Ebooks or No?

I love my Kindle.  It’s impossible to ignore the convenience of being able to purchase a book at any time, even hours after books stores are closed, and then to carry around hundreds of books at once in one small device. I get periodicals, classics, nonfiction, and new fiction on my Kindle, and I simply love the experience.

Right now I’m reading a science fiction novel – but in paperback. This seems ironic to me. Shouldn’t a futuristic book be read on a futuristic device?

There’s no way to fully explain my logic with this one, probably because there is no true logic at work. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (cool site!) is a hefty book, weighing in at 572 pages, and it is the first of a trilogy. It’s available on the Kindle. In fact, I might have gotten a better deal with an e-version, as some appear to combine two of the three books in one package.

Still, something about the size of this novel and the scope of its story made me yearn for the feel of actual pages and the smell of paper. At about 200 pages in, I’m glad I bought the print version. It’s great to hold the publication in my hands and hear the sound of the thick book as I flip through its leafy pages to re-read a line I particularly appreciated. The subject may be futuristic, but my enjoyment of it is strictly old school.

This makes me wonder: are there certain books that simply feel better in “real life?” Are some books easily transferable to the monitor – or even made specifically for it – while others are more fun to read in the traditional format?

Or was it just my mood at the time?  🙂

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2 responses to “Ebooks or No?

  1. I find I prefer ebooks over traditional because I focus too much on where I’m at in the book rather than what I’m reading. Though, there are books that can only be effective in bound versions like the book House of Leaves as an example. I think that book has to be in print because of it’s layout. I also think crazy people’s manifestos work better in print.

  2. Jason,

    That’s a very good point! I have actually found that I focus on where I am in a book, too, when I read a traditional print version. Sometimes it seems to add to my overall feeling of the flow and experience. For instance, when I feel myself getting close to the middle, I start to instinctively expect something “big” to happen.

    Whose crazy manifestos have you been reading? 😉

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