This is an argument for the ages. Literally, it will go on for ages, because we just can’t stop fighting about it. Which is better: real books or e-readers? Twenty years ago we had nothing to fight over, but since the first e-book went live, we have a tussle at every opportunity. I like hardbacks, wanna fight about it?
Guys, guys. Make tea, not war. Or make popcorn and watch other people argue about books and e-readers. Books are good, so more must be better. So, what’s wrong with having books and e-readers? Let’s send the days in which we pitted books and e-readers against each other back to the dark ages and give them both some love. Here are all the things we love about books and e-readers.
Books – No Ads
Anyone born before 1997 will remember a world less populated with ads. Our mobile phones couldn’t connect to the internet and Wi-Fi was still the fevered dream of a madman, so ads were a long way from hitting our screens. When they finally did, e-books couldn’t escape. Now, unless you pay extra, your e-readers are primed to pump your brain full of ads for other books and services as you try to enjoy your latest action thriller.
A good, reliable hardback (with a shiny dustcover) will never imply that you need Viagra. It will simply sit and be beautiful on your shelf until you are ready to get lost in its story. Even if it could, a real book loves you too much to go trawling through your cookies and then have the gall to suggest you need to change deodorant.
E-Readers – No Papercuts
When you risk loving something so much, you risk getting hurt. That’s why your blood is literally smeared across some of your favourite pages. Most, if not all of us, can admit to being so eager to turn the page that we have sliced our fingers open and decided that yes, this boo-boo does warrant a band-aid.
E-readers will never demand your blood for its literary chocolate. They are smooth, shiny and fit into the palm of your hand, with no sharp edges to slice you up. No matter how fast you turn the pages (or swipe them), they will leave you uncut and your medicine cabinets will stay full, just waiting for the day you get lost in your thoughts when chopping vegetables. Just remember, if something falls off, that’s a hospital visit.
Books – That Epic Book Smell
New books, old books, and books that fell into your lavender bubble bath last week; they all smell wonderful. If you’ve been reading like crazy since before you can remember, this isn’t just a good smell, it’s the smell of your childhood. No one book smells the same but they all give you that same rush of security, excitement and home.
Great though they are, e-readers just don’t smell as good, in fact, they don’t really smell like anything at all. Have you ever tried smelling your computer? Technology isn’t something that can whip you back to the past with a single sniff, it lacks the miasma of aromas you grew up loving. If they ever hope to compete, e-readers need to seriously up their smell game.
E-Readers – Cheaper Books
Until you’re a millionaire, book budgets will rule your life, because y’know, we need food and rubbish like that. Until you’re rolling in cash, you have to limit your book buying before your break the bank. Real books are worth every penny, but filling up your epic library will take time with book prices being what they are.
For every real book you buy, you could get about five e-books, more if they’re on sale! While a screen isn’t quite the same as an awesome smelling hard-back, the contents are still the same. You will still experience a mind-blowing adventure whether you’re swiping the pages or turning them. But you will have so many more pages to flick through if you buy yourselves some e-books.
Books – Hardbacks
There is nothing like the beauty of a shiny, new hardback book, dustcover and all. We’ve already been over how beautifully they smell, but hardbacks have a strength and beauty about them that we just can’t put our finger on. And we dare not put our fingers on them for fear of leaving a fingerprint, such is their glory. E-books are cheaper, but they are impossible to compare with this kind of perfection.
E-Readers – They Take Less Space
You’re going on holiday and you want to take plenty of reading material with you. At the airport you are taken aside for bringing three suitcases with you and rather than finding a giant stash of cocaine, they find fifty books (just in case it rains one day).
Real books take up space, there’s no denying it. We want to read everything but our bookshelves are only so big. E-readers have no such problem. You can store thousands of books on these things and you only need one pocket of your carry-on. No more getting pulled over at customs, no more sniffer dogs and no more sand between the pages. For long holidays, e-readers take the prize.
Books – The Potential for Beautiful Libraries
Important question: how can you build your dream library when the books are stuck on a screen? Every avid has the dream of owning an incredible library to fill with their favourites, complete with spiralling staircases, push-along ladders and squashy sofas. Think the library from Beauty and the Beast but bigger and better.
You may or may not ever get this incredible library of your dreams but there’s one way you definitely won’t get it and that’s by owning an e-book library. Without paper, binding and a mansion house you can never afford, that epic reader’s haven is off the table.
E-Readers – Light Up Screen
Remember those awkward nights spent under the duvet with your book and torch so your parents wouldn’t know you were reading after lights out? The shoulder ache from propping yourself up and holding the torch? Nearly dying when it got too hot under the covers? Those problems are a thing of the past.
E-readers these days have light-up screens just bright enough to read, but not so bright that your dad will bust you on the way to the bathroom. As much as we love real books, the absence of joint pain and fear of suffocation makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable.
This battle between real books and e-readers doesn’t have to exist, but for some reason we enjoy pitting them against each other. Here’s an idea: get both. Real books and e-readers have their own merits, and their own advantages which will serve your purposes as one of the most avid readers out there. Let’s face it, no matter what the format, are you really going to say no to a book?