We had a discussion about books and reading with my colleagues at work yesterday. We ended up having a healthy debate over which are better – real books or e-books. I’m not exactly sure which form of books won, but the general rule was that the younger generation (in their twenties and early thirties) was pro e-books and the experienced generation (in their forties and early fifties) was pro real books.
I’m usually rooting for the underdog just because I think the underdog needs a fair defense too, but in this battle I was pretty much indecisive and prefer them both equally. To find out what I actually think, I decided to list the pros and cons of the two formats of the written word.
I gave real books 7/11 thumbs up while e-books ended up having only 4/11 thumbs up. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that I prefer the real books. I do own an e-reader and I love it, but because of the bottom fact on the list I don’t own too many e-books.
I think Finland in general is behind on this trend and there aren’t very cheap e-books for sale. If I can get the paperback edition cheaper, why wouldn’t I buy it.
The list isn’t perfect actually. There are a couple of pros for e-books I think maybe should be on the list. E-readers usually support audio books as well, which is great. I usually use my iPod for that, so this feature doesn’t really matter to me. Another great feature an e-reader has is that with a reader you can do a word search from any book you have on your reader. You can easily find a topic you are looking for in the book without having to leaf through the whole book.
One great feature in a reader that I just this second thought of, is that with a reader you can choose the size of the font that best suits for you. So if you have trouble seeing well, you no longer have to leave the small-print books in the store.
My final calculations show that I’m still indecisive. It seems to be a tie. After adding these three pros to e-books the final results are 7/14 for both.
My personal opinion is that if you read only a few books (1-8) a year, you probably won’t need an e-reader, but if you read a lot (50+) in a year, you might find an e-reader very useful. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which format you prefer, because the content is pretty much the same in both, right? An e-book won’t tell a different story from a regular book. 🙂 Maybe you’ll save a few trees by reading e-books…
Which format do you prefer? Answer the poll on weekly writing challenge and see what other people think!
With warm hugs and gentle thuds – Keri