Paperback vs ebook

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February 6, 2013 by allsho

At the Daily Post, this week’s writing challenge is about the dilemma: how do you prefer to read, what do you prefer having in your hand, a nice old-style book or the latest ebook reader?

And there’s a poll. I voted for the paperback just randomly, because there was no third option (“both alike for different reasons”, would have done for me).

Because it’s true, there’s nothing like the smell of a book. And I somehow prefer old books, as in previously owned. They have an additional content of stories, untold, maybe just hinted by signs, underlines, pages folded. And old books, as opposed to new ebooks, are heavy: if you travel, you have to choose carefully, as you can’t take a whole bookshelf with you: so there’s intention and purpose in your choice of a paper book. Yes, romantically a book is ideal.

But sometimes I tend to be more practical than romantic. So my Kindle can be filled with texts without getting any heavier or bulkier. I can parse, search, toggle between different readings, and so on. Besides, ebooks are cheaper, use less paper (although they are not completely resource-neutral) and you can get them any time of the day or of the night, wherever you are, and have them delivered instantly.

So, basically: which of the two? If I listen to the sentimental collector in the back of my mind, it’s paperback any time. But if I pay attention to the practical reader somewhere else in my mind (why would he have to be in front?), well, ebooks rock.

Therefore, I’m sorry, guys. I can’t choose. And if I did choose, please don’t count it!

PS: But if it comes to writing, ebooks are within anybody’s reach, while paperback aren’t. By the way, I was reading somethings a friend wrote about writing ebooks and ebook formats, last night. Maybe you might be interested too.

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