Are E-Books Killing “Real” Books?

by Amanda Allard

Ever since the e-book started to become popular there have been people worrying about it making the traditional book obsolete. The worry is that people will start choosing their Kindles and Nooks over paperbacks and hardcovers, but personally, I’m not worried at all.

Do I own an e-reader? Yes. I thought it might be nice to have one while I’m in school since I don’t really have room for all of my books, and also I can buy and rent at least some of my textbooks on it. Indeed, e-readers are quite convenient for those who want to own a lot of different books but don’t really have the space for them. I also love renting textbooks on them because I don’t have to worry about sending them back; they’ll just disappear when their time is up. There’s also the fact that I don’t have to carry as many heavy books in my bag as I used to which is of course great news for my back.

All of those awesome things aside, I would still prefer to crack open an actual book than an e-book. There’s just something about opening the cover of a brand new (or just new-to-me) book that an e-reader can never hope to replace. Being able to flip through the pages, resisting the temptation to flip to the end and read the last page… Well, I have to resist that temptation anyway, and with my Kindle that temptation isn’t even a factor. I’d have to sit there and click ‘next page’ for hours with some books which isn’t nearly as fun as just flipping to the back really quick for a peek. I also don’t get the same sense of accomplishment from reading e-books as I do from traditional books. Watching a bookmark move steadily through the pages of a book is much more tangible to me than watching a percentage climb towards 100.

There’s also the way a book smells. Maybe I’m just weird, but I love the way books smell. I love how new books smell, well, new. New paper, new glue, new ink. It just smells fresh and exciting to me. To me, old books smell even better. That musty, dusty old smell of yellowing paper that makes you sneeze if you get too close. It’s hard for me to choose which smell I like better, but I definitely prefer them both to the smell of my Kindle. Which, for those of you wondering, smells like… Nothing really. I’m not even picking up any metallic or plastic smells.

When it comes down to it, given the choice between an e-book and a traditional book I would pick the traditional book every time. Of course, I might also want the e-book as well for when I’m traveling, but if I could only pick one I would want the actual physical book to read. I know that this is just one person’s opinion, but since e-readers have become popular I personally haven’t really noticed a decrease in people carrying around books. There are still libraries and bookstores around, and from what I can tell they seem to be doing alright. I don’t think the book is going anywhere anytime soon.

One Comment:

  1. I totally agree! I love to hold a real book in my hands. There’s something very exciting when you start to near the end of the page and your thumb and index finger automatically grasp the page in anticipation of turning the page. Then the excitement of finding yet another page full of words, but more importantly, words that tell a story, entertain you, inform and educate you and yes, sometimes scare the bajeesees out of ya. I love books!

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