Paper or Digital? #MPBooks

A personal look at paper versus digital books. Is one better then the other? Which would you prefer?

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E-reader and books
E-reader and books
Image cropped from Pixabay.com

Paper or digital? That’s what I’d like to talk about today. The rise of digital books has really brought more people into reading and made it easier for us to read on the go with a simple and light e-reader holding a whole array of books at the touch of a finger. But are digital books really that good? Do you prefer them to the physically written word? Or is there a place for both in our worlds today?

My experience of digital books is actually pretty short compared to others. I’ve always had a passion for books but for years the word ‘book’ meant a physical object made of paper which I’d get by walking into a local bookstore or public library. I never really warmed to the idea of a digital book, it seemed a fun concept but nothing, in my mind, could replace a physical weighty tome of delicious smelling paper and print.

But something changed when I found a book I was interested in reading but I couldn’t get hold of the physical copy. I was desperate to read this book and took the plunge and got the digital version instead. Reading in digital felt weird at first. I couldn’t get used to the small size of the e-reader or the lack of that wonderful papery smell (I’m a bit of a book-sniffer!). But as time went on, and the story I read unfolded, I found myself engrossed in the words of the text. When I’d finally finished reading it I was amazed at how emotionally affected I was by the fiction I’d read. It was every bit as exciting and gut-wrenching as it would have been if I’d read a paper copy.

Thus began a love of both the physical print and the digital. I always found physical books, both paper and hardbacks more pleasing to read, but I no longer saw digital as ‘worse’. Searching for digital books brought me into the online world of books, somewhere I’d never really been before. Until then my life and association with books was firmly where I could go and physically take them home with me then and there. But digital books led me to a new world and one I’m happy I entered.

As a newbie to this new land I became obsessed with finding new books.  It was easy to buy and download the digital tomes and I found myself searching, more and more, for free or discounted books.  My e-reader grew ‘fat’ with new releases and I became a little click-happy with my mouse at NetGalley too, requesting far too many books for the time I had to read. Digital books didn’t take up the same shelf space as physical books so it was easy to end up with too many ARCs (advanced reading copies) without noticing them sitting in the corner of the shelf every day.

My love of digital books was short lived though. After a few years of reading on screens more than paperbacks, I started to get sick of it. It wasn’t just the beautiful book smell I missed (I mean really, really missed!) but the whole feel of having a book my hands. The view of words printed on paper, paper that could last for hundreds of years, and the way the pages never glared at me, it was something I couldn’t live without. It wasn’t just a want for the physical book but a need. I’ve never been good with screens and after many months of reading screens my eyes started to protest. I’d get headaches and nausea from spending long periods reading digital books, it became tiresome and painful to enjoy what should have been fun.

So today I read very few books digitally. I haven’t put a ban on digital books and can and do choose to still read some in times when I’m not feeling ill. But the fact is that these days I’m back to reading paper or hardbacks (Audio books are a completely different subject). I can feel the book in my hands, read without discomfort. I can smell a book repeatedly (I do this with magazines too – Am I weird!?) and flip all the pages over and over just because I like the sound it makes, and I can also take pictures of my books to stick on instagram.

I haven’t entirely turned my back on digital. I still read the odd NetGalley ARC, but these days if I want to buy a book I’ll stick with the paperback. Am I missing out on some great reads? Possibly, some books are only printed digitally. But the fact is I love a paperback or hardback book.  I can’t get enough of them.  There’s a definite place for digital books in our world and I can see the great benefits they bring to so many, the ease in taking digital copies to work, having hundreds and thousands of books at the touch of a button…

But in the digital versus paper argument I choose paper every time, I always have, I always will. 

Which would you choose? Paper or digital?  Is one really better than the other?


Do you love physical books or are you now a love of digital, or both?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you 🙂   You can find me here too:

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Author: mypeacockbooks

Books, Art, Poetry & Peacocks! I'm a girl who enjoys blogging, reading, being arty and showing off 'Phoenix' the Peacock to everyone I meet!

