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Booklr Questions – E-readers or physical copies of books?

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Do you prefer e-readers or physical copies of books?

Something every Booklr seems to have an opinion on is whether e-books or physical books are better.  And I am no different.  I have a very strong opinion on what type of books I want to read.


I absolutely love having the option to read books in print, and via my favorite e-reading device (which is usually my phone).  My e-reader lets me take lots of books anywhere, and read in the dark.  How could you say no to that? E-books are also amazing in their ability to allow me access to a book instantaneously. This is important for someone who lives just outside of a town that’s too small to have its post office anymore.

But print books will always hold a special place in my heart.  I love the smell of them and the weight of a book in my hand. Plus, with the onset of e-readers, many book companies have started making more beautiful books.  An e-book can never give me as much happiness as seeing a collection of leather-bound books on my shelves.


Then you get into issues of illustrated books, which should really only come in print.  The affect of ink on a page is so different than seeing an illustration on screen.  I like to be able to look at book illustrations for hours, finding the little details the artist has added.

Are you like me, preferring different books in different situations? Or do you like to stick to one type of book?


  1. anna in spain on November 3, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Of course both. I’m an odd duck; when I love a particular book I’ve had for a long time, even buying a new copy is difficult; I get used to a certain typeface, a certain binding, certain phrases coming at a certain place on the page. I used to be able to have certain favourites rebound, a service that is fast dying. I remember how hard it was throwing away the pieces of my college copy of Manuel Puig’s “Boquitas Pintadas” and buying a new, totally different edition!

    But if you live as I do in a place where they closed the British Institute Library to the public decades ago (now only open to students!) and English books, even second-hand, are astronomically expensive, the ebook reader is a heaven-sent friend. I should know, I own three. (OK, so one was a mistake.) I don’t sleep well, so I need at least 2 or I run out of battery in the middle of a night of insomnia, which does not make for happiness. With my ebook reader, I can curl up warm in bed (no heat in our apartment, either) and read without bothering the man sleeping next to me. The clip-on light sheds a glowing halo that makes me feel even cosier. The “mistake” is backlit, which doesn’t help an insomniac relax, and uses much more battery much more quickly. It was also far too expensive for what it is, which is why I think I bought the last model in existence in this country.

    My biggest dislike of ebook readers is when you’re reading something with lots of footnotes, which get shoved into an appendix at the end. Flipping back and forth in a paper book is annoying enough; hitting buttons or screentapping and remembering to mark your spot is even more so.

    I bought my first ebook reader (which is still going strong) several years ago. No touchscreen then, and I found myself rubbing the top right corner in an attempt to turn pages!

    But yes; the weight of a book, the heft of it, the smell of ink and paper…nothing will replace that. Sadly, many children’s classics have gone the way of all flesh as libraries all over the US withdraw “old” stories in favour of new stuff in the hope of drawing in new readers. Some get reissued, but never the ones we love. Like Johanna Johnston’s “Sugarplum”–if you can find a vintage copy, be prepared to give the price of a mountain bike for it.

    • Andrea on November 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      I have actually found that I enjoy having multiple editions of a book if I really like it. I have at least 3 copies of The Wind in the Willows, and also own multiple copies of the Harry Potter books – the new illustrated one will be coming as soon as it’s off back order. I am actually lucky enough to have a business within an hour of me that does book binding, and an antiquarian book fair that happens each year as well. Needless to say, I can’t afford most of what they are offering, but I do enjoy going to see (and smell) all the beautiful old books.

  2. anna in spain on November 3, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Oh, and when you get to my age, the ability to increase font size is one of the huge advantages to an ereader…that and having a thousand books on a single microSD card. Biggest problem? Choosing which one!

    • Andrea on November 3, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      I have that problem, even with real the real books on my shelves. It would probably help if I would get rid of a few of the books I have read, but likely won’t read again. Then maybe looking at my shelves would feel more manageable.

  3. gina on November 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I like both versions but at different times. At home I read books. I love the feel of them and the excitement of turning a page. When I’m away though I use an E reader. Mainly to free up space in my luggage. I normally read 4 or 5 books when I’m away. Also when I was in hospital an e reader was very useful. I have copies of my favourite books on it as well as hard copies on my book shelf. I tend to have a different type of book on the e reader. The thicker, more expensive type. There was a book I was after that was £75 in print but only £20 on an e reader. I have about 30 books on my reader that I am slowly working my way through.

    • Andrea on November 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      That seems like a very good idea, but I often end up wanting those very expensive books to be on my shelf anyway. I tend to find that many of the books I want are expensive because they are so beautifully made.

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