E-book or Paperback?

My husband recently said he thinks the days of print books are numbered. My initial reaction was to call his prediction ridiculous. But later that night, as I read a Kindle book on my iPad, it occurred to me that I have not read a print book in five months. So I began pondering my reasons for choosing e-books over print books.

E-books are:

  • less expensive
  • available with the click of a few buttons
  • adjustable (font size and orientation, lighting)
  • convenient for note taking and highlighting
  • easy to store

Then I tried to think of a good reason to purchase a print book over an e-book. Sadly, I couldn’t think of one.

Fast-forward three weeks to today.

I had just loaded two of my kids into the car and was running late to pick up the third from chess club. Noticing a couple of packages on the porch as I backed out of the driveway, I quickly hopped out and grabbed them. One was from Random House. It only took my brain seconds to register that I’d finally received my advanced reader copy of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (through the LibaryThing Early Reviewers program). My heart rate actually increased. Weird, I know, especially since I have never been so excited to receive an ARC. The only explanation I have for my enthusiasm is that this ARC was a paperback. I wanted to rip the package open immediately, but I just didn’t have time. Instead, I thought about the brand new paperback the entire time it took me to pick up my son and feed my family. When I finally tore into the package, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Holding the book reminded me how much I love the feel and smell, among other things, of print books.

So why buy a print book over an e-book? How about because there’s nothing quite like holding an actual book and being able to hug it to your chest? (Yes, I admit it. I hugged it.) I also look forward to dog-earing the pages of The Girl on the Train, not worrying if it is going to fall off the bed if I nod off while reading it and sharing it with friend after friend after friend.

Which do you prefer, e-book or paperback? Why?

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