25 thoughts on “Paper or Digital? #MPBooks”

      1. Yeah, I guess.😂 I used to always read on the Kindle with only a very rare paper book and admit that a paperwhite makes it easier to read in the darker night months. But, since blogging and receiving ARC’s it’s rekindled my love for proper books.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m a both fan. I also thought ebook reading was weird at first but now I’ve come to enjoy it because if I don’t know a word, all I have to do is click it and i get a definition. It’s also nice not to have to lug around multiple books because they’re all contained in one space. A lot of indie authors I follow are on ebook only because of the world of publishing and if they do produce a paperback, its extremely expensive but generally if I love an author I’ll buy both formats. It’s all about the support!
    (Sorry, long comment, lol)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love long comments don’t apologise 🙂 I forgot about the definition feature of kindle. Yes that’s something useful, although I downloaded a dictionary app into my phone so I can check words in books that way, lol. I definitely understand the indie author issues around paperbacks though, shame it’s so expensive to do print copies :/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I only just got a kindle, i was using the kindle app on my phone. But, i still read and buy books. I havent given e reading a proper try. One reason for getting an ereader was my declutter project and sometimes i read two books at once. But i am still old school.. with pencil in hand..i read non fiction the most.

    Cat, i love that you are doing these types of variety posts. I am not a super reader like yourself..therefore when u do post like this i do enjoy them.. but thats just me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s nothing wrong with being old school, especially with non fiction books 🙂

      Thank you so much for saying that. Im honesty so nervous when I write a post like this one. I really wasn’t sure anybody would be interested in reading it. But I log in today and see it’s had 8 Facebook shares and 2 LinkedIn ones. Can’t honestly see why it has so many, I didn’t think it was that interesting. Your encouragement has really given me a boost, thank you so much. I will try to do more different posts ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I read about half paper and half ebooks. Most of my new fiction purchases, however, are ebooks, because I’ve run out of space to accommodate them physical books. All my reference books are physical books. Ereaders are not very good with illustrations and I can often be switching between two (or more) books at the same time when I’m doing research, as well as flicking backwards and forwards through them. I don’t find this very comfortable with ebooks. Their indeces don’t always function very well, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree about pictures in ebooks. They are often very small and sometimes impossible to enlarge. I don’t think I’ve ever bought an e-reference book for all the valid reasons you point out. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting, I really appreciate it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Paper books will always be my favourite! I have only recently got an e-reader app on my phone and use it for new books and poetry written by bloggers I follow as well as trying out new (to me) authors. If I like the book and think I’d read it again I will get a hard copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I honestly have a hard time picking between the two. I love books in their classic form because of their nice new book smell (or old book smell, depending on how long I’ve had them) and I get to decorate my home with them. (I’m what you would call book hoarder.) But when I’m on the go, digital format wins! How many books can I realistically fit in my bag? Maybe a handful, if I got lucky. But that would be quite heavy. But in one thin device, I can carry hundreds of books with me! 😀 The consensus? For my day to day life… paperback books all the way!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, another paperback lover 😀 !!! I don’t personally like scuffing the edges of books though so I do prefer a device when outdoors plus I can’t see myself going away with a massive pile of books, although I do seem to always find the space to bring books home with me wherever I go! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I prefer paper to digital. Especially when I can get my hands on a hardback edition of a book for my shelf. Though sometimes when I rent books from the library, I have no choice but to go with digital. I also enjoy audiobooks as an alternative. But nothing beats relaxing with a good physical copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely post, I really enjoyed reading this 🙂 I thought that I would never really love e-books, but about two years ago, I had to invest in an e-reader and I have to admit it’s really practical, especially when you’re traveling. But I always miss the feeling of a real book, turning the pages, smelling the book (I’m weird ahahah) and everything else that comes with having a real book in my hands ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be honest I’m not sure how writers make a living with digital books being so cheap sometimes, they definitely deserve to be paid a decent amount for writing their stories though. I think self published authors can and do sell their books very cheaply to drum up sales but I’m not sure how profitable it is for them, I don’t think free books ever nets an author any profit. I agree, paper is so much nicer 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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