I’ve been reading reports about slowing (and in some places, dropping) ebook sales and that the physical book is making a comeback. I’m hardly surprised, because given a choice, I would prefer to hold a physical book in my hands. And yet I was actually one of those who welcomed the arrival of ebooks because they mean more choices and less storage space.
I still read books in both formats today, but here are 10 reasons why I’d choose a physical book over a digital one if I can:
- A physical book won’t run out of battery. It’s very frustrating when you only have two more chapters to go and your tablet is screaming for a recharge.
- I can share a physical book with a friend any time. With an ebook, I either have to pass her my tablet too, or pay to buy her another digital copy.
- I can read my physical book anywhere, even during take-off. I hate it when I’m asked to switch off my tablet during a plane take-off or landing, because that’s when I most need a book to distract me from the thumb-tweedling wait.
- It’s ok to drop a physical book. Just pick it up, dust off and continue from where you stopped. With a tablet, pray that the drop only caused a dent on the casing, not the circuit board.
- I can splurge on pretty bookmarks (and other book accessories). Physical books give me one more reason to shop. Digital books only give me the option of a bigger or smaller font size.
- I can read print for hours without feeling tired. Ebooks make my eyes tear after just one hour.
- I can collect autographs for my physical books. Do authors give digital autographs yet?
- I love the smell of new books. I can’t smell my ebooks, and it somehow takes the thrill out of a new purchase.
- I know how far into the book I am, without having to look at the page number. With ebooks, I lose my mental map of the book’s content.
- I love the book cover! It’s a joy to own a book for both its beautiful cover design and intelligent content, and the joy is amplified when I can see my favourite book everyday on my bookshelf.