News Flash: Some People Prefer Actual Books

According to a story on USA Today, some colleges are requiring students to purchase e-textbooks, even if they would prefer the old-fashioned print versions. The story quotes Indiana University professor Timothy Baldwin as saying he “longs to hold a book in his hands.”

I can see the advantage of having all one’s textbooks in a slim, lightweight device, as opposed to several bulky, heavy volumes to be schlepped from class to class. However, like many of the students in the article, I still like print books. I enjoy the tactile feel of holding a book in my hands, assessing the difference between large, graphic-heavy paperbacks and small, thick pocket guides. I like turning the pages, feeling the different weights and textures of the paper. I even like the smell of the ink. Mostly, though, I like the resilience of print: I don’t need a battery, charger, or outlet to read a book. I just need light.

In contrast, e-books are flat, in every sense of the word. They have no weight, no texture, no scent. They barely exist.

Finally, judging from my experience with cell phones, I just don’t trust e-readers. I would worry that my entire library could be erased by dropping it or spilling a little coffee on it.

What do you think about real books vs. e-books? Which do you prefer, and why?


2 thoughts on “News Flash: Some People Prefer Actual Books

  1. I love books too. Books with real pages. And when it comes to text books, I particularly prefer the real thing. I will admit that I have a Kindle and I have had it for many years (when it wasn’t nearly as cheap). I read a lot of books and I prefer the ease and price of e-books. I want to want to go to the library, but I just don’t (I wish I actually went there and checked out books, returned them on time, knew the staff and had “library” friends). The library would be my preference above all, but I am lazy. It’s the simple truth. I read a lot and I’m lazy, so I have a Kindle. There you have it.


  2. Count me among the real book lovers. Perhaps I could get used to an ebook, but at the moment I don’t see any reason at all to make that effort. And an ebook would be another “thing” I have to worry about – not losing it, making sure it’s charged, etc. And I can’t pile it up in different parts of my house.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s