E-books vs. Print Books

This is a pretty cliche topic but I do think it’s something that defines a reader.

Reading habits vary from reader to reader and of course, opinions do too.

I’ve had friends that read exclusively from Kindles or Nooks. You can instantly access hundreds of books and it’s so much more convenient to carry around. If you’re a fan of classics, a lot of them are free (although translations can sometimes be a little sketchy).

I’ve had other friends, that don’t own an e-reader. They borrow books from the library or buy them from the store. Of course, they are much bigger but there’s a certain novelty with having it in your hands.

I’m a fan of print books. I always will be. I love the scent of new books and the way the paper feels in my hands. The covers and the designs of chapter headers and pages on the book… I love it all. To me, it’s not something that translates well on to e-readers. I feel like e-readers are cold and they aren’t as fun to cuddle up with on a couch. There’s a monotonous clicking sound or a glare of light on your face. I like being able to relax on a couch and have a book in my hands.

I don’t have an e-reader. But I’m thinking of getting one, if only to help with my blogging in the future. For one, it makes reading e-galleys so much easier. I usually read books off of Netgalley on my laptop and it is such a pain. It’s probably the reason that I always end up trying to finish four books before they all simultaneously expire on the same day XD

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with preferring one over the other. But I have a couple of opinions on each. Why I prefer them or how I can see it’s benefit.

Electronic Readers


  • Portable
  • Can hold hundreds of books without having to take up more space
  • Easier to get e-galleys
  • Depending on your model, you may not need any type of lighting to read
  • Can easily look up definitions and take notes on certain parts
  • Nobody has to know what you’re reading if you don’t want them to
  • You can hide it under the covers more easily at night if you’re reading when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
  • Cheaper books
  • You can buy a lot of books with a $25 gift card
  • Pretty cases


  • Can feel cold and impersonal. Especially if you’re cold and then you touch it. Then you get even colder.
  • You don’t see the wear and tear (if you’re one of those people that like to have beat-up books)
  • If you drop it, it could die
  • Needs recharging. “DANGIT IT DIED! I WAS ON THE LAST CHAPTER!”
  • Depending on the e-book, stylization, fonts, colors, etc, may not show up. To me, it loses a sense of personalization.
  • No special additions like posters or limited-edition bookmarks
  • Downloading issues or technical difficulties
  • If you get mad, you can’t abuse an e-reader

Print Books


  • Each book looks different
  • Hardcover or paperback? Pick which one you want
  • You can fold the pages to mark your spot. (I can’t do that. It makes me cry.)
  • You can see how much you’ve read it simply by the condition of the book.
  • They look pretty on your shelf.
  • They have distinctive smells!
  • Authors can sign them
  • Limited edition gifts, covers, etc.
  • Designs and formatting are unique
  • Can be gifted
  • Collectable
  • Citations are easy because of page numbers.
  • You don’t have to buy every book


  • Take up a lot of space
  • Not portable. (Unless it’s a tiny mass-media paperback)
  • Requires adequate lighting to read
  • Cannot be in contact with water. Ever.
  • Easily damaged by improper care or clumsiness
  • Can be pricey
  • If you lend them to people, they might come back half-dead
  • If the library doesn’t have it, you end up having to buy it
  • No privacy about what you’re reading.
  • If nobody buys the book at the bookstore, the novels themselves may be wasted.

These were just a few of the good and bad things I thought of for each book format. Which do you prefer?


  1. One con to ebooks: the highlighting and note taking are just not the same. I like to underline passages, write notes in the margins. Sometimes, for some books, I even create my own index with page references, for those items I want to find later. My Kindle’s section called “My clippings” arranges my highlights by the date I did them. The notes I leave are also, sorted by date. Sure I can download the document, but it’s not visual. And I’m a visual person.


  2. I completely agree! I find it a hassle to go back through and find the bookmarks because they’re just organized so carefully. I like the spontaneity of handwritten notes.
    Thanks for visiting Dancing Through the Pages!


  3. One more item to add to the pros of the e-reader: You can take notes and highlight stuff without damaging the book. It indexes your notes. This comes very handy when reading stuff like history books and research articles. I take notes on fiction books too. Nook and Kindle index those notes and makes it very easy to find and access them.

    Another thing, you link up your facebook and twitter accounts from your e-reader and when you come across an awesome quote, you can just highlight and share it.
    E-readers also have a swipe mode for turning pages so you don’t have to press buttons. The new kindle and nook readers have very soft buttons which don’t click.

    To me it feels personal cause of the notes I take. I highlight a lot of quotes so running into my highlights when re-reading a favorite book feels nice. They make waterproof sleeves for the e-readers so you can read them at the beach without worrying about getting them wet.

    Also there are many nice e-reader cases, which protect them from damage. I don’t even know how many times I dropped mine on hard surfaces but nothing happened.

    For severe carpal tunnel sufferers and people with back pain issues, e-readers are great. Hard copy books can be very painful to hold especially if they are thick and heavy. But the e-readers are very light and you can read them while laying on your back, without excruciating pain.


  4. I didn’t think of these but they’re great reasons! I guess I’m a little (*cough a lot*) biased towards print books. Maybe I’ll think about these next time I consider buying an eReader.
    Thanks for visiting Dancing Through the Pages!


  5. Can I have both?! PLEASE. XD Okay, I do love physical more, but I think this is a big part to do with the fact my ereader is my iPod and, um, it’s a bit uncomfortable to read books on a screen so small. 😦 And I also love to look at something physical. Virtual is awesome, but nothing says “book lover” like an enormous bookshelf of delicious paperbacks, right?! XD


  6. I really love the print books, especially the illustrated ones (like the deluxe illustrated edition of The Silmarillion!) but it’s too painful to read for prolonged times with severe carpal tunnel.


  7. I agree! Having a giant, full bookshelf makes me immensely happy! Print books just make that part of my book-loving soul very pleased.
    Thanks for visiting Dancing Through the Pages!


  8. Yes! These editions are so pretty (and oftentimes smell good lol).
    That sucks. I hope your severe carpal tunnel improves or at least feels better during your reading.


  9. I agree with Cait — I have no preference. As your post nicely lays out, both have pros and cons. I have the cheapest kindle for review ARCs and I love always having that in my bag. But there’s nothing like a “real” book!
    Jen @ YA Romantics


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