Let’s Talk About eBooks

There’s no doubt about it- eBooks seem like they’re here to stay. It’s easy to see why so many have gravitated toward them. They’re cheaper, you can carry several with you at one time, and they allow you to highlight, make notes, etc, and also allow you erase/change those things if need be. So yes, it’s easy to see why eBooks have become so popular. But personally, I am not a fan of eBooks and I never will be. My list of reasons is long and in my opinion, makes total sense, but I know not everyone will agree. If you’re a fan of eBooks, that’s OK. I know what really matters is that people are reading. Still, I want to share my opinions on the topic and start a conversation about it to see how many like-minded individuals are out there!

My first reason for not liking eBooks is that the idea of charging a book is ridiculous to me. Say you’re out and about and your tablet, phone, laptop, etc starts to die. You might have your charger, but depending on where you are, you might not have access to an outlet to charge it. You get to the climax of the book… and then your device dies. Meanwhile, someone else who is out and about is reading that exact same book in physical copy, has gotten to the same part as you… and they get to keep reading it because no charging is required for a physical book. As someone who wants to read the entire book through in one sitting, I can’t imagine dealing with that first scenario. If I dealt with that first scenario, I would get very upset and cranky. Also, holding a physical book is a sensory experience for me. Smelling that new or old book smell, turning the pages, feeling the heaviness or lightness of the book, all of it add to the experience of reading the book. If you smell the electronic deice, it either smells like metal or nothing, you swipe to turn the page (which is silly), and all you feel is cold or warm metal, which are feelings you associate with the doctor, not a book! So not having that physical book takes away from the experience.

My second reason for not liking eBooks is that there is no guarantee you’ll always have that book. What I mean by that is technology is not perfect, it can fail us at any moment on a daily basis. It can freeze up, get a virus, glitch, and so many other technical difficulties. I’ve also read stories about where people have lost their saved eBooks due to the company removing the book or other factors. You don’t have that problem with physical books. A physical book doesn’t fail you. Yes they can get damaged or lost, but that’s due to the person, not the book itself. Once you buy a physical book, it is yours forever unless you decide to sell or donate it (or someone borrows it and never gives it back, which has happened to me more than once). Even if the publisher stops printing that book, you will still have it! Physical books give you a security that I don’t feel eBooks can truly give someone.

My third reason for not liking eBooks is that I don’t retain information from them as well as I do with physical books. For example- My first month of graduate school we read the book Mastery by Robert Greene, and we received it in eBook form. Though the book was really good, I struggled with it. Why? Because staring at the screen for all those hours reading it made me feel fatigued, overwhelmed, and confused. If I bumped my mouse, I risked the eBook jumping from one page to another, then I had to spend time scrolling back to the page I was on, which wasn’t always easy because the pages weren’t clearly marked. With a physical book you know when you’ve made it from one page to the next, but I had no clue where I was within this eBook. And the bookmark tool didn’t help me either. So do I remember anything I read in that book? Not as much as I would have remembered if I had actually had it in front of me. And it’s been proven that someone people don’t learn as well from eBooks as others. I fall into the latter.

My fourth reason for not liking eBooks is that recycling them isn’t easy. What I mean by that is the technology used to store them isn’t easy to recycle. Technology is some of the hardest things to properly recycle. With all its components, it’s hard for someone to know how to properly recycle them. Sure we can take them somewhere that will recycle it for us, but most of it ends up in landfills or worse, in our oceans. Physical books are easier to recycle. Paper is easy to recycle and a lot more notebooks, new books, etc are being made from recycled paper. Also, a lot of people are using old books to make crafts. I’ve seen people make paper flowers for their wedding or just as home decor. I’ve seen people make book page art using pages from their old books and some of them are stunning. People have used old book covers to make bags, hollowed out books, and other crafts. There are so many Eco-friendly ways to recycle old books that technology just doesn’t offer us.

My fifth and final reason for not liking eBooks is that they make sharing our love of books harder to do. As a dedicated bibliophile, one of my greatest joys in life is sharing a book I love with my friends and family. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve loaned a friend or my mom a book I really loved because I wanted them to love it to. I remember giving my dad the Harry Potter books to read (Goblet of Fire through to Deathly Hallows, he hasn’t read the first three because he saw the movies, but had no patience to wait for Goblet of Fire), and when he would call home from work, we would talk about the books. My dad isn’t a book reader, so sharing those moments with him made me happy. Over a decade later when my mom finally read the books, it made me so happy when she began to feel the pain I feel every time I watch Deathly Hallows Part 2 and understand why I complain about certain things in the movie. I’ve turned my best friend Kellie on to so many books and talking about the books with her makes me happy. Our friendship even started over a book! So being able to share my books with others makes me happy. When you have an eBook, you can’t share it with others. The only way you can share books with them is if you give them the electronic device the book is on and we all know no one is going to do that because most aspects of our lives are entwined with technology now and to give up that piece of technology even for a day could cause problems for us. So to not be able to share books with someone would really suck because I love sharing my books with the people in my life.

So those are my top five reasons for not liking eBooks. Like I said above, I do see the appeal of them to people, but I am not and never will be one of those people. My dream is to one day have a library in my home where I can sit with my children and read to them. All the books will be sorted by genre, then in alphabetical order by the author or series (haven’t decided which yet), and maybe even be able to have a ladder like in Beauty and the Beast (truthfully I just want that whole library). That goal will never be possible if I have eBooks. And maybe someone people could argue I would have more space if I converted to eBooks, but to me a space without books isn’t a space I want to live in. In order for a place to feel like home, there needs to be books in it. This is why I love bookstores and libraries so much- Because being surrounded by books makes me happy and makes me feel like I’m home no matter where I am

Do you agree or disagree with me? I would love to know your thoughts on this topic! Have a great week everyone!

 

8 comments

  1. What wonderful posts you write Michelle. I personally love the paper print book. Something to hold in my hands by a soft light in my favorite cozy chair, and most importantly, wearing my sound-blocking head phones. (My lovely husband bought a saxaphone)

    Like

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