This debate has been voiced on-line and in print more frequently than my other half complains that he’s hungry, however, it’s an argument worth having. My aim is to remain unbiased throughout this post as I am heavily inclined to one side of the argument – but fair is fair, so we have to give the old e-readers a chance!
1. Battery life – However “long-life” these kobos/kindles/e-readers claim to be, there is still going to be a point when they give up the ghost and die! The Kindle Paperwhite boasts that the battery can last up to six weeks, fantastic right! However, Amazon quickly following this bold statement with “based on half an hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at ten”. However, this is still excellent, but for someone like myself who is about to embark on 3 hour+ train journeys 5 times a week, this six week battery life simply does not apply. Quite obviously, a book does not have a battery life, it cannot die, regardless of it’s wireless settings and the time spent reading per day…
2. Weight – Now this is a very valid plus point for e-readers, they are very light and compact, super easy to slip into your handbag, school bag or briefcase – they’re extremely portable. A book however, especially hard backs, can be incredibly chunky, I notice this most at night when fatigue hits in and my arms physically struggle to hold up the tightly bound pages.
3. Darkness – I realised the importance of back-lights when I visited a spa with my mum a few weeks ago. We were snuggling down in the “relaxation room” where the lighting is extremely low for relaxation purposes. I quickly discovered that it was far too dim to read my book, and my mum sat happily gloating with the back light on her Kindle! E-readers contain extremely clever technology that enables you to read the text in any light, even in bright sunlight as the screen has a sort of matte quality.
4. Thousands of books – When connected to the internet through the e-readers wireless capabilities, users can access thousands of books from the on-line library and purchase as many as they like, normally at a lower price than the same book in paperback or hardback form. However, I think this detracts from the experience of going into a book shop and being quite literally surrounded by literature, and I would miss the advice of the people that work in these shops, their enthusiasm (and sometimes hatred) for the books in store.
I’ve actually surprised myself writing this post at the number of positives that the e-reader presents, but I’m still not convinced. Despite all of these technological advantages, they’re just not the same! I love cracking the spine of a book, folding its pages, leaving mascara-y tear stains and the incredible, unforgettable smell, what do you think?