I Like Printed Books!

I just read an article about print vs. digital textbooks on this blog and pretty much agree with the article, which you can check out here: http://www.onlinedegrees.org/e-textbooks-vs-print-textbooks

<b>Please Include Attribution to OnlineDegrees.org With This Graphic</b> </br><a href=”http://www.onlinedegrees.org/e-textbooks-vs-print-textbooks”><img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/infographics/21etextbooks.jpg&#8221; alt=”E-Textbooks Infographic” width=”500″ border=”0″ /></a><br />

While many people I know already download reading material on their tablets and carry around as many as a thousand books with them, I still don’t think I’ll ever give up printed books for several reasons.

I like the feel of a good solid printed book in your hand, and each book has its own feel. Hard bound, soft bound, cloth bound–they all feel different. Inside pages also are different from one book to the next, as are the edges of the pages. I have recently noticed several hard bound books with rough-cut edges which gives them a quaint appearance and feeling and spares you from paper cuts. I love touching the embossed designs on some covers and many covers are worthy of being called art. I love the smell of paper and pages, especially of freshly-pressed books with that crisp, inky new-book smell. Sure, it might be the chemicals in the paper and the ink, but  it still smells good! I love the feeling of flipping the page or sliding my fingers on the top or sides to separate the page I am reading from the next one, ready to turn as soon as I reach the bottom. I love stuffing a large coat pocket with a book and feeling the book through the cloth, knowing that I can read it when I want because pocketbooks were meant to be carried around in pockets. I love having the option to write in the margins or mark my favourite parts, even if I don’t really write on the margins–but I know some people who do. I love collecting bookmarks of all sorts and peppering my books with bookmarks so I can open any one of them and return to a page that, for some reason, a long time ago, I wanted to be able to return to, then realize why I wanted to bookmark that page. I love to grab a book and open it to any page at random and take a peek at what’s on that page. It sometimes makes me want to read the whole book, or reminds me that I have read that book already. I like seeing the whole page at one glance and skipping ahead to the last paragraph on the page or peeking at the facing page to see where the story is leading, or maybe peeking back at the previous page to recall certain details. I can read it without having to spend on upgrades or batteries. I can read books in any light at any angle and I don’t have to worry about magnets of scanners or any other device that might destroy all my book files. I can look at the pictures as closely or as far as I want and still see the whole picture. And the page.

When I study something, I like having my own book, because I do write in the margins of my textbooks. I mark parts and cross-reference them with other parts. I can flip back and forth and then look at two or more pages at the same time, holding the in-between pages straight up. I can put in several bookmarks and skip back and forth or curl the pages and save all the places I want to go back to. I know exactly where to find the table of contents or the index or appendices and if I need to without having to scroll through a page-less text. I like running my fingers across the spines of books on a shelf or in a pile, tilting my head to read titles standing sideways, studying the fonts and the colours.

A book will never hang on me, never run out of batteries, and can be dried with a flat iron. I don’t have to worry about dropping it or smashing it. I don’t have to worry that it will become obsolete. I don’t have to worry about running out of space to add more books because the memory only holds so many books. I don’t have to pay a subscription to anyone and don’t need to worry about not having a credit card to buy something online where only credit cards are accepted.  If I need a replacement, I can get a new edition or a used copy for a very low price. I can open two books at the same time, or three, or ten, which is great when you are researching or studying and have several references that you want to compare. I think of all the people in the world who don’t even have a computer, let alone a tablet, because they can’t afford either. For the price of the cheapest tablet, I could get as many 10 books. Why would I buy the tablet and then pay for downloads of those 10 books on top of it all? I can see my real books and know I have them and just seeing them reminds me that I might want to read another book, or reminds me that I have read so much. Just seeing so many books around me gives me a cozy, comforting feeling, knowing that each book on my shelves is unique in so many ways.

I don’t see myself getting a tablet any time soon or anytime ever, as long as there are real books somewhere–even if they are just in my little library where I keep the books I want to keep. Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I like my books to look and feel and smell like books.

As far as digital vs. print textbooks are concerned, it’s print for me.


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