I love real books!

Amazon Kindle cracked why I love real books ZoeAtHome.com

Those cracks on the side are proof you should never let your kids play with your Kindle!

I need to read. Even though I’ve always budgeted carefully, I never scrimp on books. Even when I was a poor student, I still allowed myself to buy a book a week.

In fact, that’s how I learned that clever budgeting allows you to have a few small luxuries even on a limited income.

I opened an Amazon account a long time ago, as often the books were cheaper that way, even with freight and the high US dollar (which shows just how expensive some things are Australia). When they began to ship the Kindle internationally, I eagerly ordered one. Now, it was possible to cut out freight charges altogether, and with the strengthening Aussie dollar, reading became much more affordable for our family. Plus it seemed a much more environmentally-friendly way to read.

Soon after, tablets became popular, and if you had one you could avoid buying Amazon’s device as well. I’ve since discovered that you can publish your own book on Amazon’s network or on eJunkie very cheaply too. No publishing contract required.

It’s as if the book has become unbound in every sense of the word.

But since embracing this technology, I’ve come to realise just how much I love real books. I like to be able to flip forward and see what’s coming up in the next chapter; I like knowing where I’m up to. And when a book takes a physical form, it reminds me to read it. There are a few books on my tablet I never finished simply because I didn’t have that physical reminder.

I also like the tactile quality of real books. I like nice cover designs and authoritative fonts. And I like being able to lend helpful books to my friends. It’s so reassuring to have a book in your bag, or on your bedside table.

Huffington Post blogging guide ZoeAtHome.

Why did they decide to publish the ‘definitive’ guide to blogging on paper?!

Recently, my favourite independent bookshop closed down. I’d supported them for years, always going out of my way to buy from them instead of the big chain stores. But now even the chain stores are doing it tough in Australia, I think because they joined the eBook revolution too late. So perhaps it’s time to start buying real books again, or we will all be denied the pleasure of walking around a bookshop and discovering something we’d love to read.

We are living in a small space, so we have to keep our book collection under control. We go to the library often, and we sell and donate boxes of books regularly. But no matter how hard I try to be a minimalist, or how bad I feel about the impact on the environment, I can’t give up the thrill I get from sitting down with a great book.

What do you prefer to read: real or electronic books?

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14 thoughts on “I love real books!

  1. I love them all…. Just last week I was teasing my daughter when I walked in on her “smelling her book”. There is something like a book smell!

    But If I had all the books I own on my Kindle, Nook and the random ebooks I own on my tablet I would have a room full of books.

    So I own the classics in paper. And the rest are e-books.

  2. I’m in a similar boat.

    I’ve got a reasonably large collection of books – around 800 volumes – that takes up a lot of space. In recent time I’ve made sure I really only buy on the Kindle, yet, I miss scrolling through the “real book”. I miss smelling the dusty pages. I miss the feel of it in my hand.

    In some ways I also sense I’m moving back toward the “real book”. However in a pursuit for a minimalist or simple lifestyle I am wondering about capping the amount of books I have and even going ahead an selling some of the current volumes to save space.

    • It can be hard to part with books, but it does make room for more. Recenly, we took a box of books to what we thought was a book exchange, but actually turned out to be a second-hand book dealer. I was about to walk away, but the guy gave me $50 for my books! So we all went out for lunch to celebrate.

  3. I don’t have an electronic reader yet, and can’t imagine when that will be, if ever. However, I can see their advantages. I’m a big fan of local, independent book stores, but they are becoming an endangered retail species. Our town of 100,000 does have three local, independent used bookstores, however. I get to enjoy the real thing and celebrate the local economy and relax with the fact that it’s used! There are a couple of used book sales each year that support scholarships and programs for the local library, which are always so fun to visit and invest in treasures cheaply.

    It is a challenge, though, to keep the collection reasonable. I need to take advantage of your tips, from that earlier post. There’s a cool site in the US, PaperBackSwap.com, where you list books you’d like to give away and list books you’d like to get (not just paperbacks), all for free. Each book you send to someone equals a point and a point is worth one book you can receive. Doesn’t help you get rid of too many books (as one equals one), but great to send to other people and use your credits for the books you really want or for gifts. After a quick search, I found a site for Australia that seems to operate on the same concept, http://www.bookswapaustralia.com.au/.

    • Thanks so much for that link! I’ll definitely check it out. We buy a lot of books, so we have a lot of quality books we could swap.

  4. Yes I have a Kindle and I do enjoy it. I sometimes pay to download books but I also look for for free downloads on Amazon as well. I buy second hand books on Amazon as well, often the only way to buy a specific book. I borrow from the library and when I can’t afford a new hardback they will order it in. The only problem with new library books they can take forever to come in, I’ve been waiting six weeks on my last reservation. The book hasn’t even been delivered from the supplier yet. My favourite place for books is the charity/thrift shop. Books can be new releases and they only charge £1 which I think is about 50 cents, bargains like that I really enjoy. I like to keep my books but I do return some to the charity shop. I have recently started recollecting books that go back as far as my childhood and they are very special. I miss recommending books because most of the people I know don’t read and I find that very sad. The book I recommend the most is Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, you would either love it or hate it, unfortunately for most people it’s the later. Other than it being set in a surreal world it’s very funny. Great Blog!

  5. I was never a big reader. Ebooks changed all that though. After college I started reading ebooks on my iPad, but I just recently got a Kindle Paperwhite which is a lot smaller, easier on my eyes, and more convenient to throw in my purse. The battery life is excellent, and it does well in sunlight. I definitely prefer eBooks because I can bring multiple books and read anywhere (outside, in a dark room, etc), and my progress syncs across devices if for some reason I’m reading on the computer or my phone waiting in line. I take advantage of my local library’s ebooks which have a pretty decent selection, but if there’s a book I really want and they don’t have, I buy the ebook from Amazon.

    • Hello Andrea, it’s great to hear the other point of view! I forgot to mention the portability aspect, as that’s one of the reasons we bought a Kindle. We’d just been overseas and had carted a few books around with us. Then the Kindle was released and we thought, “what a great idea!”

  6. I still love ‘real’ books, though I do enjoy e-audio books on my ipod while exercising. I sell and swap and donate books too… wish I could give someone the huge unabridged dictionary I found in my basement when unpacking (I already have one upstairs). It’s too big to mail, so I’ll have to find a local recipient.

  7. I use the Kindle app on iphone and ipad and very often read on the iphone when I have a spare few minutes when I’m out and about. I now only buy books I either collect or particularly want in paper form (often 2nd hand) or else if it’s something that isn’t available electronically. Everything else I read electronically – and if the book wasn’t very good, I feel less guilty as I’ve not wasted paper!! However, the drawback is that if I read a great book, I can’t lend it to family and friends, no matter how much I enthuse…

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