Thursday, September 26, 2013
Digital or Paper?
The choice isn't quite so easy when it comes to digital or paper books. Do I want to read digital books or paper? That is the question. I've always loved books and reading. I don't think I was ever with out a library book or two in my little satchel once I learned to read. The world opened up before me when I opened a book. I discovered Nancy Drew right after we moved to Alaska, just before I started fourth grade; that opened a whole new chapter in reading for me, the novel. I love libraries as much as I love reading. Rows and rows of books, ahhhhh.
With the introduction of the e-reader I was excited. I couldn't imagine being any happier than having an entire library to carry in around in a small flat device. I didn't order one of the first versions of the Kindle, wisely waiting for an improved version that cost less. When the day arrived and mine was delivered, I was thrilled when I turned it on and it welcomed me, by name. I quickly loaded it up with books to read, some new and some old favorites that I wanted to have just in case I wanted to re-read one day. Book shopping was easy, fun and quick. It was great when I travelled since it was small, light, and always full of something to read (no buying books in the airport shop for me anymore).
The problem started when I put a non-fiction book on it. It was a photography book about exposure. I started reading, but then realized that I needed to flip back and forth to different pages as I used the camera in conjunction with the book. Finally, I just bought the paperback version of the book. I then realized what beautiful color pictures the book had and realized that the Kindle version didn't do the author justice. I later put another non-fiction book that was a workbook type book on the Kindle and had the same problem with trying to go back to an earlier part; sad to say, I ended up buying a paper version of this one, too.
Next problem was similar. As I read I flip back and forth a lot. Who was that character? What was it that happened to so-and-so? I also read ahead, too. If the book is boring I'll flip through and get an idea of what it is about and then decide if I want to continue reading. I also read ahead if the book is just too intense and I have to know what happens! I discovered that it just isn't easy to flip back or go forward a few pages. I had also put a copy of the Bible on it and had the hardest time trying to go to a specific book, chapter and verse quickly. (Just a note that eBible on my phone does not have the same difficulty, so this may just be in my version of Kindle).
The last gripe I have is that some texts have typos and/or missing text. Sorry, but in the professional publishing world there is no excuse for that.
Digital or paper? While the Kindle is convenient and I wouldn't give it up I will limit what I put on there. Only fiction and only something that I want to read for enjoyment, maybe while travelling. I just love those rows of books on a shelf, waiting to be chosen to be read. I like the feel of the paper pages as I turn them, back and forth, forward and back. I like to be able to jot notes in the margins and underline significant passages, too. While the digital is nice, I think I do prefer the paper, just like the paper bags from the store!