I love books. I love curling up with a hardback (or dead tree edition, as the hardcore ereaders say – I actually like that phrase) and feeling the pages, smelling the paper, and losing myself in the words. When it comes down to it, though, the words are the most important part of that experience. I hate having my books written in, I worry that they’ll be damaged if they’re outside of my library or being handled by someone else (very few people get the privilege of borrowing my real books), and I am really picky about the care of my books. You wouldn’t know it right this minute since they’re all sitting on the floor in my library as reorganizing took longer than I expected, but my books are my babies.
With that being said, I have fully embraced the ereader. I have a Barnes and Noble Nook (the original black and white one with only wifi that stays turned off) and I adore it! I can bring almost every physical book I have (I’m slowly getting them all in digital format) everywhere I go in a digital format. I read really quickly and, before my nook, I always had at least two books on me. If I was going on a vacation or would be away from home longer than one night, I would bring at least five, usually a lot more. They would get their own large bag for me to bring them all. With my nook, though, all I have to do is drop it into my purse (which I bought for my nook) and I have a few hundred books at my fingers. Old favorites, books I’ve never read, books I’ve been meaning to read, and books I’ll unfortunately keep putting off because another book holds more appeal for me. I have started getting most of my new books as ebooks. This way, if I don’t like them, they aren’t taking up space on my shelves and I don’t have to worry about giving them away. If I like the book, I’ll more than likely buy a dead tree edition if it’s available and proudly place it in my library and reread it.
My ebooks are backed up to my computer and other locations along with most of my files and if anything was to happen to my nook my books would still be safe and sound. I can also highlight, add notes, and bookmark all I want without damaging anything on the book. I don’t worry about letting someone handle my nook because people are generally more careful with someone’s gadget than with a real book. The other person will typically wipe their hands off on their jeans, carefully grab it from me, and hold it the way they would handle any expensive and irreplaceable item. But here’s the thing – my nook is completely replaceable! If someone was to hurl it into the ocean (after killing them and dumping their body near the nook) I would head on over to the store, pick up a new nook, possibly a new microSD card, and then go home to reload my books. Sure, I might lose any highlights or notes that I added to the files, but I only use those for books reviews and not even on all the books, so it’s no big deal. I’m not recommending that anyone try to damage my nook (you will die and then you’ll be the one buying me a new one) but I’m illustrating a point. My nook is simply the viewer for my books, it’s not their home. Their home is in my library just like my real books. It just happens that they take up a lot less space…
So what’s my verdict? Both! Keep your real books safe at home where they can (hopefully) avoid damage and bring your easily replaceable nook all over the place! Or whichever ereader you prefer. I’m partial to the nook for various reasons and I’m obsessed with the epub format, so that’s how all my books are stored.
But seriously, I don’t see why there is a debate about this. It’s ridiculous. The book doesn’t care about it’s format. The book cares about being read. Does it matter if it’s read on a screen or on paper? As long as the story is being consumed and the content being enjoyed there should be no debate. A book sitting on a shelf does no one any good if it isn’t being read; a book being read on a nook does no one any harm if it’s being enjoyed.
Read your books!
It’s simple. Read them, enjoy them, share them, hate them, love them, and then read them again. The format doesn’t matter!