This weeks dailypost writing challenge came in the form of a question. A simple question, at least on the face of it:
Superficially it’s a question of ‘speed/ease of access’ vs. ‘tactile/sensory comfort’. It’s right there in the poll as you choose either ebooks or paperbacks as your choice is summed up thusly: Vote for ebooks because “you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go.” or vote for paperbacks because “nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore.”
Yet the question left me torn. I agree with both statements. I love reading on my kindle as much as I love reading my ‘real’ books. I really do value the speed at which I can get new reads electronically, as well as the thrill of the ‘free for today’ offers or any book under a pound. I know that I’m always a wifi connection away from my library too. That’s reassuring.
Yet, somehow, when I know I want a book for keeps I tend towards the physical copy. Perhaps I read something electronically, fall in love, and then decide to back it up in paper and pulp. Perhaps I anticipate falling in love with a novel and so wait the extra day for it to be delivered or for me to wonder past a bookshop and buy it straight as a paperback.
For examples of both, I’ve loved downloading free copies of the literary classics to my kindle devices (kindle, iPad, iPhone, laptop) and taking a look to see what the fuss is about. No cost, no commitment, I don’t feel guilty about the 10’s I’ve downloaded and am not anywhere near closer to reading.
Yet when I decided to purchase Ian Fleming’s entire James Bond catalogue it didn’t even cross my mind to go digital. I chose a print run I liked the look of and bought a matching set.
The thing with asking ‘which do you prefer’ is that in reality I love the both. ebooks and paperbacks offer me different AND complimentary qualities. Or perhaps I’m just greedy.