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Reasons I'm still reading paper books

So this topic comes up a LOT among people who read all the time so I figure I should address the topic, maybe annually, about why a tech-savvy nerd gal like me is still reading old fashioned paper books. I have heard many praises of e-readers, I know everyone who gets into them never goes back, but I haven't gone that way yet. why spacefem, why.

1) My library's app isn't terribly friendly. I got it for my ipad, it was limited on what I could borrow and I had to sign in with my whole library card user number EVERY TIME. eff that. Granted this was like a year ago, I should probably try and retry, I know these things improve.

2) There are books everywhere, you know that right? I built a little free library by my house so now people literally leave books on my front LAWN. No shortage of things to read!

3) I like the serendipity of going out to my little free library, seeing what's in there, and letting the books find me.

4) Speaking of no shortage... I know too many people with ereaders who have queued up a reading list that far surpasses their life expectancy. While I do have a "to read" list on my library's website, physical books are a little harder to pile up in the 100s. When they pile up, I visually see them piling up, the stack can get knocked over, I'm forced to keep it low and it never gets overwhelming.

5) My public library also has every book I ever want. I do not buy books. I go to their website, search for a title, click "reserve", and pick it up at my local branch. They charge $0.25 for the hold. I can get a lot of those 25 cent holds for the cost of an ereader.

6) I like supporting my public library with visits. It tells them they're important. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of socio-economic diversity, and sure I can afford an ereader but not every kid down the street is in the same boat.

7) I love my ipad but it's a 3 and basically totally obsolete. It's a tank, and barely runs the latest operating system. Technology goes obsolete quickly. But if someone gives me a book, I can keep it around for 10 or 15 years.

8) However I do not keep most books that long because again, public library. I've found that the "due in 2-4 weeks" deadline actually helps me get my butt in gear and reading. I even have a personal policy to never renew a book more than once... there are too many books in the world to give anything more than 6 weeks of my life. So I don't finish some, I've learned to be cool with that and move on.

9) Paper is just more romantic.

10) The few books I own tell people things about who I am, when they see them on my shelves. They probably also tell people that I'm old and can't figure out ereaders, but I care less about that.

11) I can lend out books.

12) If I lose a book, the replacement is maybe $20 or so max.

13) I can drop a book and it doesn't break.

14) I can leave a book in a hot car in the summer and it doesn't melt.

15) I can snap photos of my favorite quotes with my phone, then it's KINDA like I marked a spot with my ereader!

16) My kid likes to make me bookmarks.

17) My mom doesn't think I'm goofing off on the internet.

18) I can have one book I'm reading at work on my lunch breaks, and one book at home, another in the car, and it doesn't require three devices.

19) Books never need recharged.

20) Everything I read is in a new font, it's refreshing.

21) No one bothers me while I'm reading to ask how I like that ereader because they are also thinking of getting one.

22) I set out to write down 20 reasons why I read paper books and couldn't even stop at 20. See? But okay. I'll stop.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2015 12:24 am (UTC)
I still buy books. Love them! Going to go read one now...
Mar. 7th, 2015 12:46 am (UTC)
I have an ereader and I absolutely love it.
I do have hard copies of my favorite books, and I have an enormous cookbook collection.
But I love being able to tuck my ereader into my purse and having thousands (I have over 1900 on it right now) of books at my fingertips.
No matter where I am, I have access to my library, Barnes and Noble, and Kindle books on Amazon. I never have to worry about finishing a book while I'm away from home so I have to find space to take another one with me too.
I never have to worry about shelf space when I buy yet another book to add to my "to be read" pile.
I can borrow books from my friends and not have to worry about losing it, bending pages, or leaving marks in it. And I can lend a book to a friend for those same reasons. I'm not very good at lending out my precious "real" books. I have so far loaned out four copies of Eat, Pray, Love that I never got back so I bought yet another copy and I refuse to lend it out. I've had the same problem with God Wears Lipstick.
I got my first one when Robert and I still slept in the same bed. It was back lighted so I could continue to read even when he was ready to go to sleep because I could turn off the lamp for him and he wouldn't say I kept him up all night because I had the lamp on to read. And I wasn't forced to just lay in the dark for hours.

