It’s a debate I never really engaged in, all those years ago when kindle’s became a thing and Amazon officially took over the book marketplace. I had a kindle for my eighteenth birthday, and I recently upgraded to a paperwhite. My kindle is very convenient, but my first and one true love will be physical copies.
The kindle books are often cheaper than paper-backs, especially with the classics. Also, (and this is especially true for classics) its easier to read longer books because you can’t feel the weight, and you don’t have that crushing sense of despair when you realise you’ve spent all day reading, and your bookmark teacup has barely moved. Alternatively, I like being able to see how much I have and haven’t achieved, which is kinda hard on a paperwhite. Kindle books being cheaper can be dangerous though, because I end up buying loads in one go and then going “oh god, pricey” with ten new books in my library.
I like to buy books on the kindle 99p sale, and if I really like the book (I’m thinking of A Small but Common Orbit here, and A Darker Shade of Magic) I will go out and buy a paperback version. It’s a cheap way of determining what I absolutely need on my shelf. It also means I have portable versions of some of my favourite books. It does mean missing out on covers though, which does make me sad. I love cover art.
Touchscreen kindles ARE THE WORST. I mean, ok, they aren’t but if you accidently tap the wrong part of the page, it could jump to the next page, but it is equally likely to jump an indeterminate amount of space and have you huffing with irritation as you try and flip back to find the page you were on before the kindle decided to get a life of its own. SO FRUSTRATING. It’s not like you’re keeping an eye on the percentage – at least when you lose a page in a physical book, you can guess based on the distance from the front and back cover.
I think the reason I like my kindle is this: I have about 100 books on that device. When I am going on a train, or when I go travelling, or wherever, I don’t have to spend hours agonising over which books to take, economizing on space and weight. I can just pick up my kindle, pick up the charger, and decide what I am in the mood for when I am on the train. Edwardian satire? Here, there are three E.M Forster books waiting for you. Fancy something popular? Lincoln and the Bardo is just waiting for you to dive in. Need something mindless? There are many YA books you’ve already read and can easily re-read. Also, if you change your mind, it’s ok, you aren’t stuck staring out of the window morosely, but can flit to another book quite easily.
I sort my books on my kindle into Read and library. The Library is where the books I haven’t yet read live. It’s currently at about 40 or so books? I’m never going to read some of them, bought impulsively for a mood that didn’t last, and I have a problem where I am likely to read something from the first two pages (so top 12 options) than keep scrolling across to books shelved some time ago. It’s an issue, because the more I buy, the more gets pushed backwards and the less likely I am to read them. It’s not like with paperbacks, where I have stacked my TBR list on my bedside table so I can’t possibly miss them, books hide on a kindle.
Which is why I have so many in the Library.
If you finish a paperback late at night, you have to twitch and wait for the amazon delivery (probably the day after next) to keep reading, or until the bookshop opens and you can throw your cash in exchange for the sequel you haven’t been able to sleep over (Six of Crows Duology was definitely one of these). On an ebook, you just hit buy next and carry on reading without a break. It is beautiful, but also dangerous, because you can kiss goodbye to sleep that night. When I was reading The Selection, I found it hard to distinguish between where one book ended and the sequel began because I had all three on my kindle. It’s easy to get through books if you’re a mood-reader with an ebook account…
Do you have a kindle/ebook? What do you think the best and worst thing about e-books are?