It's been debated furiously for years, with adamant fans on either side - which are better, e-books or real books?
I've been a reader all my life, since well before the invention of e-books, and I was an English major, AND I'm an English teacher, so of course, I would love to side with Team Real Books. But to be honest... considering my life and my needs, I really have to admit that I am Team E-book. (Specifically, I'm Team Kindle.)
Why have e-books moved to front and center in my reading life over real books?
- I am a terrible DEVOURER of books. You know how there are some people who take their time eating a delicious meal, savoring every bite and enjoying the dining experience? I'm the total opposite of that when it comes to books. (Ironically, I AM a slow eater though.) I love to slam through books and then immediately start in on the next book in the series (or on another book by the same author) and just completely consume them until I'm sitting in a puddle of my own feels, fighting a major book hangover. Having a e-reader makes it SUPER easy for me to do that. With real books, I have to have the foresight to order the entire series ahead of time or I have to sit there impatiently, burning and burning until either I get a chance to go to the bookstore or Amazon finally shows up with my delivery.
- Speaking of less waiting, this might be Amazon-specific, but when I preorder a book in Kindle format, it actually shows up on my device the night before the official release date, around 9pm (because I'm on the West Coast, and therefore, it's technically tomorrow on the East Coast). For books that I have been hotly anticipating for a YEAR (like the upcoming third book of Sarah J. Maas' ACO series), this is huge! When I preorder a physical book from Amazon, they do have guaranteed release-date delivery, but 1) sometimes UPS doesn't deliver the actual package until later in the evening, and 2) sometimes there's a delay, and it doesn't actually arrive on release day for whatever reason (and I pretty much lose my s*** over it).
- Sometimes the only time I have to read during the day IS after 9pm, when I have to put my daughter to bed, and even though she's 7, she still has trouble falling asleep without me next to her. So I'm thankful for my Kindle's backlighting (which I find more tolerable than the lighting from smartphones and tablets, by the way). I've tried the clip-on book light thing, and it just doesn't work well enough for me. Plus, my kid likes to snuggle on my arm, and it's hard turning pages with only one hand. :)
- I have a bad tendency to change my mind about what I feel like reading at any given moment, and it's hard to carry around as many physical books, especially when I don't quite know what I'm in the mood for.
- This is a mere convenience, but I like finding all the quotes I've highlighted in one place afterward.
- I really appreciate the discretion of e-books. I'm sure this is no surprise to you, if you've been a follower of my blog for a while, but I read a lot of romance novels. Many of them prominently feature MAN ABS and busty women and risque poses, and even the titles of some YA books can be rather cornball and ridiculous. I would never, ever feel comfortable busting out a physical copy in public, like in a waiting room or at the pool during my kid's swimming lesson. But, unless there are people sitting close enough to read the words on my screen (which is too damn close, in my opinion - BACK OFF!) my Kindle allows me to read things that I don't want other people knowing that I'm reading. ALSO, I have a Kindle Voyage, which fits neatly into the pockets of most of my sweatshirts, which makes for easy surreptitious trips to the bathroom. (What? Don't judge - you KNOW it's a good place and time to read.)
- I also really appreciate e-book sales, and with websites like BookBub, which sends me daily emails about cheap e-books, and especially with my Kindle Unlimited membership, I can often find books to read for very, very cheap (or even free!) And yes, I know, I could also just go to the library, but I like being able to read without a deadline looming over me.
- It's easier for me to knit and read at the same time if I'm using my Kindle, rather than a real book :)
- Having recently moved... packing and moving books can be quite an ordeal. (TEN BOXES. I'm just sayin'.)
I'm not saying that e-books rule all things and that we should all convert. I definitely have a love for real books for many reasons (here's one), and nothing will ever make me want to get rid of my bookshelves full of books, but in terms of what works best for me in my life, I'm generally going to reach for my Kindle more often.
But what works for me isn't necessarily going to work for everyone else, so whatever you want to read, HOWEVER you want to read, is totally all good :) In all honesty, I am Team ALL THE BOOKS