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With books becoming more expensive every year and Kindles offering more advantages, the question arises whether you should keep on purchasing books, or should you change to Kindle-reading?
Kindle is a better option than books especially when you are someone who travels a lot. Kindle allows you access to thousands of books at any point. Moreover, you can also get free books on Kindle. Furthermore, Kindle is also an eco-friendly option for reading!
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Kindles and paper books to make it easier for you to decide what “reading route” you want to take.
Major Advantages of Using a Kindle over Physical Books
Using a Kindle has advantages. Even if you are a “paper-book person” you’ll have to agree that there are advantages to using a Kindle over physical books. We’ve found five major advantages that can make it worthwhile for some frequent readers to consider buying a Kindle.
1. Book is Always Available and Classics Are Free
If you’re a Kindle reader, you don’t have to worry anymore about transporting piles of books from and to the library. The source of your books is available on your Kindle.
You are carrying a whole library with you wherever you are going with your Kindle. You literary have thousands of books available and you are physically only carrying your Kindle.
You also don’t have to leave the book you are reading at home when you commute or travel just because it is too bulky to take with you. As you finish a book, you can order your new book wherever you have internet access and it can be downloaded onto your Kindle and ready for you to read within minutes.
You never have to wait again for the library or bookshop to open to get new books to read. And if you like to read classics, the good news is that apart from the thousands of books available on Kindle your favorite classics are available anytime and they are free!
2. Easy To Read and Handle
You can customize the font size, the font thickness, and even the page layout on your Kindle to make it comfortable for you to read your book. The small print in books doesn’t bother you anymore.
The Paperwhite technology of the Kindle also makes it possible to read in dim light and even in the dark without putting too much strain on your eyes. Kindles are also easier to hold than paper books, and they don’t fall apart as some paper books.
3. Kindles Are Eco-Friendly
The trend nowadays of some authors and publishers to only publish e-books and no paper books, or at least fewer paper books, makes e-readers like the Kindle very eco-friendly.
Their view is that it is content that makes an impact on the reader and not the paper it is written on. When less paper is used, fewer trees have to be cut down!
4. A Kindle Provides Privacy
There are times that you don’t want to reveal what you are reading publicly. The cover of a paper book tells everyone what you are reading.
Your Kindle doesn’t have a cover or a name and thus, nobody can see what you are reading.
5. Built-in DictionaryDictionary
When you read a paper book and come to an unknown word you often just skip the word because your dictionary (or mobile for an online search) is not nearby.
With a Kindle, you can within seconds get the meaning of the word. All you have to do is to press on the word for a few seconds and the meaning appears.
Drawbacks of Using Kindle Over Physical Books
As with most things in life, there are always pros and cons when considering something to buy or to change. Having and using a Kindle definitely has advantages as indicated above, but there are also some drawbacks that have to be taken into consideration.
We gladly share with you some of the drawbacks of using a Kindle over physical books that we’ve found.
1. Reading Experience is Not the Same as a Physical Book
If you are used to “thumb through” a book before or while reading or like to page back to re-read some parts, you’ll struggle with a Kindle. You can’t do this with your Kindle.
Because you can’t page back and forward on your Kindle like in your physical book, you might also find it difficult to do research on your Kindle.
2. Kindle Needs to be Charged
Although there are Kindles that are waterproof, most readers agree that they can’t relax in the tub with their Kindle as with a book.
Being an electronic gadget, it has to be charged from time to time. It might happen that the batteries have to be recharged when you want to finish your book.
3. Kindle Creates More Eyestrain Comparitively
Although Kindles use e-Ink technology staring at its screen can strain your eyes. When you read paper books in natural light your eyes are not strained so much.
Studies have also shown that people who read a book with reflected, natural light instead of a Kindle retain more of what they read.
4. It’s harder to share a Kindle Book than a Paper Book
It is possible to “loan” a book on your Kindle to somebody for a few days by removing that book temporarily from your Kindle. But it is not the same as when you loan a friend a treasured book. Sharing a favorite paper book is a much more personal, emotional act than just sharing a Kindle book.
It is also much easier to keep a paper book on the shelf and everybody can read it whenever they want instead of wondering whose Kindle has the book now.
When you’ve purchased for instance a travel journal with beautiful pictures you can leave it on your coffee table for others to enjoy as well. You can’t leave your Kindle book on the shelf!
5. Can’t Mark Section to Read Again
Many readers like to mark a sentence that really speaks to them, or mark sections to go back to when studying. Some even follow a color-coded method to make it easy to refer back to important sections.
Kindle does allow you to add bookmarks and highlight sections, but it is not the same as a physical book.
6. Kindle Doesn’t Allow you to Admire Your Bookshelf!
If you love a paper book and keep it, it is always on the shelf where you can see it. And like an old friend, you can stop by and page through it again and read favorite parts over and over.
Sometimes the section in the book you read again is just what you need to bring you in a better mood for the day – just like an old friend.
With a Kindle, the book also stays in your Kindle library, but it will never catch your eye on an “off” day to enhance your mood.
Kindle or a Book: What Should You Go For?
Now that you know about some of the main pros and cons of reading with a Kindle, the question is “What should you go for – Kindle or book?”
Apart from the main issues we’ve discussed already, there are other aspects that you can also keep in mind when you have to decide whether it should be the “Kindle-way” or the “Paper-book-way,” or perhaps a combination.
Interesting, if you follow readers’ blogs you’ll find that there are actually three distinctive groups of readers:
Who Should Go For a Physical Book?
If you are someone who loves to experience of reading, touching of paper, having fancy bookmarks inserted in the book, then physical books are the way to go for you.
If you are not technologically adept and don’t want to spend time learning how to operate Kindle and its features, it is best that you continue reading physical books!
Who Should Read on a Kindle?
The biggest advantage of a Kindle is that you get access to several books at once without adding weight to lug around!
So, if you travel a lot, Kindle is perfect for you! If you don’t mind adapting to new technology and having a new reading experience, Kindle is definitely a good choice for you!
Combination of Physical Books and Kindle!
There is no harm in going with both the physical books as well as a Kindle!
When you want to relax or smell and feel the real books, you can choose to go with the physical books. Whereas you can choose to use a Kindle when you are commuting to work or traveling!
Another way of using the two books together is when you are reading multiple books at the same time. You can carry your physical book with you. But, you can read your second book on the Kindle since it is just so much easier to take your books on Kindle!
About the Author
Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.