Printed Books and eBooks

Tina K posted a comment about not wanting an eBook reader yet at my post about the Nook Color. In response I thought I might share some of my thoughts about this subject.

Printed books and eBooks are two different beasts actually.

I love printed books (and thankfully, my 3 teen-aged kiddies too since they were small). In reading through a book, whenever I love a particular passage of a book – be it for the prose, poetry, wit or ideas, I keep flipping back to the pages to admire, even before I finish the book. That, and you know, the tactile feel of actually holding the words. Somehow, it is not the same fun with digital ink. You can’t hold any damn page! You know a book lover from afar: if there is a paperback and a hardcover of the same book side by side, they will gladly part a reasonable amount of RM just to own a hardcover. But, I am digressing…

So anyway, having an eBook reader means you can lug a lot of ebooks all at once; you are only limited by what card storage you install. (Mine is an 8 gigabyte SD card—overkill, I must admit.) And, by choice you can populate your one reader with all types of writing: magazines, newspapers, novels, autobiographies, technical books, comics, etc. You know the avid reader too—they love to have a book for every occasion…or reading mood. Let’s say you are on the long haul home from KL. You read an autobiography of the recently-canonised Sister Mary MacKillop in the quiet solace of your hotel room before you leave, dumb down and read a comic or magazine while in the noisy LRT, give your brain a rest while consuming the literary version of Diet Coke—any Dan Brown book—in the airport, and spend the two and a half hours in the plane reading an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

All off a small and light tablet or eBook reader like the iPad.


One thought on “Printed Books and eBooks

  1. Thanks for another informative post, Rayner. I guess I love real books too much to give them up for some cold piece of plastic. The feel, the smell, the flipping back and forth (I do that too), underlining, and writing in the margins can’t be duplicated with an eBook reader. You can also lend real books to friends… and write messages when you give them as gifts.

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