Thursday, September 3, 2015

Paperback vs. E-book

Do you have any idea how nice it feels to hold a book in your hands? Those milky white pages and beautiful fonts are a sight for sore eyes. That musty smell or that fresh paper one! If I could match the word cozy with an odor, this would be it. There's a sense of satisfaction when I can feel the pile of pages in my left hand growing and the one in my right shrinking.
Then we have the e-books. Long hours of squinting at my little phone and blinking away tears from my burning eyes. The lurking possibility of eye damage just a stone's throw away. Those repeated calculations of how far I've gotten in the book, as compared to the actual book count. (because I must know exactly how much of I've read of the original book)*
I despise the long hours of swiping at the screen which comes no where close to flipping pages and having a stiff thumb. Let's not forget the fact that I actually got glasses because I ended up binge-reading for an entire month on the laptop.

Sadly, studies show that readers absorb less on e-readers than physical copies. This is absolutely true. I know it first hand! (Believe me, my memory power capabilities are poor regardless of the book reading medium I'm using). But alas, I don't have the convenience of being able to buy books as fast as I read them. Nor do I have a library (of any kind) anywhere near my locality. So all I have to settle for is the fifty or so, odd books in my house that I've read multiple times and one measly cabinet of half-filled shelves from college. I don't have friends who read books so no one I know owns a decent novel. **
So unless there is rich benefactor out there who is willing to sponsor my book reading hobbies, I must settle for e-books. The next time you try to start a 'E-books vs. Physical Copies' battle, just try to put yourself in their shoes. We don't all have the luxury to buy books whenever we want to so we must settle for what we can get. If I were to be adamant about physical books (like I used to), I'd end up only ever reading my college textbooks.

In the end, I'll always favor a 'book book' over an e-book. But until I grow older and get a decent job, I'll have to settle for virtual reading.

The E-book vs. Physical Copies battle is a completely acceptable 'battle' but let's not take it too far and bash on others. We all enjoy reading and each person prefers something different. Let's just put aside our differences and try to remember that we are in fact reading the same stories; no matter the medium.

P.S. If I could, I'd build libraries everywhere in the world and abolish e-books. But that is just a pipe dream.


*In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me give you an example. Let's say you're reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. The pdf copy on your phone is 73 pages but Goodreads says the actual book has 118. So I do the following calculation:
number of pages I've read/ 73=e-percentage read (E.P.R)
(E.P.R) x 118= actual number of pages that I've read (if I had the physical copy)

This is the only satisfaction I can manage.


**On a side note, if one more person tells me that they have a Chetan Bhagat book when I ask them about their book collection, I will die.
No offense to the author, I just don't like his work.