Discussion – E-books or Paper Books

Are E-books a threat to traditional publishing or a useful tool for any reader?  Before I started book blogging I did have an e-reader but I didn’t use it much, but with the likes of Netgalley and e-books from the Library I am using it every day.  Anyway this is the tweet that inspired this blog post:

Ebook Advantages

  • My kindle is lighter in weight so I tend to read physical books at home more and then take the e-reader out.
  • Adjustable type, I am quickly heading towards the age of reading glasses and I have found a few paperbacks that I ordered from the library had such small print that I had to take them back unread (I am talking 6 or 9 dpi or something crazy).  With e- readers there is no issue as you can just make the font larger.
  • Classics are Free – There are huge library’s of classics available gratis, and I need to read more classics
  • There are cheap ebooks now, which makes sense as the cost to the publisher is way smaller than print books.
  • More ecological, less trees are felled the planet is saved, etc.
  • Inline dictionaries and wikipedia support mean that we can look up unfamiliar words of subjects.  This makes it suitable for both adults and children to improve vocabularies in both their native language or a foreign language.
  • Reading in a foreign language is augmented by comprehensive instant dictionaries.
  • Highlighting and making notes in the text is simple and searchable.
  • Takes up little physical space in the house.


Ebook Disadvantages

  • Not quite as pleasant to read as a physical book.
  • Potential to be stolen, I don’t take my kindle into work with me as I can’t keep it in my pocket and things do go missing in hospital staff-rooms.
  • Sometimes the formatting needs fiddling with.  This is mainly a netgalley thing but sometimes the formatting is TERRIBLE and admittedly I do often clean it all up a bit in Calibre but this takes time, and this is time that would be better spent reading and/or  writing.
  • You do need to own and use some form of computer to get the most out of an e-reader, not a disadvantage for me but definitely for some.
  • It does need to be plugged in sometimes.   This is less of a problem with my new Kindle Paperwhite but with my old Nook Simple touch it was needing charging daily.
  • Not quite as simple to share a loved book with a friend, not impossible but still more complicated
  • Ebooks are not suited to any material that is designed to be dipped into, or read in a non linear manner. i.e. travel guides, cook books.
  • Mostly monochrome.



 Physical Book Advantages

  • Full colour possible is but expensive.
  • Second hand books are freely available.
  • Its easy to know the progress of the read, as there are obvious physical clues.
  • They are good gifts.
  • Easy to skim read or dip in and out of.
  • They look pretty and you can take great Instagram shots
  • Books look good on bookshelves
  • Libraries are full of them
  • No batteries required


Physical Book Disadvantages

  • Heavy
  • Costly both to manufacture and as a buyer.
  • Think of the Trees
  • Non searchable
  • The space to store books is huge.

12 thoughts on “Discussion – E-books or Paper Books

Add yours

  1. Oh, what a great discussion, Charlie! I’ve only read a few eBooks ever, and while I’m hoping to get started on ARCs soon, I don’t have enough storage space on my phone to download the Kindle app. I’ve always loved physical books — no matter how expensive they are — because I need to feel it in my hands and smell it. Also my eyes hurt when I read something on a screen for too long. 😂


  2. Great discussion! I almost prefer eBooks just for the convenience. I work in a place where my kindle is not going to be stolen, so that helps. I also use text-to-speech a whole lot so I can listen to books while driving. For me the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


  3. I love Kindles! I think I’ve had 5 and currently read on a Kindle Oasis. I’m so used to the e-book advantages, that i almost can’t read a physical book anymore. Being able to adjust the font, highlight passages easily, and use the built in dictionary are pretty big deals to me. Couple that with being able to carry as many books with you as you want!


  4. I like both. I prefer illustrated books be paper, and I also prefer to read books I plan to review in paper. They are easier to navigate and browse. I would never want to read a digital picture book to a child. There’s something about the excitement of turning a new page that enhances the read aloud experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve done a great job with the pros and the cons. Might I add a con to an e-reader? As someone who needs glasses and can have problems with reading on a screen for an extended period of time, an e-reader is just not for me. I get headaches. Also, I see so many screens on a daily basis, that a paper copy of a book is a welcome relief. Great post!


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