Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Printed Books vs. Electronic Books - Which Do You Prefer?

I was reading a fellow stitcher's blog the other night and saw that she had posted a photo of her stack of books for her summer reading. It started me thinking about my own summer reading or what for me is year-round reading. I had this fleeting moment of wistfulness (is that even a word?) when looking at her photo because I can't take a photo of a wonderful stack of books just waiting to be read. I can take a photo of my Kindle but it isn't really the same, is it?

 I have totally given myself over to the Kindle and absolutely love it. Here comes the BUT - but I really miss looking at the cover of the book, turning the pages, the weight of the book in my hands, even the photo of the author. You just can't beat the Kindle for convenience. I'm actively reading 5 books right now and I certainly don't want to carry 5 books around with me plus a dictionary. The dictionary is built into the Kindle. That's pretty handy!

I have never been one to wait for the paperback to come out or put my name on the list for a bestseller at the library. I like owning hardback books and the excitement and anticipation of opening a particular book for the first time. One of the main aspects of two of my previous jobs was ordering books - one for a church/school bookstore and one for an art museum bookstore. It seems odd to me now to have embraced the Kindle as I have. When I go to a bookstore now, I write down titles to look for on my Kindle. Apologies to Barnes & Noble and Borders.

And now I am flirting with the idea of buying an iPad. Do you know what appealed to me immediately upon seeing the iPad? The iBook screen looks like a bookshelf with the book covers facing out. As you purchase new books, they just slide right on to your bookshelf. None of the black and white or shades of gray that you get with the Kindle. The iPad is full color. Amazon has developed a Kindle app for the iPad. Smart move on their part, I think.

I suppose if I am thinking about moving to an iPad then I have definitely come down on the side of electronic books. Will an electronic book ever replicate the sensory experience of a printed book? Probably not but I think I can live with it -

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