Thursday, 9 October 2014

Paperbacks vs eBooks

I am a bookaholic. There, I said it!
I have loved reading since before I can remember. It is the perfect way to escape to another world where you can forget all of your own problems and completely lose yourself in someone else’s life. When I was younger, you could always find me with my head in a book, usually a different one each week. Unfortunately, as I grew up, reading became less important me. I thought that schoolwork was the most important thing in life and while it is very important, I didn’t have a good balance between my personal and school life so I stopped reading.
However, recently, I have been putting more effort into reading and am currently reading my 24th book this year. One of the reasons I am enjoying reading more recently is due to quite a controversial topic among book-lovers: the e-reader. 

I received my Kindle on my 18th birthday and when I bought my iPad, the Kindle app was one of the first I installed. I loved the idea of being able to carry hundreds of books on such a small, lightweight and portable device and even though I’ve been using my Kindle for over two years now, it still amazes me just how many books I have on my Kindle.
However, that being said, there is something about holding an entire book in your hands, feeling the slightly rough paper as you turn the page and feeling the pages in your right hand dwindle as you make your way through the book. There is something magical about buying a bunch of books, carrying them in your arms and filling your bookcase with them, seeing each book every time you enter the room. It is a display of intelligence, I think. And books are great to read in the bath, something you can’t do with a Kindle or e-reader unless you have a waterproof tablet.
But having so many books can accumulate a lot of space. I have a five-shelf bookshelf and even with the books stacked in front of and on top of each other, I don’t have enough room for all of them. On a Kindle/ereader, however, you can have one hundred eBooks with you all the time and the space doesn’t change and the weight would be no more than a couple hundred grams. Which means you can take tens of books on holiday with you and not have to worry about your suitcase being too heavy!
Plus, I find that eBooks are immensely cheaper than paperbacks or hardbacks, unless the physical books are on sale somewhere, and that is hugely appealing for me. Recently, Asda had an offer on the Song of Fire and Ice books, meaning they were 3 for £10. However, I bought each book for £2 each on the Kindle store. That might not be much of a saving in terms of pounds and pence, but in terms of percentage, it’s a 40% saving, which I think is quite a high percentage. Plus the pounds and pence add up after a while.
Another thing I like about eBooks is the fact that you can highlight and bookmark parts of the book to later come back to and you also have the ability to search through some books with X-ray enabled. When I first started reading A Game of Thrones, I was very overwhelmed by the amount of characters and the relations between them all. However, whenever I got confused at the characters in the scene, I could easily use the X-ray feature to determine that Jon Snow is 14 years old, the bastard son of Eddard Stark by a mother of unknown identity who was raised side-by-side with the true-born Stark children and he is slender with fair skin, brown hair and grey eyes. Without the X-ray feature, I don’t know how I would have managed to get through reading the 800+ pages as it really helped me learn who the characters were. One of the other positives about ereaders is that it is so easy to synchronise your progress over your devices! I have the Kindle app on my phone, iPad and laptop, plus I read on my Kindle as well which means I really benefit from the automatic sync.
Ultimately, while I prefer using ereaders, there will always be a place in my heart for the physical book – I’m not ready to get rid of physical books completely yet!
Do you like ereaders or are you more of the physical book person? 
 - Taisie ♥
P.S. I would have also had a picture of books in the title image if I had unpacked from the move yet!

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