I love my real books, but I wouldn't give up my ereader for anything. I love the flexibility and selection that I have with it.
Mar. 7th, 2015 01:43 am (UTC)
Here via the LJ homepage. Great post! I agree with pretty much all of these, but I especially concur with supporting libraries and having bookshelves at home. (I know checking out ebooks would still support libraries, but I want to encourage physical books because I want to be able to browse shelves and not always have to research online -- and I say this as someone who has found Goodreads extremely useful for creating a TBR list.)
Mar. 7th, 2015 01:45 am (UTC)
My reason as to why I prefer books (even though I have a Kindle): their scent. I find their new book scent intoxicating.
Sadly, since I got my Kindle, I've been reading less. I miss holding a book in my hands......it's crazy!
Mar. 7th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
There is actually a book I got from the library that I could not read because it smelled so strongly of cigarette smoke that it hurt my eyes.
Mar. 7th, 2015 02:14 am (UTC)
EW! Gross! No, that's not the scent I'm referring to! LOL!
Mar. 7th, 2015 01:50 am (UTC)
I used to be one of those people who said that she would never ever buy a Kindle. I loved paper books. I liked the feel of them and I liked the fact that you could drop them in the bath and they would still be okay. I felt like the kindle was such a waste. And buying books on it was needlessly expensive when there was a perfectly good library.

Now, about two years later, if somebody tries to give me a paperback to read, I tell them that I only read things on my Kindle.

Why I love my Kindle:

1) I love gadgets

2) there are constantly book deals on the Kindle. I haven't paid full price for Kindle book more than one or two times ever. Plenty of books are free and there are many that are only a dollar, or at the most three dollars. If you buy a used paperback on Amazon, the minimum you pay is four dollars.

3) I can actually borrow books from the local library on my Kindle, which not only suggests things for me to read, but allows me to borrow books without having to worry about rushing back to the library to return it on time.

4) works in any room brightness setting.

5) you can change font size. this is actually a big deal for me, because very small print books give me a headache.

6) my bookcase is no longer collapsing from the weight of my many paperbacks.

7) makes me feel really green.

8) I can use the Kindle to read other things, like word documents people send me.

9) You can read books with embarrassing titles.

The biggest downside of the Kindle is the fact that I have to charge it. But not very often. Also, there's the fact that I have to be careful about losing it, whereas books felt pretty dispensable. Except for library books, of course, which I guarded with my life.

I can see, however, how if you don't have a good library to borrow Kindle books from, it wouldn't be so great.

Mar. 7th, 2015 02:33 am (UTC)
Dood, I have an iPad 2. Talk about a dinosaur! But really, all I use it for is the Kindle app, and for checking email when I travel. (I won the thing; I didn't put out money for it) I've downloaded a lot of free books; I don't often spend money on books- I, too, am a dedicated library user. But I have bought a Terry Pratchett because, Terry Pratchett, an Iris Murdoch I had never heard of, and that one Hugh Laurie wrote because, Hugh Laurie. That is all I have bought! I don't really care for reading on it because it's heavy, it's hot, and I have found no comfortable way of holding.

I really prefer paper and ink books. There is something comforting about curling up with one. I can flip through it and sample it, or go back easily and see what I missed by reading too fast. If it's a paperback I got at the FOL booksale, it's only 50 cents. If someone steals that, I'll be very annoyed, but if someone steals the iPad it's out of the question for me to replace it. Like you say, the library and interlibrary loan pretty much anything (I think I've only stumped them once). Every time I go in, I go right to the 'new books' shelves and browse them; I've ended up reading things I would have never thought to look for.

On the other hand, with the tablet, I have a huge number of books I can take when I travel- although the short battery life is super annoying. And when an author in England wants to send me an ARC, one email and I've got it without the exorbitant mailing costs. So I like having both- but if I had to choose, it would be paper and ink.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
I'm still a book reader because most of the books I love aren't available in ebook form. My purchases tend to be rare or out of print history books, or those little cookbooks that churches and communities used to put out as fundraisers. If I want to read a novel, I go to my library. Besides, I need to keep the temptation of more screen time at bay; I'm on a computer all day at work, so I try to limit my reading to bedtime, and fill the rest of my time with sports or crafts.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
I prefer real books. My dad got me a Kindle years ago and I just didn't like it. I didn't like the feel of it, I didn't like not being able to easily flip back and forth between pages. Sometimes I get a little spacey and forget what I just read, or I forget which character is narrating now, and I like to just flip back. It's much easier with a book. Plus I get buyer's remorse when I buy books, even really cheap ones. I like the non-commitment of going to the library, lol.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:10 am (UTC)
<3 Yay books!
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:28 am (UTC)
I have not even the tiniest desire for an e-reader. I seriously cannot imagine myself ever having one.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)

Thank you! Everyone looks at me like I am crazy when I pull a real book out of whatever bag I am carrying! Oh, and that thing about not going back to paper after you've tried an e-reader, so isn't true. My mother gave me one for Christmas about two or three years ago when they really started to gain popularity, and while it was good, I have to admit that I completely went back to paper. Is it bad if the only time I actually use my e-reader is when I'm visiting my mother? And yes, I'm with you, libraries are fantastic!!

