Have You Gone Over to the Dark Side?

The debate has waged now for a long time e-books v “real books”.  So now I am going to throw my twopenny worth (does anyone except me still use that phrase!) in to the arena.

As I have said before I am an avid reader and have been since I got my first library card for Torquay Junior Library.  How I treasured it and how much pleasure it gave me over the years.  Saturday mornings for some in those heady days of the 50´s/early 60´s would have been Saturday morning cinema.  Who remembers that?  But not for me, Saturday mornings was a trip on the No. 30 bus to the library there to get my three books then the joy and anticipation of carrying them home and to spend Saturday afternoon on the sitting room floor (not lounge in those days) reading to my heart´s content.  But how life has changed how many people still use their library when we all have computers and can click and download within minutes.  So what is my opinion of e-books v real books.  Here goes.

I still love perusing the written word in hardback or paperback in Waterstones or W.H. Smiths to see the covers particularly and to turn them over to read the blurb, lovely but they are so inconvenient.  Sorry, I am sure I will be shot down in flames for this but after spending several days reading a big hardback which I will discuss in a later blog it really was a pain.  Just so cumbersome and awkward whereas I can pick up my Kindle, other e-book readers are, of course, available and I can eat my lunch with one hand and drink my tea with the other, stir the dinner, make the print larger or smaller.  I don´t even have to put a lamp on in the dwindling evening light unless I want to as it is back lit.  I can read in bed without disturbing the other half.  Plus we haven´t even mentioned the pluses of travelling with one small item in your handbag instead of at least six hardbacks in your suitcase because yes that is what I did before going on holiday.  I used to go through the best selling lists at the library and reserve as many as I could and take them away with me. 

On the other hand there is always a thrill of seeing that new book sitting in anticipation looking at you with the smell of new pages daring you to “come on in and stay a while”.

There is one downside of e-books and an e-reader and that is, for me, that it is a bit like being in a sushi bar there are all these tempting dishes running past your nose and it is so easy to try this and that one because hey it is only a matter of pressing a button and if after a few chapters you aren´t immersed well there is another right behind it.

A friend of mine swore blind she would never ever go over to the dark side but the devil was out there and he tempted her so hard that she succumbed and now all her beloved books which she has had for years are nothing but dust. 

So what do you think?




  1. I’ve definitely gone over, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing! Think of all those trees we are saving! The things I love about ebooks are the instant gratification – if I want to read something, I just need to hit a button and it’s there – and the price. I can buy several ebooks for the same price as one paperback, and I don’t even have to pay for postage!

  2. I’m a bit in both camps on this one. I do love my Kindle for the convenience, but I also still enjoy my real books, although I totally agree with you about hefting a great hardback around being a pain. I still absolutely love the library and am a regular visitor – there’s nothing as satisfying as a coming home with a big bag of books to read – for free!

    Am very impressed you still remember the number of the bus that took you to the library as a child!

      1. Like Caroline I am a bit in both camps! For convenience, travelling, reading in bed and on the beach it’s e books but I regularly get library books and always buy a “hard copy” of any book we discuss at one of my book clubs.
        I remember all the bus numbers too. Number 30 to town and Paignton, 12 from Newton Abbot to
        Brixham etc. I still use buses a lot in Sydney as for us oldies it is cheap and convenient.

  3. Had to come visit from Mrs. M’s. I like both hard copies and e-books. Love my Kindle for novels and biographies…I check the Kindle Daily Deals religiously. I even put my Kindle in a Ziplock bag and read it in the bathtub! However, if it’s cheaper to buy a used hard copy than an e-book, I go that route. And I must have a hard copy for anything I may want to make notes in…I like flipping back through the pages to refer back to.

    Glad to discover your blog!

  4. Hello! I have discovered you thanks to Mrs M’s Meanderings. 🙂 I have a foot in both the Kindle and the ‘real’ book camp. I take my Kindle on holiday,which is excellent, but the rest of the time I read hard copies. Nothing can ever replace the look and, particularly, the feel of a real book. A visit to a book shop is one of life’s pleasures, and I am really cross that our local branch of Waterstone’s has closed. I have no idea why it’s closed, because it always seemed to be well used.

    1. Thank you ladies and thank you Mrs M for directing you here.

      From your comments it seems that most of us love the original hardbacks but also the convenience of the e-book. I have hardbacks which I haven’t picked up for a decade but to get rid of them would be like giving a child away!

  5. Oh I have tried with the Kindle….even the Kobo (which let’s me get UK books not released here) but I am still partial to a book. A proper turn the pages book. One I can pass on to a friend (if good enough – the book and the friend) or swap on a site I use or just keep to maybe re-read one day (those are few and far between). I am a huge fan (and volunteer) of the local library and get the same sort of kick now going in there are picking out books as I do when back in UK and browsing in Waterstones (or even some of the more popular titles in the supermarkets) (no real equivalent here)…
    But Kindle/Kobo is ALL I am going to take on holiday next month. So we’ll SEE what happens!

    1. Oh how I agree about passing on your books. After having read four “books” one after the other I did breathe a sigh of relief to get back to my Kindle for just easy of reading but when you pick up a new book which hasn´t been read by anyone else there is a thrill that you don´t get from an ebook. A bit like a new car smell.

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