Tags Reading

Note: "Kindle" here can be probably replaced with any good electronic book reader. I only happen to own a Kindle, so my personal opinion is confined to it.

Here are some thoughts on the relative merits of "real" paper books and books read on a Kindle:

Why a Kindle is better (in no particular order):

  • Smaller, slimmer and lighter than most books, while still being big enough to provide a good holding and reading experience.
  • Much easier to put down and come back to the correct spot later. Not only you don't need a physical marker, but the pages themselves are significantly smaller so it's easy to stop at the first paragraph and know this is where you should resume reading. I appreciate this a lot when reading while watching my daughter, which means I should put the book down each minute or two and come back to it later.
  • Easier and cleaner to highlight interesting sections and get back to them later - no need to keep a pen around.
  • A blessing when reading several books simultaneously (which is frequently the case for me). This becomes quite important when traveling.
  • Practically every book from Amazon available for you 15 seconds after you decide you want to read it (and you can read a sample before paying).
  • Has a built-in clock.
  • Has built-in dictionaries and you can install more.
  • Adjustable font size is a blessing for people with poor eyesight (although this is thankfully not my problem yet, I can see how important this is).

Why a paper book is better:

  • Its battery lasts longer.
  • Illustration quality is higher, especially in non-fiction books where this is important, and where high-quality color illustrations may be crucial. I think this is temporary, though - it's hard to believe it will still be an issue 5 years from now when e-readers have better screens.
  • More reliable. In normal day-to-day conditions this isn't a big issue, though.
  • Costs much less so you don't worry too much about it getting damaged, lost or stolen.
  • Has the good-old feeling and smell of paper. I must admit, however, that when I read on a Kindle, I miss this feeling much less than initially imagined.
  • Gives you the opportunity to fill shelves with books, which is a terrific adornment for every home, especially the "office room".