Who Wins: Books or Kindle e-Books?

So, for the longest time, I have been a snob about the Kindle. I have been shocked, when I discovered that people who were staunch book readers had switched to the Kindle. This is because I firmly believe that they have betrayed fellow readers and have broken a sacred decree that no reader should. And I could never understand how any bibliophile could betray the sweet and musty smell of books, for the cold and foreign feeling of the device.

But, as I revealed in my post about my fear of not having enough books when I’m travelling, I have crossed over to the other side. I have betrayed my own conscience. All because I needed a device that could pack all the books I needed, when I travel. Yes, I’m guilty of it. And if anything good ever came out of it, let it be this post in which I uncover and disclose, which of the two comes out the winner (according to me), in this battle.

#1. The incredible shopping experience:

Oh yes, I love that amazing feeling when I get into my car, and drive my happy face down to the bookstore, just because I have the time. Just because I need to cheer up some more. Just because those endless shelves of books gives me a sense of hope. Just because… But a little more so just because, once I cross the threshold, there’s a world of books that are just waiting to be held and owned, and give me the feels. Getting ready to go to the bookstore and preparing for the excitement is something else. It’s an event.

Books: Yay
Kindle e-books: Nay

#2. Books when I want them, where I want them:

Well, I can’t deny the fact that I like the convenience of being able to shop (purchase or ‘window-shop’ anytime, and anywhere I want (as long as I’m connected to data or Wi-Fi). If I find out about a book that really interests me, I can purchase it online with just a few clicks. I don’t have to wait for my schedule to clear up and make that happy trip to the bookstore. Also, the option to make the most of offers as soon as I find out about them is also appealing.

Books: Nay
Kindle e-books: Yay

#3. The overall sensory experience:

It’s hard to deny the incredibly inviting olfactory sensation that welcomes you when you enter a book store. The sweet, gummy smell of new books, and the vanilla and floral-like fragrance of old books. Little else can assure me that everything is just right. Add to this the slightly rough grainy texture of my book’s pages, and I’m sorted. Take these sensory components away and it takes away a big part from the overall experience.

And that’s exactly what happens with the Kindle. All that I get is the almost similar feeling of turning the pages of a book. And that just does not compare or suffice. It’s almost laughable, how when “turning the pages” on a Kindle, I feel like a fraud. Like I’m hoping to duplicate an experience that’s special, but failing miserably at it.

Books: Yay
Kindle e-books: Nay

#4. Light in my handbag..:

For some, when travelling, it’s important that carry plenty of clothes, sunscreen, or accessories. However, unfortunately for me, it is important that I have more than enough books. This spells trouble, especially when I’m travelling for over 3 days. I need a book (usually one that I’m in the middle of reading) in my hand luggage, 1 book each for the days that I’m travelling, plus 1 extra book. That’s a lot to carry! And on a normal day, I travel close to 2 to 3 hours to and from work. Which means I need, you guessed right, a book to keep me company.

While carrying a book is a solid option, it’s not always practical, especially when I have a bunch of other things weighing down my bag or, when the book is big, like Stephen King’s Under the Dome or Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram. At times like this, a Kindle comes in handy. It neatly packs in the books that I want, without any complaints.

Books: Nay
Kindle e-books: Yay

#5. ..And light on my pocket:

On the days when I’m low on money, but I want to read a book, Kindle comes in to save me. As the Kindle versions of books are considerably less expensive than their print versions, it means that I can afford probably 2 e-books for the price of their offline version. And this means a lot to me when I have a limited budget to buy books.

Books: Nay
Kindle e-books: Yay

#6. Transitioning between books:

When I’m at the end of a book, I tend to carry the book I’m reading and another, just in case. And this is a bit of a problem, as I also tend to forget that I’m at the end of a book, and consequently forget to take the second book. This spells trouble. What’s also bothersome is when I have to actually carry two books with me at this stage. With a Kindle, the good thing is that I can have 50 books on the device and just not worry about getting to the end of a book. Unless, of course, I’m at the end of the 50th book.

Books: Nay
Kindle e-books: Yay

#7. The joy of sharing:

For me, one of the biggest joys when it comes book reading is the part where you share the book with someone else – someone I know will enjoy or even dislike a book as openly as it deserves. And what makes it easy to share? When you have a book. You can just hand it over to someone (and secretly pray that they show the book the same tender loving care you’ve shown it, despite the fact that you love it or hate it). However, on a Kindle, book sharing is possible only for titles that are eligible for lending.

So, imagine this scene. I read a book, fall in love with it, think that my friend will like it as much, and recommend it to her. She says “Oooh, I want to read it! Can I borrow your copy?”. And then I say, “Oops, sorry to get you all excited. You will have to get your own copy, cuz you know, Kindle doesn’t like me sharing this book.”

Books: Yay
Kindle e-books: Nay

#8. My bookshelf, my joy:

One of the few things in my life that gives me unlimited joy is my bookshelf. More so, when it is stacked end to end with books (at least half of which are those I am yet to read). What makes this joy a little bit sweeter, is when the bookshelf is neatly stacked and visible to everyone, when I can wake up and see it first thing in the morning, when I can pull down all the books, dust them, and sort them again. Which is why, my virtual bookshelf does not match up to my dark, mango wood bookshelf.

Books: Yay
Kindle e-books: Nay

#9. Aging gracefully:

Books can do that – they can age gracefully and be passed on from one generation to the next. They can survive the notes that my parents wrote when they gifted them to me. Not only will the next generation get to read the sweet “Happy Birthday, We love you” notes, but they can also pen down a few lines of their own. All that it will do is lend the book more character and personality. The jury is still out on how long the Kindle can survive. And till a judgement is passed by the user-base out there, I believe that hard-copy books are more likely to age gracefully and survive longer with the average careful reader, than will the Kindle.

Books: Yay
Kindle e-books: Nay

The verdict:

Books: 5 Yays
Kindle e-books: 4 Yays

The book still comes out the winner over the Kindle (for me).

I know that there may be numerous other factors that I have not considered here – what I have mentioned, are points that strike me the most. Is there something that you would like to tell me about your experiences with books and Kindle e-books? Let me know, I’s love to hear!

PS: Sorry for the long post!

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9 thoughts on “Who Wins: Books or Kindle e-Books?

Add yours

  1. Great article! 🙂 For the past few years I’ve been a staunch Kindle lover, however recently I’ve really started getting into proper books again, there’s just something about seeing the cover in real life and the weight of a hefty tome in your hands whilst reading. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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