Friday, 5 June 2015

Physical Books vs. Kindle

Points for Physical Book
Points for Kindle or Kindle app
DEPENDABLE – my paperback is not going to run out of charge or mysteriously delete a file.
COST – Despite their wacky price structure, ebooks are almost always cheaper, as you can avoid all the physical costs like ink, paper and shipping.
UBIQUITOUS – I can read a physical book in school during a free class, whereas, because ebooks are less common, I can’t use a Kindle app on my iPad or iPod to read. Everyone knows what a book is.
HANDY – I carried four reading-for-pleasure books around in my bag today. That could become a lot lighter if they were all just stored on one item. Good for students with heavy workloads.
FAMILIAR - this is especially important for the elderly, who are often technophobic. Books can be comforting because they hold memories. A slab of metal probably doesn’t hold memories for a particular book.
REVIEWING – I find the Kindle app wonderful when reviewing books, because it collects all the highlights and notes I left throughout the text in a separate document, which I can use as a rough guide for my review.
PEACE & FOCUS – Physical books protect you from the distractions that come with internet-equipped devices and let you just enjoy a good story with less disruption.
SUSTAINABLE – While resources are used making the Kindle, it’s less than what’s used to make hundreds of thousands of books.
SENSORY EXPERIENCE – Books with beautiful, tactile covers and new-book smell, that you can display proudly and organise on your shelves by height, genre, author, colour bring a special joy to this world.
MULTIPURPOSE – A book is just a book; a Kindle (most versions) can surf the web and more.
LEGITIMACY – Rightly or wrongly, physical books have an air of legitimacy that ebooks just don’t. Especially since anyone can self-publish rubbish through Amazon, it can feel like validation for an author when they see their work all dressed up in a book.
TRANSITION – I mentioned earlier that the elderly are often technophobic. Kindles or Kindle apps, by combining something familiar (books, stories) with something new (technology) can act as a bridge.
EMPLOYMENT – Dozens of people (if not more) work together to create a physical book (“It takes a village”). From layout designers to cover designers printers to distributors to bookstore workers, everyone is needed. Some of these jobs stay for an ebook, but definitely not all.
FREEDOM – I know I’ve linked e-books and self-publishing quite a lot here, but they are definitely intertwined. E-books, and by extension reading on Kindle, brings new voices that might not be heard through the established publishing industry. Flipside of Legitimacy.

This post is in table form, which is quite labour-intensive but very pretty. Feel free to share around on Twitter, Facebook or wherever else you like. Also, if you have any more points on either side or wish to remark on mine, please leave a comment below. 


  1. Extremely insightful and interesting post highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of a Kindle without any biased opinion. Really well done and well presented. The table looks beautiful! A result of hard work. Great job!

  2. Good post! I am also going to write a blog post about this... thanks

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