There once was a time when a book was in fact just that, a book. Described in the dictionary as: “A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.” However this is not quite the case anymore.
Well a physical book is still all of those things, of course, but we now have several options on how we read our fiction and non-fiction. Some people will always buy a physical book, just as people will always opt for a hardback opposed to a soft one, but there are certain circumstances when other options are more convenient. We take a look at the pros and cons of a paper book Vs digital.
O You can display your wealth of books, highlighting that you are actually intelligent enough to read (come on, everyone knows that people display books they have no intention of reading to appear smarter!) and showcase your love for the written word.
O Aesthetically, books do have an air of beauty. The cover is usually what captures the attention of readers hunting to find their next piece of literary prey, so much time and effort is spent curating the perfect front, and back, cover. In the digital world, many will argue that the art is lost.
O They are nostalgic. True book lovers enjoy the feel and smell of a book (especially the old ones), as well as snuggling in a corner and feeling totally submerged and shut off from the rest of the world.
O You can read them in the swimming pool or whilst in the bath – you wouldn’t risk doing this with an e-reader or Tablet would you?Cons:
O If you’re going on holiday you have to decide what books you want to read before you go, whereas when it comes to digital reading you can download and access whatever takes your fancy when you’re there.
O They are bulkier and heavier than an e-reader or Tablet PC, making them more awkward to carry them around with you.
O As time goes by pages may fall out (especially if you’ve been reading in the sun), or the words become faded. Some may say this adds to the character, but others say it’s damaged and it just means you can’t re-read your favourite novel.
Digital (Tablet or E-reader)Pros:
O Unlimited and instant access. Whether you’re in the mood for a horror, an autobiography, a chick flick or a comedy you can browse through the digital bookstore, simply click download and away you go. You don’t have to venture anywhere and you don’t have to wait for delivery.
O Generally speaking the books are cheaper (some are free) to download than they are to physically buy. Not only does this mean that you will be saving the pennies, but it may also entice you to discover new authors and books that otherwise you would not have bought.
O You can alter the size of the text or opt for an audio book, so if you suffer with poor eyesight you can still enjoy the pleasure of a good book.
O Most e-readers and apps for Tablet’s have automatic bookmarking, so the next time you open up that book it will be on the page that you were last on. (Everyone has experienced losing their page and having to flick through trying to find where they were – it’s not a great experience!).Cons:
O Both e-readers and Tablet PC’s are more fragile and valuable than a book, so you have to treat them with caution. With a book you can leave it anywhere, fall asleep on them and generally throw them around – this is not advisable with a digital platform.
O Not all books are available electronically, there probably will come a time when they are, but currently they’re not.
O Books often make great thoughtful and personal gifts, however, apart from buying a person an actual Tablet or e-reader, this same sentiment is not carried into the digital-age of reading.Clearly there is no law to say that you have to choose digital or paper – in this case you can have your cake and eat it, the majority of the time it will depend on where you are reading and perhaps even the mood you are in.
What is your preference and what pros and cons are on your list? Comment below!