E-book or real book?

Books, books, books!

Do you have an e-book reader yet? Or are you a lover of the real book you can hold in your hands?

So far, I’ve not tried an e-reader, though I have downloaded the Kindle software to my trusty laptop, Janey Mac. But my own Seriously Sassy books were made available as e-books right from the start.

And if you said you were going to give me a book – guess what? I’d still want to have the book I can hold, smell (strange, I know, but some new books do have a lovely smell) and then sit on my bookshelf.

Yet what a book is really about is the story, right? And how that comes alive in your head.

So if the story works it shouldn’t really matter where you read it. But it seems to me it does…

So am I just being old-fashioned and stuck in my ways? I’d love to hear what readers think. Given a straight choice, what would you rather have – a traditional book or an e-book?

34 thoughts on “E-book or real book?

  1. Books for me… but I’m curious about the iPad and can see it would be handy for reading books on hols or when travelling. My books are available as e-books too (and a bunch of them are even available to read on Nintendo DS!) Love that film clip… fab post Maggi!


  2. I like both – my Kindle is perfect for travelling or even when I can’t fit a really fat book into a handbag. And it’s also quite good for reading and eating because I’ve got a case with a stand – 2 hands free to stuff face must be good! And real books? well, they’re just that – real, and well beloved.


  3. I love both electronic and paper books. I have a Kindle for two years now, and I never leave it at home. It’s just a must have while travelling. I’m going to spend a few months abroad and I just can’t spare any space in my suitcase for books. I’ll just take a couple of hundred in my Kindle πŸ™‚
    I have a mini-library with every book I received as a gift and bought. This collection is becoming larger by the hour; I just love to see the books sitting there πŸ™‚
    But I still use the Kindle a lot more than paperbacks. I’m Portuguese and I read a lot in English, so the built-in dictionary is a must-have!

  4. It’s books for me all the way, Maggi. I’m not a complete technophobe(I’m writing this on MY trusty laptop, after all) but I find overly- gadgety things a bit of an uneccessary hassle.

    Also, I love books that take me by surprise-random things I pick up browsing charity shops, junk shops or car boot sales. And you can’t get those on a Kindle!

  5. Pingback: E-book or real book? Β« Girls Heart Books | Books Palace

  6. I haven’t got a ereader yet although I intend to get one as I think they’re really handy when travelling. But I don’t think you can beat a real ‘turn over the pages, fold down the corners, curl up and cosy with’ book!

    • it does sound handy for travelling, Karen. But can you take one into the bath with you? And what about falling asleep with it slumped over your face?
      Turning down the corners – now that is naughty! The Book Police will be after you! xxx

  7. It would have to be a real, tangible book for me. We have so many books in our house that people joke we live in a library (it’s kind of more true than funny to be honest.) I buy books whether they’re damaged or pristine, new or old, not my type of thing or a genre I love… it sounds silly but I sometimes feel sorry for a book no-one else is buying at jumble sales or in bookshops, and I’ll buy it just for the sake of it! Maybe it’s mad, but I love books not just for their story but for the experience surrounding them….

    And all the Girls Heart Books’ authors’ novels have pride of place on my shelves!

    • Lucky duck! Your house sounds fab. I was brought up in a house with almost NO fiction books. And I never saw either of my parents read a novel until my mum read Seriously Sassy. Happy to report that she loved it!
      But feeling sorry for a book. Or any object that looks a bit unloved. I’m like that too. Which is why we’ve had some very odd pets over the years. Lovely comment, Georgie xxx

  8. I am strong HATER of all e-book thingies! My whole family know me as “The Kindle Hater”. I detest them. I think they take all the joy out of reading! In 10 years there will be kids that don’t know what a library is cos they download books! I love feeling the over read pages of a real book! You can take it anywhere! I LOVE BOOKS!!!!

    • Wow! That’s a strong reaction, Ella. I suggest everyone hides their Kindles away from you. Just in case. I can see the headline now.


      Seriously though, it’s great you’re so passionate about books. Writers love readers like you! xxx

  9. I am really touchy about this subject!

    I HATE E-readers. I see the advantages, but feeling a new, lovely, fresh, crisp book – that feeling can never be converted to an electronic machine.

    When you buy a new book, I feel so pleased and can’t wait to get into it. You buy a book from a electronic store and it’s like, ‘Oh, right.’

    The electronic reading machines cost like Β£111.

    THINK HOW MANY LOVELY BOOKS YOU COULD GET FOR THAT. I’ll work it out… approximately 18.

    I just can’t look at a screen and be engaged.

    I love browsing in bookshops and charity shops and libraries –

    I am NOT giving up my paperbacks!


    • Yay, Orli! Another passionate book lover. I agree about not feeling so engaged by a screen. My eyes seem to gloss over the screen, which is okay for reading the news or an email from a friend, but when I read a book I want to sink into it and I think that’s easier with print on a page.

      A poetry editor once told me the reason you can’t proof read on the screen as well as you can from paper is because the eye ‘reads’ pixels differently from solid print. I suspect that’s why I skim read on the screen. Anyone else ever felt that?

  10. Great post!

    Real book, definitely!

    There’s something beautiful about holding a book in your hands and smelling that wonderful booky smell!

    But I really want a kindle!

    • Ah, see, that’s where the tension comes in, Hikma. I’m a bit like you. Love real books but tempted by the technological magic of a little pad that holds hundreds of stories and delivers them to me at the press of a button like an obedient book-butler. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚ xxx

  11. Both! Nothing will stop me loving the feel of a real book in my hands – but the thrill of sitting on a train, watching someone else reading something that looks good or reading a review in the paper, and being able to tap a few buttons and have it right there in front of me… wow. Proper tingly Star Trek moment the first time I did it.

    I was really resistant to the idea of ebooks (I spend too much time in front of a screen as it is!) but I’m already reading more because it’s so easy and quick to buy them. My groaning overstuffed bookshelves are very relieved. πŸ™‚

    • Glad you’re giving a radically different perspective, Susie. Tingly Star Trek moment sounds good. Might get an e-reader just so I can have one of those!
      (Maybe I should get out more…) πŸ™‚ xxx

  12. My mother has a kindle and I’ve tried using it, but it just doesn’t get me interested like a book does. Something about holding it in your hands, feeling how far you’ve progressed into the book…all of it! I just love the old way haha.

  13. I much prefer a proper physical book, and I’m a book smeller too – i love the smell of a good book.

    I’ve read some e-books but i’ve found it’s just not the same experience and for some reason they take me twice as long.

  14. I suppose I love both! I love reading and get through books really quickly and since I got a kindle for christmas I do find them use ful, say, if you were going on holiday? you don’t need to take a big stack of books ( especially is they’re hardbacks ) and also you only need to hold them with one hand ( if you’ve mastered the technique, like me ) but I do love the feel of a paper book! ohh! this is so hard to choose! sorry, I think I’ll have to go with E-books!

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