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10 Reasons Why Print Books are Better than eBooks

10.16.2015, Uncategorized, by .

IMG_0182There has been a lot of recent discussion of the flattening of eBook sales and the resurgence of print. This post has nothing to do with that debate and the validity of the numbers (until Amazon actually releases real sales, there will always be a debate).

I like both eBooks and physical books. I read both. But there are numerous differences.

Instead here are my top 10 reasons why I prefer print:

  1. Unplugged – I spend so much time looking at a screen, Whether it be this blog post, reading endless emails, getting my news – I am online a lot. Reading a physical book gets me away from the screen. My escape! No device needed.

  2. Search – sure the ability to search by key words in eBooks is great. But when I want to go back and re-read a passage, it is easier to flip a few pages and find what I want than to scan digital.

  3. Note Taking – I like to write in my books. I like to underline in many colors. I like to draw in my books. I like scribbling in them. Again, although there are digital tools available to do that – it is inferior. More personal.

  4. Privacy – No muti-national corporation knows what I am reading. When I am reading. How long I am reading. Where I am reading. The fact that Amazon, Apple, Google etal can actually know exactly where I am in a book is disarming. Does anyone really need to know all this “big data?”

  5. Smell – Yes, I love the smell of my books. I love the smell of a bookstore. How many of you open up and smell your books? John Updike used to smell his books. Do you do that to your Kindle? No.

  6. Design – Books are beautiful. From the typography to the cover to the paper weight to the deckled edges. Digital can be bland and boring. Too many bells and whistles and it no longer is a book — but a game (which is cool — but not a replacement for reading).IMG_0134

  7. Gift – A physical book is a great gift. It can be a $100 Art book or a $5 board book. But a physical book is perfect. A signed book is even a better gift. A book is easy to wrap and people always need another one. Digital books are not that giftable and no one can really “sign” an eBook.

  8. Insight  – One of the first things I look at when visiting someone is what is on their bookshelf. I love seeing what others have read or want to read. In addition to looking good, it is an insight to the individual. I am not ever going to scan through someone’s iBook library.

  9. Burns Better – Last Fall, I ran out of wood for the firepit. So I went to my “excess books” pile and started to burn books. Before you pitchfork me, theseIMG_0183 were old books (or new ARCs that I will never read). I would never burn books for content, just heat.  Can’t burn my Nook.

  10. Support Bookstores – As much as bookstores tried and wanted to sell ebooks, the game is rigged and Amazon dominates.  So, physical books help support bookstores which are integral to our civilization.

I still read a lot of ebooks. I think they are great. But ink and paper are superior in many ways…


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