The On-going Debate- Kindle or Paperback?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

The question of E-book or physical book is a constant struggle in the literary world. While we love physical books, one cannot help but recognize the ease that comes with owning an e-reader. The amount of books you can store in those little devices is phenomenal, making travelling with books so much easier. Not to mention how low the prices are for e-books.

However, physical books still seem to hold the trump card when it comes to the preferred book format. According to CNN in December 2017, e-book sales have plunged nearly 20% since 2016, while sales for physical books are continuing to rise. In the modern technology era, this statistic may surprise some people. I personally prefer to have a physical book in my hand, and to fill my shelves with a vast library to continue my curiosity voyage (#Dustinismyfavoritebooknerd). Here I have listed a few reasons just why I prefer this format, and why it seems others do too.

#1: Reliability. Nowadays, people rely heavily on the internet, mobile devices and computers, which is not always the most convenient. Computers can crash easily, phones and tablets are highly breakable, and the internet is not always secure (mine crashes at least 5 times a day). One cannot always rely on technology to keep things safe (ex. My dinosaur computer that ate my OG manuscript).

Debatable point- A lot of people say this is not a valid argument, because books can as well be easily destroyed. However, consider this: there are books in libraries and museums that have been around for centuries and are great condition. Books have incredible durability, whereas a device is not so easily restored. If your e-reader breaks then well, that's it. All your books (not to mention the money you spent on them) are destroyed.

#2: The smell. Nothing smells like a book, especially an old book. When paper, adhesive and ink age, they give off organic volatile compounds, causing the book to develop a wonderful smell (partially due to the lignin in the paper) kind of like good quality vanilla. The older they get, the better the scent. That smell is universally loved by readers, and is something very unique to books that a kindle or e-reader simply cannot contain.

#3: The nostalgic feeling. I cannot help but feel such a sense of warmth and nostalgia when I pick up a classic or a historical fiction novel. Whenever I’m reading I always feel like Anne in Anne Of Avonlea, when she’s sitting on the steps of Mr. Harrison's during the summer, lost in the world of her book. It makes me so homesick for the past, and it brings back so many warm feelings. And the practice of pressing flowers in between the pages, getting friends and loved ones to sign the inside covers (like journals and yearbooks) will immediately send you back into memories of good times you may not have taken the time to think about, had the memory not been placed in front of your eyes.

#4: They’re BOOKS. As a person who was raised with books, I cannot possibly match the feeling I get when I read a book online, to when I read an actual book. In 2015, e-book sales fell by 10% within the first five months in the year, and are continuing to decline as millennial's turn from tablets to paperbacks. When I came across this statistic while perusing through the New York Times website, it surprised me at first read. But at the end of the day, as much as we advance throughout the years with technology, there are some things that will always stay the same. Books are very special and they always will be, and we needn’t assume they are going to become obsolete just because we’ve made advances in modern technology.

What do you think, do you prefer e-readers or do you stick with a paperback? Let me know in the comments section below!


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