Free For All Friday | Books vs. eReading

Working in a bookstore, I tend to get asked a lot on if I’m Team Book or Team eReader. Its a tough question to answer, as I’d love to just answer Team Writing/Reading in general, but I do see the reason for it. Each side has valid reasons for why people switch from one to the other; remain faithful to their love of physical books; or who have transferred their entire collection to eReading devices.

For me, the answer is that I have both, and I actually favour Team eReader just slightly more. A lot of it comes down to pricing and space. Living where I currently do, I’m tight on space and my makeshift bookshelves, are overflowing as it is… And my collection continues to grow! Sometimes there are sales that are too good to pass up. Here’s my reasoning for each side:

For series’ that I’ve been reading for years, if I’ve started collecting them in physical format, I have to continue in that trend. I find it too difficult to transition from one format to another when it comes to a series, so I’d rather keep physical collections physical, and electronic ones, electronic.
You truly cannot beat the smell of books. The scent of a book is so difficult to explain to people, but I find that it can draw you in much easier, and faster, if it’s something you can relate to via smell. Studies have even shown that we tie memories to scents, so if you’ve read a great series and smell a book, it could bring you back to where you were when you read it!
As enjoyable as it is to have your collection handy and available at your fingertips, sometimes nothing beats holding a book in your hands, and feeling the weight of the paper as you turn the pages. Similar to that of the scent of a book, its a feeling that cannot be replaced when you go electronic.
Pricing! You wouldn’t believe the amount of money I’ve saved (by switching my car insurance to Geico) purchasing some books in actual book format. I own all the Diana Gabaldon mass market paperbacks (the small, pocket sized ones), because there was a deal where I could get 2 for $15 (When they cost about $11.99 each regularly). Even pricing that in comparison to the Kobo version, I saved nearly $40. I couldn’t beat it.

I have an iPad and a Kobo Aura eReader, so I luck out in that I’m able to read not only Kobo books, but Kindle and iBooks as well. When I pick up books that author’s have graciously sent me (in exchange for an honest review of their works), most times it comes in a Kindle format file – Which is not accessible on Kobo. Having these devices, or even these apps installed on your phone, tablet or computer, gives you easy access to millions of books, and you don’t have to travel into the cold to buy them!
Travel. I’ve been travelling frequently in the past 2 years, and while I’d love to take 6 or 7 physical books with me, its just not possible. With an eReader (or tablet), I suddenly have access to my entire collection at my fingertips. All I need to do is download them over wifi (or plug my device into my computer). Most devices even allow you easy purchase access directly from your device, which actually makes for a faster experience overall.
Pricing! Now, if you know where to look, and are willing to spend a few minutes finding the right deals, you can actually save money on purchasing eBooks. Kobo has daily deals on their website (where you can save up to 80% off one book each day – of their choosing), and they frequently run contests and promotions. While Kindle and iBooks don’t normally run contests for promotional coupons, they have a much larger selection of cheap (or even free) eBooks for you to choose from.
Pricing (part 2)! Depending on the book/author/publisher/etc you’re actually saving off the cover price in store. A new hardcover in store can run you anywhere from $25 to $40 if they’re not on promotion. eBooks, while occasionally priced the same (if maybe a little cheaper) will often save you anywhere from $5 to $15. It’s all about just taking time to shop for those deals.

I know a lot of people say that books are going the way of the dinosaur, and eventually there won’t be any. Personally I think that’s a very long way off. The retail market for books is still a very popular one, as there are still people who won’t go the route of using an eReader – Which is completely fine! There are people who will never purchase a physical book again, because eReaders and Tablets are so much more convenient for them. Which is completely fine as well. The writing industry is going to be around for hundreds of years to come, as long as we continue to purchase the books that authors write, and publishers put out.

What are your thoughts? Are you Team Book? Or Team eReader?

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