem Vampire Academy).
  • They're as light or lighter than most books, and you can hold them and turn "pages" with one hand (important when I read in bed in winter, I like to stay as tucked into my blankets as possible).
In favour of the book
  • They don't run out of battery (maybe they should make solar-powered kindles, like calculators).
  • They can withstand more abuse (e.g. if you're at the beach and a freak wave comes out of nowhere, as my salt-water stained copy of Persuasion can attest to) and you don't have to be precious about them (I probably wouldn't throw my Kindle into my suitcase from across the room and proceed to shove two pairs of shoes on top of it).
  • You have to treat an e-reader as another valuable to keep an eye on, like your phone or camera (reminds me of when I squeezed my copy of The Book Thief into an unlockable outside compartment of my backpack, and Wai Lam quipped that if anyone stole it they would be an actual Book Thief... ha... ha...)
  • As much as I hate people getting all romantic about physical books (because in the end it's about reading, not smelling the damn things), I can't help but get romantic about physical books (the way they look on my shelves, being able to lend them out to friends, passing them down through generations...)
In conclusion? I love my Kindle, and I've spent a lot less money on books in the past few months. Although I had grand plans to read all the classics, I only managed to get through half of A Tale of Two Cities (which I was not enjoying by the way) before I got sucked into less cultured books. I'd still buy physical books, like the one above (more on it later), which I know I'll love and re-read over again (including the ones I already have on Kindle).

Anyway, if you really don't care about all that, let me talk to you about The Silkworm, the second of J.K. Rowling's books she's written as Robert Galbraith. I talked about the first one, The Cuckoo's Calling, last year. In summary, it's another detective/crime novel featuring the central characters from the first book. I'd buy anything J.K. writes until the end of time, but I really do like this series. This book was a bit harder to follow than the first, but the ending is good and it'll have you wanting to re-read immediately to pick up all the clues. She said she could write more of these books than the Harry Potter ones, I'm okay with that!

What's your take on the book vs. e-reader, and/or what are you reading right now?

44 comments:

  1. I've thought about getting an e-reader but I never really committed to the idea haha. I think they're a good idea though if you're not going to re-read the book over and over again, in which case I'd definitely get a physical copy! I had plans to read a whole lot of classics as well but I've been stuck on Pride and Prejudice for a while now...

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    1. Although I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, I think it's ok to not like a classic even though it's a classic!

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  2. I think the two of us share pretty much exactly the same views on this, would also like to add that the freebie books on the Amazon Kindle store are d a n g e r o u s - am pretty sure I have a dozen on there I haven't read but downloaded because they were free even if I'm only half interested in the plot.
    I think a healthy mix of reading both on the Kindle and 'offline' with physical books is the way forward, especially as I'm one of those annoying people that really romanticize physical books (they're so pretty though!) Xx

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    1. Haha yep I've downloaded a whole bunch of free books, not sure if it's good that I'm widening what I read or bad that I don't even think about what books I'm choosing!

      I agree, I'm hoping in the future it'll be a thing for publishers to give a discount for the physical book when you've bought the ebook/vice versa!

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  3. While I always thought that I'd be a real book person until the end of time, I have to admit that I can't remember the last non-cookbook (which I will always, always get in paper form) that I read that I purchased since I got my iPad for my 20th birthday March before last. They are just so much more practical, and so much cheaper!

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    1. I hadn't thought about electronic versions of reference sort of book like cookbooks! I think they would work on iPads but not e-readers, which don't have colour/as nice a display screen.

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  4. I have the Nook! I'm still making my way through The Game of Thrones and I'm starting Gone Girl (I'm a terrible person because I got these pdfs from my friends). I don't treat the nook like my tablet or my phone or laptop and I usually toss it into my bag without much thought. If I had the books, I would be so careful with it because I am the type that tries to keep the corners and pages in perfect condition. Ditto on the fact people can hide embarrassing books with an ereader.... this is particularly important for those who have to take public transit hahaha.

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    1. Ah haha I see we treat our books differently, I have always been so bad at keeping corners and pages neat I don't bother anymore!

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  5. Ahhh I'm still stuck with reading old-fashioned books that I borrow from the library! What I am reading now...more Murakami right now, I really like his book "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". It is definitely one of my favorite books this summer. The other one I really liked was Dr. Sleep, by Stephen King - it gave me nightmares hahaha.

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    1. I've never read any Murakami or Stephen King, maybe I should obtain some of the ebook versions of their books!

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  6. i honestly thought i'd be pro book until i downloaded the kindle app for my ipad, now i only seem to use that because it's easier. i get what you mean about the valuable posession thing though. i wouldn't fancy an ipad and kindle mind you.

    Buckets & Spades

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    1. I'd forgotten there was a kindle app, actually, I guess that makes sense if you already have an iPad.

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  7. I got an e-reader and absolutely love it! The only time I pick up a hardcover book is probably when my bookstore has a big sale and the books are ridiculously cheap or just unavailable in ebook format!

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    1. Fair enough! Also if the ebook is not that much cheaper than the physical book, I'd end up going with the book because it feels more substantial for your money haha.

