Friday, September 7, 2012

EBooks v. Real Books

I love being in a book club, especially one called "The Woohoo Girls Bookclub." I love that we spend 15 minutes discussing the book, 5 minutes picking the new one, and then 1.5 hours discussing work, boys and celebrity gossip. We all agree that Ryan Gosling would be very welcome at one of our meetings and that Ryan Lochte seems like a douche.

One thing we cannot agree on however, is whether real books or Ebooks are the way to go. Some girls  love the feel, texture, smell, and visual quality of regular books and are staunch non-believers that a screen could give them the same experience. I switched over to an Ipad with the Kindle app a few years ago and have never looked back. Here are a few reasons why Ebooks are great, even if they are the demise of the book publishing community:

Nook Color

Kindle Fire


1) Choosing your settings

The ability to change font, backlighting, colors and text size are nice options. People whose eyesight has become a challenge because of age/arm length restrictions have noted they love being able to change the font to a bigger size without having to buy large text books (which are not readily available). I personally love that I can read in bed with a black background/white font while Bill sleeps beside me. Four tiny book lights bit the dust right before I switched to Ebooks, and this option is infinitely better. I also love the ability to instantaneously look up a word if you don't know what it means. Yay for learning new stuff!

2) Enormous libraries

Have you ever travelled on a plane? Have you ever travelled on a plane to another continent? Have you  ever travelled on a plane to another continent with 3 enormous hard cover books? Yeah, I never want to do that again either. With an Ereader you can download all the Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey & Self Help books you've been meaning to read and they all fit in exactly the same amount of room in your bag. Plus no one gives you the stink eye when they see the jacket covers.


With all the digital formats that files, photos and books come in now, it is amazing to think that only one of the benefits is space saving. No longer do we need boxes upon boxes filled with books that you are only going to read once and then try to give to as many of your friends as you can the week before you move. My first full time job was as an assistant to an art advisor and we moved 3 separate times while I was there (including to and from an apartment on a 5th floor walk up). Since I was the ONLY EMPLOYEE it was my job to pack and unpack everything in our office, including the 25 boxes of books & catalogs we needed to look up artists and auction records. Guess how much I would have enjoyed simply breaking out an Ipad and saying "Done packing all the books!" as opposed crying by myself and wishing I had gone into finance instead.*

So perhaps electronics have led to a downfall of book publishing and newsprint, I on the other hand think they are a great alternative to all the trees that now get to live, boxes that don't have to be packed and all the backs that don't have to have surgery from heavy bookbags.

*I realize that it would not have been realistic to keep all our catalogs and auction records on one Ipad, but I like to pretend like it could have been an alternative. Ipads do have nice screens, I think clients would have loved the glossy, high-tech effect of presenting art that way. Slideshow anyone?

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