E-books or traditional books?
E-books have been around for years, but they have grown more popular with the introduction of e-book readers, such as Kindle, Nook, iPad, and numerous other brands of readers. Personally, I have purchased a number of e-books over time, and have enjoyed reading them on my computer. Once in a while, someone who feels themselves to be more high-tech than I am will ask, “So, why are you still buying and reading traditional books instead of e-books? Don’t you know Kindle-Nook-etc is the way to go these days?” My reply is that I simply prefer the old fashioned way of reading. In fact, I have printed hard copies of many of the e-books I have purchased.
The truth is a bit more involved than this simple answer, but most days I just don’t want to go into detail with my reasons for doing the things I choose to do. Actually, I have the Bible on my smart phone. As mentioned earlier, I own a number of e-books. However, I also own a number of printed Bibles, in a couple of translations. My library of books is extensive enough that it bothers my mother-in-law when she comes to visit, since it is not organized in a manner that suits her. Our bookshelves are packed with a variety of reading material, but the shelves are not in rooms where a casual visitor would ever see them.
One reason my family prefers the traditional reading material is that no batteries are required for reading. If we have a power failure, we can continue to read without worrying about recharging the batteries in the e-reader. We can pick up our book, flip to the bookmark, and continue to read as long as we have light. Candles are available if no other light is available. If society were to one day totally collapse, we could continue to read our traditional books, as long as we could find a safe place to sit and enjoy our reading material. This would not be the case with an e-reader.
The main reason we prefer printed material over e-material is that staring at a screen for long periods of time is uncomfortable for our eyes. We begin to feel fatigued much more quickly when using an e-reader. This may be an issue that is uncommon for most people, but it is very annoying for us. As long as printed material is available from our favorite authors and sources, we will continue to follow our preferences and buy printed books.
January 31, 2012