I recently read an email from Crystal Paine about ebooks and books that mentioned a recent blog post from Michael Hyatt. (You can read the article here). This email – and this article really got me thinking about how I read and why I read it.
I’ll admit. I didn’t buy into the kindle idea until a couple years ago. I just didn’t want to take that plunge and I really, really loved real books. I wasn’t sure I could give them up. When I finally broke down and ordered my first kindle I was pregnant with our fifth and on bedrest. I needed some good books and even a couple good shows, so a kindle fire was just the right solution. From that moment on I was hooked!
I am a huge fan of my kindle I am also a huge fan of real life books too. Which one do I prefer? That is not an easy question to answer!
Micheal Hyatt makes some really good points in his post about books vs ebooks. Some I had not even thought of. Here are his 8 main arguments (and my thoughts):
Ebooks Are out of Sight and out of Mind
True – ebooks are not on our shelves and looking at us saying “read me!” each and every day. But I tend to keep my top 10 books in the carousel…ask my kids I am always deleting the short links to their games on the carousel so I can see what books are currently on my list.
Ebooks Engage Fewer Senses
Totally got me on this one. This was the MAIN huge reason I never wanted to buy a kindle. I just love the feeling of a book in my hand. I thought I would miss this. I do sometimes. When an author I love or a book that I really enjoy comes out I do buy a real physical copy of the book so I can have a copy in my real life library.
Ebooks Make It Easier to Get Distracted
I don’t really agree with this one. I have a kindle app on my phone and on my computer, but if I’m going to read an ebook, 99.9% of the time I’m going to read it on my kindle. I don’t really like checking facebook or emails on my kindle. I just don’t like it. I use my kindle fire for reading and occasionally netflix and amazon shows. That’s it. I am just as easily distracted from a real physical book with my phone sitting next to me as I am with my phone sitting next to me while I read on my kindle. It has nothing to do with what I am reading on – it has all to do with my horrible addition to facebook/instagram. 😉
Ebooks Result in Less Retention and Comprehension
I’m really not to sure about this one either. In the past year I have really found that I love taking advantage of the highlighting tools and note taking tools on my kindle. When I am reading a book for a review it is super easy to stop and highlight a paragraph or line, make a note and move on. When I am reading a physical book I have to take a picture of the selected portion, dog-ear the page, or write down a note in a notebook or my phone or on a post it. This gets especially tricky for me if it’s a library copy. If I own the book I don’t mind writing in a book, dog-earing pages, or highlighting passages. But library copies are a whole different ball game. I think I have finally got a routine down for how I can best review and keep track of my notes and highlighted sections for physical books to be reviewed (I’ve been using Evernote app and love it) but I with an ebook it keeps it all in one place. At the end of the book and when I’m ready to write a review I am able to pull up the book and then pull up the notes all in one place and on one device. I love that!
I do know, personally speaking, I have so much lower reading comprehension when I am listening to an ebook than if I read it. Plus, it really takes the “fun” out of reading when I listen to a book – if that makes sense. I really need to work on improving my listening comprehension.
Ebooks Feel Too Much like Online Reading
Hyatt make the point that he reads for speed when it comes to online reading. I do have to agree that I think I might read faster on my kindle than with a physical book. But then again, it’s such a toss up for me. Depends on the book. If I am reading a non-fiction physical book I do read slower and pay more attention – but the same thing goes for if I am reading non-fiction ebook. I tend to slow down with non-fiction and take my time.
Ebooks Are More Difficult to Interact With
This really is the same as number 4 for me. I do wish that you could loan out kindle books easier. If I were to buy a book and enjoyed it, I would loan it out to a friend. I’m not a huge fan of how you can’t loan out kindle books – although I do understand why they do it.
Ebooks Are More Difficult to Navigate
I have to disagree with this too – as long as it is a book that is set up well. As a mom to five buys kids are who are constantly picking up my books, taking out my book marks, or opening up a different apps on my kindle, I have to say I LOVE the fact that all I have to do is search for the furthest location read on my kindle books. I LOVE this!
Ebooks Provide Less Satisfaction in Finishing
Hyatt’s got me on this one. I totally agree. I finish ebooks all the time – and then call me crazy, ut sometimes I like to find the books in the library or at the bookstore and hold them in my hand and look at the length and size of the book. There is some satisfaction in holding a book in your hand and seeing what you just read. Maybe this is why if it’s an author I love I prefer to buy a physical book (and sometimes a kindle book too). I love a good collection of real books that I’ve read. I think there is a sense of pride even in having a library full of books that I’ve read and full of books that I love.
Now that I’ve told you how I feel about Michael Hyatt’s post, I thought I would add a few of my own thoughts – some of the reasons I love ebooks…
I love the ease of it.
I love being able to take it with me anywhere and anytime. I love being able to read late at night or early in the morning and not having to wake up my husband or the whole family by turning on lights. I love that if my kindle dies I can access the books on my phone or even on the computer. I love that if I’m stuck somewhere – a doctors office, a school pick up line, I can always have a book with me.
I love how easy it is to try a book/author
I am constantly downloading samples of books. There are so many free and cheap kindle book apps and blogs that you can read an subscribe too. I can collect or try so many free book – and if I don’t like it I don’t have any guilt and I can just delete it from my device. With the amount that I read I’ve really enjoyed having a membership to Kindle Unlimited where I read through so many free books each month. I constantly have a kindle unlimited book going. I can read more than one book at a time and carry them all at one time – and not lug around a huge stack of books.
I love that the kindle can read to you.
This is more geared towards reasons I love kindles for my kids, but occasionally I will take advance of this feature for myself too. I have one son who really struggles reading but when he reads on his kindle he can have his kindle read his book to him and he can follow along. This is a HUGE benefit for him.
I love that you can change settings
I touched on this before when I said I like the fact that I can read in the dark without waking others up, but I also really love that I can change font size, or actual font. I can change the background color screen. My son that struggles reading also has a hard time reading on a white background, he really prefers the green background option on his kindle. I also really think it’s cool you can hold your finger down on a word and the dictionary will pop up and tell you a definition. I use this feature as well as my kids.
Kindle books got it going on with this category…most of the time. You can find so many books for free or super cheap or with Kindle Unlimited. I do have to add though, once a kindle book goes over $5, that I really pay attention. I have occasionally found that a real book is cheaper than a kindle book and in that case I always order the real book, specially if it’s an author that I’m familiar with, interested in or have heard good things about.
If you’ve read my about page, if you know me in real life, you might already know that we currently are living with my gracious father in law while we open a medical practice. This is a huge blessing for our family. We cannot say that enough. But…when we moved in here we put almost everything we owned into storage. We don’t need our furniture and while I certainly love my collections of books and book cases – I just don’t need them right now. There is no room for them. But with my kindle I don’t even have to worry about this. Kindle books take up zero space and I never have to go look for them in our storage unit when I want to re-read them.
So what do you prefer? Books or ebooks?
Do you have anything you love or hate about kindle books versus physical books?
Have you read Michael Hyatt’s post – what did you think?
Leave me a comment and let me know.