Mar. 7th, 2015 08:39 am (UTC)
One very good reason that comes into mind is the censorship reason.
I think for books it doesn't apply that often, but I think I've also heard there have already been problems with certain topics at the big suppliers of ebooks. Talking about policies of enterprises wanting to be "family friendly", meaning erotica and books about naked skin can't be offered.
A printed book never changes. Once it's printed, the copy you have doesn't change.
This applies to all things of this download culture - suffering from German youth protection rules, you may become aware to notice what this can look like. You learn to cherish hard solid material. Because it can't be stolen, it can't be altered, by the service you got it at. And you can't be restricted from purchasing something that is still legal in your country, but is sorted into an "adults only" corner that barely gets offering.
Mar. 7th, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
Another thing you can add, it's not good to be on an electronic devise too soon before sleep. And since the vast majority of my reading is the 90 minutes or so when I'm in bed but before the light goes out, it's best for me to stick to real books. A lot are from the library, but a lot are from those stacks of books you were talking about. About 1800 of them.

But I also have an e-reader that I use when I travel, or when I have an appointment. It's where I put those books that you can't buy in paper form. Also, I have a lot of fan fiction on it, something that was a problem reading out in public. Not anymore. :-)
Mar. 7th, 2015 12:14 pm (UTC)
I'm the same - I can't see myself ever being converted. I just enjoy holding a physical copy of something in my hand way more.
Mar. 7th, 2015 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'm another luddite geek who reads dead trees.
Mar. 7th, 2015 02:29 pm (UTC)
I read both. My library has an awesome ereader library. And when I can't find books that I want to read there I get them in actual book format. It's a win win, and I have to this day never bought a book.
Mar. 7th, 2015 03:44 pm (UTC)
Reading a paper book makes me sleep better; reading on the screen isn't any better than internetting before sleep.

I do have the nook app on my phone, and it's handy when I get stuck somewhere. Oh no - the doctor is running 45 min late, let me pop up that free classic I've never read. Or for on long trips, when I don't want to carry 10 physical books with me. But the app is free, can be put on my phone or the tablet, so really who needs to buy a reader?
Mar. 7th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
I second every word you wrote. And I still have an ereader.
Reasons why:

- I can download books immediately. If I want to read *that"* one now, I can do so.
- It's much, much, much less weight to carry on holidays.
Mar. 8th, 2015 05:35 pm (UTC)
A great list!

I got a Kindle paper white last summer after having a Kindle 2 for something like five years. I'm a huge fan of the library. I hate paying for a book and then find I don't like it. Our library system works great with Kindle. I still get regular books, though as not everything I find is available on the Kindle format. I hope our library doesn't start charging for request, though!
Mar. 8th, 2015 07:57 pm (UTC)
Reading an e-book never ever worked with me. Staring at the screen for a long time hurts my eyes. I totally agree with everything you wrote specially: 9 - 11 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 18 - 19 & 20
Mar. 8th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
I read both paper books and e-books. One thing I prefer about e-book readers is the fact that you can carry so much books in one single device.
Mar. 9th, 2015 04:50 am (UTC)
Also, you cannot have the author sign an ebook.
Mar. 9th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm 22, and I hate having to read books on a screen. Paper beats ereading every time. I guess it -is- just, the romantic part of it, to me. When I'd a book off a screen, its like there's an itch at that back of my mind, because I'm not touching paper, and my head is saying, I WANT TO TURN A MOFO PAGE PLEASE.

(Oh, but I'm a hypocrite. If its fanfiction, or something not officially a book book, I don't seem to have a problem. My brain is weird.)

Edited at 2015-03-09 09:43 pm (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2015 06:44 am (UTC)
17 also for me, but not my mum, my kids.

I like them to see that I am reading books, if they saw me using an e-reader a lot they'd just see it as me doing stuff on a tabletish device so them playing games on a tablet could seem like the same thing to them and kids do love to copy what they see their parents doing.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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