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Donn King


10 Ways Print Books Are Better Than Ebooks

As I said, I prefer print books. But the last few years I've mostly acquired ebooks for all the reasons I mention here. Still, print books are a treat. Here are a few reasons why.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

    1. Print books never run out of battery.

    2. I have never killed a bug with an ebook.

    3. It's much easier to browse a print book.

    Sure, you can browse an ebook. You can even go to random "locations." But it is just easier to literally thumb through a print book. Plus, it's more satisfying.

    4. Serendipitous finds come easier with print books.

    I can much more easily browse the shelves of a bookstore than I can browse Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. Used bookstores are a treasure trove of obscure titles. Even Goodwill can produce unexpected treasures.

    5. There are no book stores that specialize in used ebooks.

    I don't think you can even buy or sell a "used" ebook. What would that even mean?

    6. Print books provide an all-around sensory experience.

    You can't smell an ebook. You can't feel its heft in your hands. The sound of turning pages.

    7. Print books maintain the memory and the spirit of interaction.

    Thumb prints. Coffee stains. Marginalia. Inscriptions. Handwritten gift notes. I have books from the 1800s that still bear traces of those past interactions, and I will leave my imprint on books for others to find.

    8. Print books can be autographed.

    A Sharpie on a Kindle just makes a mess.

    9. Physical books inhabit and infuse physical libraries.

    There is nothing quite like going into a space dedicated to the storage and circulation of books in a library. It feels like what it used to feel like going into a cathedral. My Kindle just can't do that.


    10. Print books can be passed on.

    My oldest son died at age 32 about five years ago. He loved his books. Along with his ashes in an urn, several of those books sits on my desk. I am connected to him still partly through the books he left me, a few of which I had given him to begin with. The permanency of print books can't compare to the convenience of ebooks.

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