Real Books Vs. Tablets

By Kat Kasel

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I got together with a friend (and avid reader) for dinner last night, and after our girl date, we wandered through Barnes & Noble in search of new books to download on our e-readers. We both agreed that as much as we love our electronic reading devices, there’s nothing like a store full of earthy, book-y smells.

We perused the shelves, laughing over our favorite teen paperbacks’ cheesy covers (sweet valley high anyone?) and made notes in our phones to download some of the new hardback releases later that night.

Reading a Real Book

Despite the ease with which one can read on a tablet, there’s nothing like the hard copy to sear the emotional experience of a book into your brain. I’ve read over a dozen e-books in the past three months and yet, I could not tell you the title or author if my life depended on it. It’s not that I enjoy the story less when I read on a tablet, it’s just that it doesn’t stick with me as well long term.

In the moment, when I’m engrossed in the plotline of a great novel, the ease with which I can carry my kindle around makes it simple to stay engaged with the storyline in a variety of settings. I can pull out my kindle on the metro, at the gym, in my dentist’s waiting room. My kindle is small and lightweight and I always remember to throw it in my bag before heading out. This is wonderful, but if someone asks me for a book recommendation – even just days after I finish one – I’m usually at a loss for words.

Reading on a Tablet

Reading on a kindle deprives a bookworm of the constant visual reminders that you get when you have a physical book in close proximity for a week. With my kindle, I don’t see the title of the book until I finish it and return to the home screen. I never ever see the cover art. (Unless I’m in am actual bookstore, or I’m at the airport and someone happens to be reading the same book.) Though I don’t particularly mind this, and in some ways it helps me choose books NOT based on the cover, every book I read on my kindle is that much less memorable.

I’m Not Alone

I thought I was the only one who felt this way about e-readers, but my friend got all fired up about it and agreed with me. She even announced her goal to purchase the hard copy of every book she read on her Nook, so she could slowly grow her personal library. I feel like this will get awfully expensive after a while (two copies of every beloved book?!) but I certainly understand the appeal of a hard copy.

I just prefer the ease and convenience of my kindle.

About Kat Kasel
Kat is a freelance writer and media associate for a digital marketing company in Washington, DC. She loves reading and writing but 'rithmatic? Not so much.

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