Books and E-books

I quite enjoy reading Kindle e-books electronically. It’s very convenient to have a collection of e-books to choose from for a flight or a wait somewhere, without any added bulk to carry. It’s also satisfying that the Kindle edition is often cheaper than the hardcover or paperback especially when the book is new. And the instant gratification is nice as well.

However there’s something about holding a printed and bound book in my hands that the e-book medium doesn’t quite match. As Seth put it, “a book is a souvenir of an idea”. Each time I see a book on my bookshelf, the idea it represents is recalled to my mind instantly. Also when I take a quick glance at someone else’s bookshelf, I get a snapshot of their interests and the ideas they value. I can’t lend an e-book to a friend. I also buy used books quite often, which is something you can’t do with e-books. So I’m not quite ready to give up my physical books and my bookshelf just yet…

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One Response to Books and E-books

  1. Well written!

    I’ve heard similar arguments for CDs vs iPods. I think we can safely say that today very few miss CDs (or cassettes or LPs) other than the nostalgic value.

    I agree there are pros and cons to e-books vs printed books. I have begun to gravitate toward e-books over the last couple of years. So much so that if I don’t find an electronic version of a book, I purchase the physical copy and then scan it page-by-page to read it on my tablet. I love the convenience of uploading all of them on the cloud and read it from anywhere / or any device. I cannot lose them! In fact, all of the books I’ve read during the last 1 year (over three dozen of them) were all on my iPad. I also like the advantage of search (no need to have a separate index) and instant look-up of meaning if I encounter a new word.

    I am so happy for the school kids of today — they don’t have to carry heavy backpacks! ( Like this ).

    The only physical books I treasure in my collection are the ones that I got autographed from the authors. I wish there was a way to get e-books autographed — that would be awesome!

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