Monday, July 25, 2011

Ebooks or Printed Books?

I'm a huge book addict. Lately, there have been a lot of commercials touting the Kindle and its many advantages over regular printed books. Having owned both eBooks (though I use the Nook rather than the Kindle) and regular printed books, I'd like to weigh in on the argument with my own feedback.

First of all, there are a lot of great things about eBook readers and eBooks. I love that you can carry literally thousands of books with you in smaller, lighter device - it means I don't run out of books while at work!! You can also download TONS of free eBooks from all sorts of places without ever having to step foot in a library or bookstore. Buying eBooks is fast and simple, and often as affordable as (or cheaper than) purchasing a regular printed book. Most eBooks have functions that allow you to flip to certain chapters at the push of a button, and they all provide a way to bookmark. My Nook also allows me to highlight and add notes to anything I'm reading. The readers work great in any light, as long as you choose one with eInk technology (not the backlit ones like Nook Color). It really looks like the page right out of a printed book!!

Next, the negatives about eBook readers and eBooks. While the battery life is fairly long (as long as you don't have it looking for a wifi network at all times), it's still a battery which means you sometimes run out of it and need to charge it. If you don't plan ahead, this could leave you bookless for a while. The format of eBooks take some getting used to, because of the customization you can do on your eReader. For example, I like reading at a medium-large font. The eBooks are usually originally in a small font, so when I'm reading I often come across blank pages due to formatting errors from me changing the font size. Also, in a Nook-specific complaint, my touch screen portion isn't as responsive as I would like, and it's frustrating waiting for it to load and move around (though it may be fixed in the newest version of the eInk Nook). Finally, it's a piece of technology, which means it can be cumbersome to learn. I've had my Nook for over three months, and still don't know how to do all of the things I'd like with it!!

I think what it comes down to is what works best for you, not whether one is better than the other. For me, I like having my Nook and my eBooks. But you might find that the technology is just too frustrating and prefer good old fashioned printed books.

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