'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Kindle vs. Paperback - Opinions?

So I came across this lovely quote by Stephen Fry and had a play around with my camera and Photoshop to create this :). I'm learning slowly!

Anyway, it got me thinking about the whole Kindle debate. Are books threatened by the new, shiny Kindle with its lightweight and compact form? Personally, I'm definitely backing Mr Fry here! Myself and my boyfriend were saving towards a Kindle but then - the jammy sod - managed to nab one for free with his phone contract (thank you Carphone Warehouse!). I use it a lot, don't get me wrong. It's wonderful for travelling, it's so small and neat and fits snugly in your handbag without making your arm feel like it's about to drop off. E-books (generally) are fairly cheap, although I don't think I'd ever buy an e-book over the price of £3. It feels like you don't get anything for your money except a little file. Nothing to put on your bookshelf. No lovely cover to look at. Worst of all, no new book smell and none of the satisfaction felt on closing the cover of a book. I certainly don't think the good ole paperback has anything to worry about! So, as part of my internal - and now external - conflict with the new e-book era I'm going to list, in my opinion, the pros of both the Kindle and good ole paperback.
For Kindle:

  • Lightweight
  • Holds so many books
  • A wealth of cheap/ free e-books
  • No worries about ripped pages
  • E-book only texts
  • Makes transporting books easier
  • Adjustable text size

For Paperback:
  • Purchasing something you can actually hold
  • The smell!
  • The beautiful covers
  • The feeling of triumph/ loss at the end of the book
  • A new addition to the ever growing bookshelf
  • Page numbers (I know you can, somehow, adjust the Kindle to do this but it isn't the same!)
  • The texture
  • Allows note making/ analysis
  • Comfort
  • Fully immersing yourself into a new world
As you can see I am clearly team paperback. Yes I have a Kindle and yes, I really do love it but it's no book! I am grateful for my Kindle as it allows me to receive galleys from NetGalley, authors, via email to review and to help promote them, but if given the choice between reading on my Kindle and reading a book? The book will win every time without fail. My final point on the paperback - being able to immerse yourself into a whole new world - I find the Kindle doesn't allow this anywhere near as much as a book. I am forever aware that I'm reading off of this electronic device and for some reason this prevents me from feeling that overwhelming feeling of disorientation, loss or even pleasure that I have when reading a book. Yes, fine a book is just a bundle of paper, and surely that should affect me in a similar way to the whole electronic thing but it doesn't. The same issue is going to come into it during my Masters next month. A book allows you to write and flick through at will. Yes, you can highlight in a Kindle but it isn't the same at all. Yes, you can archive your files in a file on the Kindle but it doesn't hold the same satisfaction. I certainly don't think critique books will be useful (for me) on a Kindle. I feel that with a book you can give it your 100% attention, but with the Kindle it just doesn't allow that. 

All of this may seem like ew Kindle, ew, but it really isn't. I love my Kindle. Going up to Yorkshire to see the boyfriend on the train is made so much easier and lighter with a Kindle in my bag rather than several books - and let's face it, it's going to be more than several books! For journeys and ease it is wonderful. Some authors also only release novellas in e-book format (Kelley Armstrong being one of many) so it also allows you to explore these new works which I was unbelievably eager to do. So, I'm certainly not a Kindle basher. I just absolutely love everything about books. The experience reading it, the hours spent in a bookshop just wandering around, reading the blurbs, piling up my to-read list - online browsing just isn't the same! Needless to say, I am looking forward to Waterstones incorporating the world of e-books into their shops soon :).

So, what do you guys think of the Kindle vs. Paperback debate? And, do you agree or disagree with Mr. Stephen Fry?



  1. I got a Kindle for Christmas and love it. But, I got it because my local library now offers a lending e-book library. So it allows me to borrow even more books lol. I really don't notice a difference between the two formats when I read. I also do not own any books of my own so the whole book collecting thing doesn't apply to me. I even delete the few Kindle books I buy as soon as I read them :)

  2. I love having actual books on my shelves, and seeing its nice covers (I can't help but want bragging rights). Also, my school doesn't allow us to bring electronics (exception of laptop and cellphone) so I have to bring the paperbacks.

  3. I like having actual books, sometimes. If it has cover art I like. But I prefer reading on the ereader. First, I think I read faster on it. Second, I don't like books once they get older and musty and dusty. I won't read them once they get that way. I'd rather buy a new copy- so the ereader is perfect. It's always a new copy. I also started reading more chunky- 500+ page- books because of the ereader. Much easier. All in all, I like ebooks better. The thing that really ticks me off, though, is when the ebook price is just $1 or so cheaper than a physical copy of the book. Just feels like a rip off. Or when a short book- 200 or so pages- is $12.99. What a ripoff- especially if you can get a new paperback or it for less.

  4. I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas, but I have to say you're absolutely right about everything in this whole post. I prefer reading electronically. It's portable, no loosing bookmarks, and you can change the text size, usually. The downside, like you said, is loosing the beauty of the covers and not actually holding the real deal. And if a Kindle died... Would you even still have the books? Or would they vanish? Electronics are more fragile compared to books. Eh, team paperback books all the way!

  5. First of all, I think that's a great quote and I wholeheartedly agree with it. I wrote a similar post a while ago on this debate after receiving a Kindle last May. It sounds that you, like me, enjoy the tactile experience that reading a book offers. But there are benefits to Kindle that you didn't even mention, such as the dictionary inclusion that allows you to look up unfamiliar words right there and how you can customize size and type of font. I actually find books to be kind of expensive for Kindle still. But really I am a proponent of Kindles and physical books. I think both have - and will continue to have - their uses.

  6. What a beautiful blog...NEW FOLLOWER.

    I don't have a Kindle, but I do have an iPad that I read books on.

    I like the iPad because you have the ability to read Kindle, iBooks, and books in BlueFire Reader Format, but I prefer to hold a book. :)

    Having a giveaway on my blog...stop by if you like.

    Silver's Reviews

  7. For someone who doesn't have a permanent home should definitely go for kindle edition of books if they are cheaper. Moving house with shelves full of book is difficult. One of the best satisfaction I get from kindle is reading before sleeping, you don't need other light source to read. Another good thing about kindle is, you will have the book synced across all of your devices with bookmarks. But I love paperback and would love to keep if I have a permanent house. :)


Please leave a comment, I love reading each and every one of them :).
This blog is an award free zone. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and I appreciate them :).