Physical books are more fun to read than their digital cousins

As an author, I welcome the opportunity to reach a wider audience by publishing in multiple formats, including audio, print and online. But as a reader, I clearly prefer being able to hold a physical book in my hands.

Of course, I am biased.

I was born in the sixties and fell in love with reading at an early age. I always had a book in my hands as a child, whether it was a comic book or a paperback Ellery Queen mystery. I’ve got hundreds – nay, thousands – of books in my personal library. So many, in fact, that I know I will never be able to read them all in my lifetime. And I still find myself buying new titles every month to add to the collection.

kindle screenA few years ago my mother bought me a Kindle reader. It was an obvious solution to my growing book storage problem. Instead of killing more trees, I could load up the Kindle with digital words.

Digital reads are dirt cheap as well. There are half a dozen sites out there promoting ridiculously cheap novel downloads, along with a number of free reads available each day. If you sign up for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, you get even more free books to read.

Thing is, I still find myself preferring to read an actual book than sitting down with my Kindle. (I can also read on my desktop or my tablet, but neither of those has managed to upend my book-loving habit either.)

My book reading preference became evident this past month. I’ve been reading about a book every 10 to 14 days over the summer. But at the start of the month I decided to read a digital novel I downloaded. I raced through the first several chapters in one night and believed, yes, I could get used to this.

But, more than two weeks later, that book remains unfinished. What’s more, I haven’t even thought about picking up where I left off. And no, it wasn’t because the book was bad. It actually had a decent premise and it was well-written. For some reason I just don’t want to read on the tablet or Kindle.

Maybe it’s because I like being able to see how far I’ve read, or how far I’ve yet to read. Maybe it’s just the feel of the words on the page. The texture, so to speak. Maybe it’s being able to look at the cover and the spine and read the back cover over and over again.

About the only time I prefer an ebook is on a plane. Face it, a digital reader holds more books and is a lot lighter than toting two or three books with you in your backpack.

What’s your preference, print or ebooks? Post your comments below.

P.S. – Those ebooks you “purchased” through Amazon? They may not be yours after all. Click here to read more.

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5 thoughts on “Physical books are more fun to read than their digital cousins

  1. *Author’s Note: Please read the following comment with the song ‘That Smell’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd playing in the background:

    I have always loved the smell of new books and the cracking sound the spines sometimes emit when you’re opening them for an inaugural read or after they’ve been up on the shelf for a while. I of course appreciate the sensory stimulation they provide as well, but honestly … there’s something about that smell.

    *Now shut off the Skynyrd song.

    In all seriousness: I am going to patent a “New Book Smell” line of air fresheners.

    Like

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