Books or E-Readers – Which are Best?

I was one of those people who took one look at e-readers and immediately decided that I didn’t want one. I liked the look and feel of a paper book and had a stockpile of titles which I had yet to read. I didn’t think that using one of the new devices would be an experience I would enjoy and I had no intention of ever bothering with them. I was then forced to reassess the situation when I waged by annual war with my holiday luggage and yet again found myself with too little room to take the number of books I needed. Suddenly an e-reader was looking like an attractive proposition and I was lucky enough to receive one for my Birthday.


Clearly e-readers win hands down here. If you want to travel with several books at your disposal you can run into trouble especially if you are trying to get away with just hand luggage on a flight. There is no doubt about it, paper books take up a lot of room and they are heavy too. An e-reader will hold as many books as you could want whilst taking up no space at all. There is also the issue of home storage. My study is cluttered with shelves of paperbacks and I often have to make a trip the charity shop to create some room. My new Kindle should eventually mean that I have a great deal more space at my disposal.


An e-reader requires a significant initial investment and the cost of a new title is no cheaper than a hard copy. Books can purchased cheaply from boot fairs and charity shops and so on the face of it paper books are more cost effective but that is not the whole story. There are frequently brilliant offers online for e-books and Amazon and as there is no postage to pay these represent brilliant value. I now regularly download titles for just a few pence and I don’t have to travel or park to get them. Amazon also has a healthy selection of free titles and so an e-reader even beats the library for value.


An e-book can be downloaded in seconds from any location. If you stuck at home sick or are away on holiday and have run out of reading material you can solve the issue instantly without having to get out of your chair.


I had feared that I would not enjoy the experience of reading books on a screen but in the event I could not have been more wrong. The benefits of an e-reader when it comes to size and convenience should be fairly obvious whether you own one or not, but the most unexpected benefit for me was the ease of reading them. Like many people of a certain age my eyes are not what they were and I need reading glasses to focus on anything close to my face. Even with my reading specs in place, books can be difficult to focus on under some lighting conditions but the back-lit e-reader is always crystal clear and can be read in the dark.

And the Winner is….

Well, you have probably guessed that I am a complete convert. E-readers win hand down for me and I have found only two minor issues to contend with. You have to turn them off during take-off and landing whilst flying and if you want to use them for a long period of time whilst out of the house your reading is limited to the battery life. Neither of these issues has proved troubling thus far and so I may never buy a paper book again.


Article by Sally Stacey