Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Pros And Cons Of Reading On A Kindle Vs. A Physical Book

I’ve always loved reading. Even as a young child, I can remember immersing myself into a book on rainy days. The imagery of a good book could easily pull me in and make me feel like I was in the story. Additionally, I always loved the physicality of a book giving me the ability to dog-ear pages and highlight important sections. That being said, I was definitely hesitant to try out a Kindle or any electronic reading devices. However, once I gave it a try, I was sucked in and now love my Kindle. I still have love for physical books, but there’s no doubt that both options have their pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of physical books and Kindle books that I have found throughout my experience: 

Physical Books: 

Pros: When I read and find a sentence that really speaks to me or if I’m studying and hit an important section, I love to take note of it. I especially love to use color-coded Post-It flags that I can use to just flip back to a page when I need it. Being able to flip back and forth between sections is definitely easier with a paper book. Additionally, it’s nice to have a bookshelf filled with books that you can use to easily refer back to. Even if it’s just filled with books that you have the best intentions to read when you have time, bookshelves still have appeal and draw people in. While e-books tend to be cheaper, you can sell your books and textbooks back for cash, which is a huge plus! 

Cons: Physical books, especially textbooks, can get heavy! I remember back in college, while I might have built some good arm muscles, it was still cumbersome to carry heavy textbooks around. Also, if you need a physical book, you either have to order it online or go to a bookstore. Waiting too long to get a book you need for a class can get you behind and in trouble. Additionally, if you have limited space and collect books, you can clutter up a room quickly. 

Kindle Books: 

Pros: Reading on a Kindle looks very similar to reading a book so I find that experience to be the same. However, Kindles are so portable and light! I never really noticed how bulky physical novels can get until I started using the Kindle. Unlike with a physical book, I’m still able to read while blow-drying my hair or eating because I don’t have to use my hand to hold down the pages to keep the book from closing. Secondly, e-books, since they’re cheaper to produce and distribute, tend to be less expensive to buy, which is always good. Sometimes libraries and Amazon even offer free e-books that can be decent reads. Finally, one of my favorite things about my Kindle is that people can’t tell what you’re reading. There are just some books that you want to keep to yourself (ahem, Fifty Shades of Grey). With a Kindle, you don’t need to worry about getting questionable looks while reading at your local coffee shop. 

Cons: While you can take notes and highlight things within a Kindle book, it’s just not the same as having Post-Its sticking out of important sections. As I mentioned earlier, I love being able to color code things, especially for studying. While using a Kindle, I find myself having to take notes separately in a notebook rather than using the notes feature on the Kindle. Overall, maybe it’s my generation and the heavy use of technology, but after trying the Kindle, I did find it hard to go back to physical books. Although, for studying, it is nice to have a physical book that you can just pull off your shelf to refer back to. I think both books still do have a place for now, at least for me. 

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer physical books to Kindle and other electronic readers?

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