I don't think one way has to be "better" than the other. For me, the two complimentary. As long as I'm reading, I'm happy. And studies are showing that there is virtually no difference between the two methods of reading. So I thought I'd list my personal pros and cons of print versus digital.
|Silver Lake at the local book store (far right)|
Print: First and foremost, reading a bound book has a strong emotional attachment for me. I've been an avid reader since I was a child, and once that book is in my hands, I feel like it's officially time to relax and enter another world. There is something very soothing about the feel of a book. I can flip through the pages, use the bookmarks my kids have made for me, and not have to worry my book will need charging. There are no messages popping up from other programs to distract me, no temptation to quickly check my email or social media. The cover art remains easily visible, which often enhances the story. At home, I love to see my favorite books decorating the shelf. Finally, as an author, I like print copies because I can sign them for people!
|Highlights of Gull Harbor on Kindle|
Digital: There is no argument for me when it comes to travel--e-readers are essential. I can remember almost filling a suitcase with books for a long trip once in the 90's. Now the airlines would charge me a bundle for that! I can store all the titles I want on one device, and download a new read almost instantly. So it's no problem if I run out of reading material at an inconvenient time--I don't need to run back to the hotel room or to the store. I particularly love the feature which allows a reader to look up the definition of an unfamiliar word. Finally, digital books require no paper--a plus for the environment.
Cost-wise, it depends on how much a person is reading. E-books are less expensive, and many are offered free at times. However, the device itself can be pricey.
I don't think e-books will ever completely replace print books--I think they can co-exist peacefully quite well. As a writer, I spend an incredible amount of time in front of a screen already, so I do feel more relaxed with a bound book in my hands. However, I've embraced the new technology and found a number of benefits for the digital platform, even beyond what I listed above. I'd love to hear comments--what's your preference?