One of the silver linings I found during this time of great upheaval and uncertainty is my easy access to a variety of reading material. Thanks to a small, but sizable pile of books I have in my unread pile, I have been ticking off books as read in the last few months. After discovering an Amazon Prime membership also entitles me to add a maximum of 10 e-books from their collection, mostly classics and older books, to load onto my iPad through the Kindle app for free, this hungry reader won’t be left wanting for books. As I devoured book after book, a curious pattern began to emerge—the need to swap the form my book took.
I’ve always been a bit of a purist when it comes to my books. I want to be able to hold a book in my hand. I love how the smell of the pages instantly teases my nose with the promise of a new adventure, or hearing the flutter of a page as I turn it with my own hand. My adoration for a physical book had me denouncing the proliferation of e-books, e-readers, and tablets for a long time.
Eventually, I came around to the convenience and streamlined experience reading digitally offered book lovers. My resolve against e-books may have softened over the years, but this doesn’t mean I started favoring one type over the other. What it meant was figuring out a way to use either format interchangeably to suit my personal needs.
When I finished reading a hardcover book I had bought last year, I decided my next book would be one of the ones stored on my iPad. I had a few unread e-books sitting on my device for a while. I thought it was the perfect time to devote some of my attention to this other way of reading I’ve only just decided to embrace. As soon as I finished the e-book of my choice on my iPad, I immediately went back to another hardcover book I had.
What I realized was I formed a habit of switching between physical and electronic books. If I spend so much time on one type, I already want to go back to the other one. This pendulum swing continued until it became a routine I barely noticed.
There were some things I missed that one format didn’t have. If I spent time with an e-book, I already missed the act of turning a page. If all my reading has been done on a paperback novel, I’m already longing for the nifty feature of my tablet telling me I have X amount of pages left of a chapter. The pros and cons both types have offered, after experiencing them firsthand myself, made me realize there’s no need to choose one over the other. I can have both and savor my stories in whatever way I feel like it. Or at least until I’ve read all the books and e-books on my unread pile.
Do you find yourself switching between books and e-books when you read? Or do you stick to one format only?