Paperback or eReader? That is the Question.

The fact that you are reading this is proof of how you would answer “To read, or not to read? That is the question”.  In an age where most people turn to video for stories and news, we still turn to written word.  And I can also wager you read quite a bit online since you are reading this blog.  But how do you prefer to read the books you buy?  Paperback or eReader?

The environmentalist in me wants so badly to love the ever-so-popular eReader.  Why can’t I just be happy sitting on the subway with my Kindle or reading in the cafe on my Tablet?  I suppose it is because I am a romantic.  There is something about turning the pages that excites me.  Feeling the paper in my hand, unable to see the words that come next.  The seconds feel like minutes as the page moves from right to left, letting out the scent of dust and time in the turn. It just is not the same with the scroll on a screen.

My favorite books have coffee spills and corners turned down.  Highlighted words and notes in the margin. Pen marks and business cards for bookmarks.  The scent and markings of each book becomes as much of a joy as the words within the binding.  The memories of reading the book are not only stored in the corners of my mind, but are evident in the scars and battle-wounds etched into the paper. Raindrop damage from when it shielded me as I dashed to my car during the downpour. Bite marks on the corner left by my scruffy nephew Molson when I was his caretaker and dog walker.  Proof of our time together. Love bites.  Does he too love David Brown adventure novels, or was he trying to play fetch?


Yes, I know there are apps and add-ons to make notes and mark pages.  But it is not the same as when it is done by hand.  With ink that smears and lines that curve.  Misspellings and markings made in error.  Evidence. Proof of where I was when I read it – mentally and physically.  For me there is love in those pages.  Love of life.  Love of words.  Breaths of anticipation and spills (literally) of excitement.

To me, there is no contest.  There is no doubt that I would choose the weight and heaviness of the Paperback every time.  Yes, I can see the allure of carrying hundreds of books on one small device that slips easily into my purse.  But it doesn’t make my heart dance and sing when it catches a glimpse of it.  The color doesn’t grab my eye and steal my attention.  It doesn’t make me want to curl up on the couch and spend a rainy afternoon flipping pages and turning down corners. Only Mr. Paperback does that to me.  And to him I will remain loyal.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  Thank you Weekly Writing Challenge for the prompt.

9 thoughts on “Paperback or eReader? That is the Question.

  1. I vote for e-books, but I love that you were willing to truly *touch* your paper versions. I always worried too much about keeping them pristine. You way sounds a lot more fun.

  2. Thank you so much my Dear all ways I am interesting to read as much I can I am getting about 200 emails every day from around the world soon I am leaving around the world in a SAN JUAN 24-foot sailboat you probably know all ready about my blog I am in four magazines my articles about solo sailing around the world I hope soon I am going on TV interview in Seattle in April of 2013

  3. Personally for me, if I have an interest in a particular book, most often I will download a copy that can be read on my phone. Once I begin to read it, if I know it is a book I love, I’ll stop and acquire a paperback copy. I’ll then opt to read that at home and only use the copy on my phone for random times I am away from the book, but feel the need to continue my read momentarily til I return home. There will never be a book that I love that I do not have a hard copy of though.

  4. You and I seem to feel exactly the same about books, and treat them the same way. Even down to the wording – you wrote “battle-wounds”, and I’m pretty sure I used “battle-scars” in an earlier post of mine… *checks* Yup, I did:

    And as for the environment: I’m pretty sure books are easier to recycle than e-readers. And longer-lived. I refuse to feel guilty for buying real books.

  5. I’m the same way. The nostalgia of a paperback book is invaluable. I find it much more of an annoyance of reading a book on a tablet or electronic device. Although I must admit, I read articles on the internet each and every day. Though, my allegiances are with paperbacks when it comes to books(Magazines too!).

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