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  8. My ex got me a kindle and I kept it when we broke up and then left it on the plane. Karma. I did love having a kindle as it meant I could just have loads of books on it and not worry about them taking up space. I did still buy books, especially ones I liked reading on my kindle. I'm saving up for an iPad and will probably download the kindle app straightaway. Until then it's books for a while.
    xxx
    Nina from little nomad

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    1. Ah I guess that was just meant to be then! I totally forgot about the Kindle app when I wrote up this post, cause I don't have plans to get myself a tablet and the iphone screen is a tad too small to read off.

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  9. I have been thinking about getting an e reader for a while now, however never got around to spending the money. Maybe one day!

    I quite enjoyed The Silkworm; I enjoyed it more than the first. Looking forward to more of her novels!

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    1. If you spend a chunk of money on books right now an e-reader probably ends up saving you in the long run :)

      I'm hoping she churns out at least one of these novels a year!

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  10. I love discussing the kindle almost as much as I love my kindle! I've had my kindle for over four years now, and it's honestly my favourite purchase. I have quite a lot of physical books too, but I'm the type of person who doesn't like creases/marks, so I generally prefer reading on my kindle - which, in a case, has withstood a lot of abuse in my hands. It's on my person everyday when I travel overseas.

    (From experience, reading embarrassing books is still embarrassing on public transport when people read over your shoulder. Particularly when you reach a page about a "turgid erection" on the train and the woman sitting next to you is reading it too.)

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    1. Apparently the kindle can withstand more abuse than I though! Maybe I'm just more protective about it because it's still new.

      LOL! I guess there's no way around nosy fellow commuters, unless you learn to read code.

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  11. How cool you got a Kindle from your friends! It's so nice to have an honest review. I love all myself, books, Kindle, and using Kindle on my Mac. But, there's nothing like having a book in your hands and flipping through the pages :)

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    1. I agree, I still "value" real books more but I'm not going to turn my nose up at a kindle if it means I can read more.

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  12. I have heard only good stories about Kindle, but I love the feeling (and scent, yes I am weird) of a real book.

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    1. Me too, but in the end I like the story part the best!

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  13. I don't have an e-reader and think I might never get one. I just love real books and I'm a sucker for a pretty covers. Also, I spend enough time behind a screen as is. I know e-readers have great screens these days, but still. And I'm pretty sure I'd be bothered by empty batteries as I'd probably always forget to load it.
    However, I get that it's a perfect solution for some people. And free classics is definitely a wonderful thing too!

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    1. Fair enough! I love pretty covers too. One of the reasons I went for an e-reader instead of getting an iPad for a reading app is that e-readers have those special ink screens, but it's a screen all the same I guess.

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  14. What a coincidence, I only just began deliberating on whether I should buy a Kindle or stick with good old books. I definitely agree you with about the beauty of physical books, I guess that's the main issue with everyone when choosing whether to get a Kindle. But just like you, everyone who has Kindle speaks so highly of it. Which edition do you own?

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    1. I have the Kindle Paperwhite - the touch screen is really useful.

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  15. Haha I have this kind of discussion before as well blogged about it :P
    I have mixed feelings with books and an e-reader... but I didn't know
    you could read free classic books on an e-reader! That might be a reason
    to get an e-reader haha :') and J.K. Rowlings is amazing <3
    I'm currently reading Kafka on Shore by Murakami Xx

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    1. Yep, all books published before a certain date would be free I think!

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  16. I'm getting a kindle for my birthday this month, so excited, heard so many good things about it. You also forgot on important point for kindle- it's environmentally friendlier than books!

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    1. I guess you'd have to check how it's made but at one point it must be more environmentally friendly than paper books right?

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  17. I seriously want to grab a kindle or any ereader... But a friend of mine also pointed out that I also require a tablet... So I'm completely conflicted... However I love the way the ereader's screen mimics paper, that is so amazing to me.

    Another pro with having an ereader would be that your library of books wouldn't start to overflow... I'm starting to have books stacked on the floor by my bedside now. Uh Oh.

    ROSA-DYN.com

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    1. One of the reasons I chose to go with an e-reader over a more multipurpose tablet is that I like to read in bed, and I think the backlight from tablets and phones right before bed are bad sleep hygiene!

      That too, I'm quickly running out of space as well!

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  18. I get romantic with my books. I do love a good new book smell.

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    1. I guess it is harder to get romantic with a kindle...

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  19. oooooo I've been on the fence for a while about a reader. thanks for the pro.con. i think i might be a horrible person bc just the idea of getting free books got me excited. that's bad? ;)

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  20. i'm totally that physical person where i love the feeling of turning actual pages. :) i'm currently reading a medieval time period book - my guilty pleasure! :)

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    1. I haven't read historical fiction in ages - I used to love it haha.

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  21. I like that you can read a book in the bath without fear!

    I have both actually and that is because our flat is tiny and my books were taking over----- oh and for travel. I still buy both! :)

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    1. Forgotten about baths! Very true.

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  22. books hands down.. no competition in my mind. We were gifted an e reader a few years ago and without even a moments thought proceeded to sell it on ebay.. no regrets.. never looked back.

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  23. I've been trying to get into eBooks but it just doesn't work out for me. My eyes tend to hurt easily when I read from my iPad. So, hands down, I love books :) I'm currently reading Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken.

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