Paper Books Vs. eBooks

Would you trade your paper books for digital versions?



Kathleen Gardner: Yes. While the shelves in my house are stacked with books, which have given me vast amounts of knowledge, entertainment, and comfort, I almost exclusively read digital/e-books. I use the Kindle app on my iPad mini. I love how it chronicles what I’ve read, provides easy access to reference materials, allows for nighttime reading without a light, and keeps my shelves from sagging. Having said all that, you can still find me stopping at Little Free Libraries.

Valerie Levitt: Never. Nothing feels as inviting and comfortable to my hands, eyes, and soul as a good story presented on paper.

Todd Pierce: As a former English instructor who has a master’s degree in English literature, I would never purchase any book in electronic format. That is, there is too much evidence, which is based on current research, to indicate that reading texts in electronic format induces people to read on a very superficial level.

Jane Chisaki: I prefer paper books, but in the end, it doesn’t matter to me if the words are on a computer screen, the back of a cereal box, between two covers, tattooed on the back of someone’s hand, or carved on a tree. It’s the story, not the paper that it is written upon.

Ted Levitt: Those of us who grew up reading physical books, collecting our favorites, and rereading them occasionally may find the reading experience to include a certain gestalt of the tactile feel of paper, turning of pages, and memories of reading as more than just absorbing content. Personally, I’d generally read digital versions only if print were not available, or my paperback had aged to illegibility. 

Jill Russell: Even though I do love my Kindle, I still love the paper book. There is nothing like curling up with a good book, flipping through the pages, and feeling the weight of the book.

Eva Volin: As a children’s librarian, it depends on what kind of book I’m reading. If I’m reading a novel or narrative nonfiction, sure, digital is fine. But if what I’m reading is illustration-heavy, like a picture book or graphic novel, I generally prefer the paper version—unless the screen is really big—since the images are a huge part of how the story is told. Plus, it’s tougher to snuggle up with a screen when it’s time to read bedtime stories.


Published online on March 22, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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