About two weeks ago, I wrote a post stating how a friend of mine who is a huge fan of e-reading challenged me to use e-readers, read e-books, and nothing else. I was skeptical, because I've never caught on and been particularly fond of e-readers, but I accepted anyway, thinking it would be a pretty interesting experience. So for the past two weeks I have been reading through her Nook and my iPhone. Here's what I think!
The Good: There is no denying that e-reading nowadays is the way to go if you are looking for ease of use, convenience, and portability. There are so many pros about having an e-reader, but to me, I think the biggest one would be the fact that you can carry about 100 or more books with you without adding bulk and weight to your purse or your bag anymore. And this is can be very useful especially if I wanted to travel, or I know I'm going to be out all day waiting, etc. I will have instant access to a book no matter what, and if I get bored with it, I can just switch to a new one immediately. It's also nice that I can just take it out whenever I want to and wherever I am.
It is also much cheaper. Without the cover, printing, storage, and paper costs, it's to be expected. It would also save room in your house - not everyone can have a huge library, so this is definitely an added bonus.
The Bad: I spend about half my day - at school, at work, and at home - on the computer already. I simply can not and would not like to stare at a screen 24/7. And reading to me, is a sort of escape and getaway. It's a break from technology and the usual routines. So it would be nice if I could get completely lost in the pages of a book, without my eyes hurting from the glare of a screen.
The biggest con though, is that to me, personally, e-reading takes away the experience of reading - of holding and feeling the book, of seeing it, of smelling it, of turning actual pages. I've also always liked seeing how many more pages and chapters left before I get to finish the book. I feel comforted by all these things. So holding a gadget just doesn't "feel" like I am reading for leisure, but as if I am assigned to.
Final thoughts: E-reading has its perks. It is super easy, portable, and convenient and I can never deny those things. It is also quite amazing that such a small and lightweight object can hold more than my bookshelves in my room are able to hold. But technology is not infallible; just a few years after purchase, the e-reader will break and I'd have to replace them, just like a computer, a laptop, an iPod, a phone. So even though I love and appreciate technology - and would most likely do some more e-reading in the future - at the end of the day, I will always stick to actual physical copies. There is just nothing more comforting than reading an actual physical copy of a book, seeing its cover art, feeling its pages... the list goes on. And books - they stay with you and last for years, if not forever. In the end, I say, I'll embrace technology fully but for the most part, stick to what I grew up loving.
I would love to hear your side! Tell me why you love e-reading and tell me which one you prefer more.