Lunchtime Poll: How Do You Read?

Are you Team Real Book or Team E-Book?

Both have die-hard adherents and detractors. “Real book smell!” “You’re killing trees!” “My books are so pretty and I like to show off what I’ve read!” “Just wait until you have to move 20 boxes of the fuckers!” It’s taken me a while to come around, but I like having the option of e-books. They’re usually cheaper (sometimes even free!), and when I get a whim to start a new book at an odd hour I can have one in seconds, whereas the closest full bookstore is a 20+ minute drive away. I can get library books without putting on pants and trying to remember where the hell the library is! Personally, I will never give up “real” books entirely; I grew up surrounded by books, worked in a used bookstore for many years, and love having them around me (much to my husband’s chagrin). What about you?

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

22 thoughts on “Lunchtime Poll: How Do You Read?”

  1. Team Both. There is a neighborhood used bookstore I LOVE to patronize, ditto the LGBT friendly bookshop with a great used book section. I’m also two doors down from a library and sometimes it soothes me to go in and browse (see also: Barnes & Noble).

    However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Nook. I got it a couple of months before I moved apartments, and it’s helped save space (especially since – as anyone who reads romance/erotica will tell you – those fuckers pile up FAST). I’m also an extremely fast reader, so it’s great for commuting/traveling (I ride the el train to work every morning and am often in transit, plus I’ve been known to pack 10 books for a 5-day vacation). Also? E-galleys. Ohhhhh yes.

    That said…it’s really fun to get a dead-tree ARC or three in the mail. Really, really fun. Even if I don’t end up reading it.

  2. I am firmly Team However I Can Get It.

    Ebooks are nice because I tend to be a little capricious when it comes to reading. If I hear about a book and am inspired to read it, my Kindle lets me download it RIGHT NOW instead of waiting to go to the bookstore or library or have Amazon ship it to me. They’re nice for big books, too. I got 11/22/63 from the library earlier this year and while I was glad I didn’t fork over the cash for it, it was a pain in the ass lugging around all 900-pages of it. Same for my Sherlock Holmes collections. I have hard copies, but my Kindle is so much easier to slip into my bag and pop out at lunchtime.

    Book books are nice for traveling sometimes… You don’t have to turn them off during takeoff and landing on a plane, and you don’t have to worry about your batteries dying. But if you’re a fast reader or lose interest in stuff easily, the ease of carrying around one e-reader vs. 5 physical books is pretty handy to have around.

    I still love the physicality of book books, especially feeling surrounded by them when I sit near my bookshelves. But… stories are stories no matter how you read them. I certainly read more frequently now that I have a Kindle and can carry a whole library around with me in my pocket.

  3. Currently, I am all the way team book. It helps that I have no money to buy an e-reader of any variety, and I live across the street from a fairly awesome used-book store. So I get all my bookish cravings for cheap(er).

    But honestly, I’ve played around with my mom’s Kindle, my dad’s ipad, and my SIL’s Nook, and I love them all. Someday… someday… especially since I end up carrying around an absurd number of books with me when I travel. Much less the shelves and shelves I have at home.

  4. I love real books, but I love my ebooks. I love the whole idea of being able to start another book if I get bored by the one I’m reading. Also, I have several ebooks I use for research, so if I’m writing away from home and I need research, it’s either right there in the computer itself or the Kindle.

  5. I actually really want to be Team Both, but I just can’t seem to give up my real books. I have no problem espousing the virtues of e-readers. I love my Nook, and am thinking about upgrading at some point in the future. Cheap e-books let me give in to my compulsive book buying without having to worry about how I’m going to move everything when the time comes. Yet- something like 95% of the books I read are the old dead tree variety.

  6. can I vote both? I can never ever give up my habit of real books, but since getting a kindle I’ve found it to be immensely useful when traveling, backpacking, out but don’t want to carry the book I’m almost done with and the book I’m about to begin etc. So yeah, I vote both!

  7. Well, I think of both as real, first of all. Just two different formats.

    I like paper books for textbooks, because I think I focus better and I’m an uber-highlighter. It’s also easier to flip around if I need to remind myself of something or double check a definition or whatever.

    But I looooooooove my Kindle. I adore having a hundred books that take up almost no space and fit in my purse. I love that I can read embarrassing or smutty things in public without feeling silly. I like how easy it is to get something new at any time, and the fact that I always have a back-up read if I finish my book in the middle of a trip or something. Plus I have a tiny bedroom and no room for the shelves of books I would have if everything in my Kindle were in physical form.

    1. I felt that way about textbooks for a while, too, until I realized that I could easily flip through a list of “highlights” and go directly to that section, instead of having to page through everything (or use tabs) to find things I had highlighted. And there’s a sub-section of managing your kindle account on Amazon that lets you see every passage you’ve highlighted and note you’ve made — waaaaaay helpful when it comes to studying.

  8. Both!

    I love real books for the lending factor. It’s easier to say “This book is amazing! Here, read it!” than “This book is amazing! Locate some internet and download it yourself!” But e-books are so convenient. I bought my kobo because I hated trying to cram 900 page hardcovers in my purse.

    1. My e-reader is the free kindle app on my phone which works pretty well, but I occasionally get a little tired of the tiny screen. I haven’t managed to justify the expense of a proper kindle or similar. (the phone gets justified by the cell phone stipend I get from work)

  9. I’m definitely in the “whatever I can get my hands on” group of readers. I own a kindle, but I also own a metric crap ton of physical paper books. I borrow both ebooks and paper books from the library, and it just depends on how long the holds’ line is.

  10. I am solidly team book because books have a tactile feel to them that ebooks can never replicate. But my book club gifted me a Kindle a few months ago and I’m slowly becoming more of an ereader. Its more convenient to lug around every day and easier to switch titles — I’m a notorious title jumper. And with a (possible) upcoming international move, loading this thing up with books is better than having to hunt down english language novels.

    When I studied abroad, a huge part of the weight of my suitcase was books and cds. Its amazing to me that just a few short years later neither of those things would have been an issue at all.

  11. I am Team All Forms of Books Are Awesome. I love real books and I love my Kindle. I love smelling a new book and I love finding a torn and dog-eared copy published in 1952 that has been owned by a thousand people. I love being able to download ten books for a long plane ride and I love being able to click through different books of a series on a whim to verify a random fact. I love collecting copies of books that are special to me, and I love not having to give up my collection as I bounce between three different “home” countries.

    Basically, I love being able to read in the way that is most convenient for me at any given moment! What’s with the debate, guys? Just love all reading.

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