The Book Chat: eReaders vs. Printed Books

This week's book chat is discussing the merits of eReaders vs. Printed Books, and I thought I'd weigh in with my opinion. They both have their pros and cons.

+ lightweight, easy to carry, hold, and turn the page
+ can purchase books from home (or almost anywhere)
+ built-in features like dictionary and highlighting
+ can change font, color, size, orientation, etc.
+ iPad has backlighting for night-time reading

- when browsing to purchase, you can't "flip through" the pages
- not a great idea to bring to the beach or poolside
- have to be charged occasionally
- have to buy the eReader device plus books

nothing beats the feeling of holding, smelling & flipping through a loved book +
can be easier to scan multiple pages to find & re-read a passage +
have beautiful covers that can be displayed in your home  +
easy to pass on to friends and family members +

books can be heavy & hard to carry -
often carry a slightly higher price tag per book -

Are eReaders truly more "on the go" than printed books?
Is it really easier to share a book online than handing a friend a paperback copy?
I'm not sure.

What I do know is that I prefer each for different circumstances. It's so nice to be able to read in bed at night with the lights off, knowing that I'm not keeping Chris up. And it's really convenient to be able to find books online from home & start reading them in under 2 minutes. However, while I love how easy it is turn pages on an eReader there is no way I'd ever take my iPad to the beach. I even had a hard time bringing my kindle near the water because accidents happen (to me).

As a lifelong reader I never thought I'd enjoy reading from a screen. I bought a Kindle two years ago when I learned we'd be moving to an island that had zero bookstores. I discovered that it wasn't that big of a jump from the printed word to the Kindle's screen. My biggest challenge was finding inexpensive books online, as I'd always been a used-book-store type of gal. Then I discovered Calibre and how easy it is to share books with friends.

When I got an iPad last summer from my mom, I thought I'd never like reading a pixelated screen. Wrong again! I was shocked at how beautiful the screen was, and loved the backlighting and ability to change the size, font, and color of the text.

What's the verdict? As much as I love paperback books, I think if I could only choose one option I'd have to pick the iPad. Although it's an expensive little toy to carry around on a day to day basis, most of the time I read at home in bed and I love how easy it is to do that with my iPad and iBooks. In fact, I ended up trading my Kindle to a friend on the island and haven't really missed it.

I'm curious what your opinions are on the matter.
Do you have a preference? eReader or Print?
Did I miss any pros or cons?


Abigail said...

I'm an eReader kind of girl. I love reading on my iPad and really enjoy the night time option. I too read mostly in bed and love how convenient it is. I love reading magazines on my iPad too!

Empirically Erin said...

I love reading on the ipad too. I'm pretty new at it obviously, but it's been great so far. I have a kindle, but having no backlight is a problem for me! It's also nice when there are pictures to be able to have them in color.

Brooke Hamilton said...

I'm rooting for the Kindle. I have one of the first additions and I love it. I can't imagine how I'd feel about an IPAD!!! It would be love overload. Anyways, I like that the ebooks don't take up room, I can make a quick purchase from amazon for less money, and easier to read multiple books at one time.

Jessica Bucher said...

The only reason I think I couldn't read on the iPad would be because I am too easily distracted. If Facebook/Twitter/Sudoku are right there, I may forget to open my book. LOL
This is a great list!
I couldn't imagine not having any book stores! Did you go to B&N immediately after getting home?? :)

Colette said...

I've never used an e-reader, but I just got an iPad for my birthday, so I think that's all about to change!!!

Ruthie Hart said...

I've never used an ereader or ipad but I LOVE holding books. I rent from our local library (hello FREE!) and I love the smell and the actual holding of the books. Not sure if I will ever go to an e reader but under your circumstance, I totally agree w you

Shannon Friedman said...

Wow-this is a hard one for me. I haven't used our family iPad for reading much-mainly cuz I had a Kindle 2 when my husband got the iPad and he used it mostly for work and surfing;-). I love my Kindle 2, I have found a lot of new authors--cuz I am too cheap to buy many books, I too love second hand used stores-the best are Thrift Stores for used books...But I just got in April a Kindle Fire--it was 'free' from my hubby's work...we also got a iPad 2...so he gave me the Kindle and kept the iPad. I love the Kindle Fire-I can read with the lights off(although I don't too often). I love that I can read books and surf the net, my email, Yahoo and Facebook on it...That said, it doesn't type as well as I think the iPad does.

With the ereaders I love the portability-when traveling I used to travel with so many different books...now I just take a couple of Magazines for the take off and landing.

I still love the feel of a real book in my hands! The smell, feeling the pages. My husband heard from some expert who had done studies about how technology is impacting the current generation and how it is changing their neuropathways in their brains! Apparently there is something that happens in our brain and physiology when we open a book and read a book...versus the ereaders.

So I will probably keep using my eReaders AND keep hitting up my thrift stores;-)

Allison said...

I guess I'm old school, but I will always prefer a printed book. I get my books from the library most of the time, but if it is one I love I just have to have it on my bookshelf. I do own a Nook, but don't use it as much as I should.

Unknown said...

i stick to printed books!

Happy Saturday! have a great weekend! Drop by nichollvincent.blogspot.com and say hello!

DJ said...

I like my Nook, but I only use it for books I download from the library. At least, that was the plan. With my Nook, I would never buy a physical book again and cut down on clutter, borrow from the library without the germs, and be able to read at night without waking up my perpetually sleeping resident :). HOWEVER, about 50% of the time that I turn on my Nook -usually while on an airplane or some other place with no access to the e-library -- MY BOOKS ARE GONE. I get some stupid, rage-inducing error message like "SORRY CANNOT OPEN THIS BOOK." and then I have to sit on the plane with absolutely nothing to do except worry about the fact that I am FLOATING IN MIDAIR. This drives me crazy, obviously. And then I have to actually buy a physical book at the airport ( or from the Nook store on the rare occasion that the airport has free wifi. And my plan is ruined.

Sorry, I'm clearly very passionate about this issue :)

Unknown said...

well since i don't actually have any kind of ereader yet...i have to say I'm a book kinda girl. I would like to try the kindle/ipad for reading, but accidents happen to me a lot and I'm just not sure I am up for the jump yet!! One of these days ik I'll break down and do it though

Claire Kiefer said...

So these days, you can use iPads just like kindles? That's pretty amazing. I don't have an iPad or any e-reader. Thus far, I've been pretty committed to real, actual books. But Matt falls asleep before me every single night, and I wake up multiple times in the night with insomnia/wanting to read, and a kindle/iPad/etc. would be perfect for that.

Brooke said...

I'm all for the eReader! I bought a KOBO last year (canada's version of the Kindle) and LOVE it!
A Pro you could add to your list, which may only apply to a small few, is that being dyslexic I read so much faster on the KOBO. Because it's just a single page at a time and I can make the font a little bigger I don't loose my place nearly as often or have to re-read sentences. At first my friends laughed when I said I was able to read faster on it, then they got one too... they find the same thing even though they don't have the same jumbled letter/words challenge that I do :)