Love It/Hate It: E-Readers

Welcome to another installment of Love It/Hate It, where two opinionated P-Mag writers mouth off to each other about pop culture.

Today, Trulybst and I do battle on the topic of e-readers. We’ll each argue our point, and leave it up to you to decide who’s right, who’s wrong, or who cares way too much about this stuff.

PoM: I love my Kindle (so much so that I actually have two: an ages-old K2 that cost me, no joke, $350 when it came out, and a new Kindle Touch). I’m a pretty prolific reader, and I can carry more than a thousand books with me in one slim little tablet. On a recent vacation, I read eleven books, which would have been impossible with paper books, since there was no way I was allocating that much room in my luggage for books. I love being able to get books immediately without leaving my house, I can borrow from the library with it, I can read all sorts of trash without anyone being able to tell or judge me, and it’s making living a minimalist lifestyle so much easier. E-ink is just as little strain on the eyes as a paperback (my Kindle isn’t backlit). Not to mention, the old “I love how books smell” argument doesn’t hold water with me, since the mustiness of old books just makes me sneeze.

Photo of text on a Kindle in full sunlight
Kindle in full sunlight.
Photograph of a paperback book in full sunlight
Paperback in full sunlight

Trulybst: While I agree you can definitely carry more books with a Kindle than you can with paperback or hard copy versions, reading a book has strong merits. Electronic readers tire my eyes out or lead to headaches a lot quicker than a traditional book. When trying to read the electronic version in the car, my son got carsick for the first time ever. He can read a traditional book for hours during car rides. I enjoy the sensation of holding the book and seeing how far I have gone. Yes, my Kindle app shows me the percentage completed, but I don’t get the same satisfaction from a number – I am a visual spatial learner.  I also feel that it is easier to go back and find my place, or search for information or quotes in a book.

PoM: I think using the Kindle app on another device, like an iPhone or tablet, is a much different experience than an actual e-reader. The apps use the device’s interface and tend not to have the same visual effect as the e-reader itself.

What do you think, Persephoneers? Are you pro-Kindle or pro-paper?

[myo_poll poll = 116719 “bar” perc=”yes]

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[E] Rachel

I punctuate sentences with Oxford commas, and I punctuate disagreements with changesocks. Proud curmudgeon. Get off my lawn.

12 thoughts on “Love It/Hate It: E-Readers”

  1. I like both. I read e-books on my iPad; I like having the backlit screen because I can still read in bed on the nights my husband goes to sleep early and makes me turn out the lights. I love that if I want a new book at midnight, I can buy one or borrow it from my library pretty much instantly, and hell, since Borders closed the closest bookstore is nearly half an hour away so it’s hard to impulsively buy real books even during business hours. I love that I can find crappy free books and that I don’t have to find space to store books that I know I won’t reread and don’t necessarily want to advertise to the world. And in general, e-books are cheaper than new books.

    On the other hand, I love having bookshelves full of the books I’ve read. I love used books; I worked at a used bookstore for nearly nine years and I adore browsing aimlessly to see what catches my eye. I want Lexie to have real books; I love that she keeps piles of books in her bed. And besides, the kiddo can’t play games or watch Netflix on real books; I can pretty much only read e-books if she’s asleep or else she wants to swipe the iPad away from me.

  2. I finally got a Kindle for myself for Christmas. I didn’t know I could love something so much. I LOVE books. I have a gigantic bookcase double stacked with books and now that the boyfriend and I have combined houses, books have taken over. I need a way to cut back. The Kindle is perfect for that.

    I like that I can carry all the books that I want and get nearly any classic for free. I love that I can subscribe to magazines and not worry about paper waste. I love that I can stay up reading almost all night and not worry about the light bothering Doodle (he goes to bed at about 900 PM and I go to bed at about 200 AM).

    I still try to get physical copies of books that I truly love and books that I want to have autographed, but I’m so glad that I have the option of getting things on my Kindle, too.

  3. Team Both. I like (love) both. I read a lot of stuff and I love the leisure reading on the Kindle. But if it’s something I want to use or re-read I want the book. Especially cook books, knitting books and anything that I want to flip back and forth. Yet, I love the E-Readers when I know I’ve read something but can’t remember. The search function is wonderful. I love them both. (And I don’t like the smell of old books, I sneeze too.) Why do I have to choose?

  4. I like (love) both. I read a lot of stuff and I love the leisure reading on the Kindle. But if it’s something I want to use or re-read I want the book. Especially cook books, knitting books and anything that I want to flip back and forth. Yet, I love the E-Readers when I know I’ve read something but can’t remember. The search function is wonderful. I love them both. (And I don’t like the smell of old books, I sneeze too.) Why do I have to choose?

  5. I’m Team Both. I didn’t like e-readers in years past, but I’ve come to appreciate how awesome they can be in terms of physical ease (ie. there are people for whom holding a “big” book – like hardbacks – can be difficult if not nigh on impossible) and practicality (e-readers offering incredible access to literature). Ordinary books are wonderful, though, and I don’t think they’re going to disappear.

  6. It’s books for me, since I’m flat broke and rely on my painfully out-of-date library (they have a “Teenage Reading Gang”). There’s a whole bunch of charity shops nearby with a great selection so I usually pick the best.

    I do have the iPhone kindle app, but even then the price of regularly buying stuff that I’m interested in is pretty prohibitive.

    Personally, reading from a book for me signals a break from the internet, from distraction and gives me an immersive experience of escapism. It’s a wonderfully nostalic feeling that I don’t often have anymore so I’m keen to hold on to it :)

    That’s not to say that I wouldn’t try out a proper Kindle sometime. Maybe on my holidays.

  7. I’m team both, too. I was very resistant to getting an e-reader, then I got one as a gift. I love my books, I have a LOT of books, but there’s no more room for books in my house. Now I can feed my habit for words without giving myself more clutter to dust, or CJ forfend, move. Like POM says, now I can carry ALL KINDS OF BOOKS with me when I travel, without sacrificing clothes to make room for reading material. Which I have done. Many times.

    I will never stop loving my real books, and I’ll continue to pick up hardbacks of my very, very favorites, but I love my Kindle, too, and I don’t care who knows it.

  8. I’m actually team both, and I basically agree with everything both of you said. I love my Kindle – I can get books right away, I can carry a lot of books with me at once, PLUS it has games. But the downsides are, I really do like the feel of a real book, I also get carsick if I try to read from my Kindle for too long, and there are a LOT of books not available for Kindle (or more expensive for Kindle), especially from my library. I own a lot of books in Kindle and regular book format. I think Kindles are great, but I’m also pretty sure they’re never going to replace books, just complement them.

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