Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book or eReader? What's Your Poison?

It's Tuesday so stop by Two Writing Teachers to join tonight's link-up and conversation.  There's something about moving from blog to blog to savor the little stories that make us smile.  

"Don't sit too close to the television," our parents warned as if our eyes might fall out or rays might soak into us.  Maybe both things happened, but I seemed to make it through a childhood of mild television watching with few, if any, symptoms as a result.  It's interesting to live on the cusp of new technologies.  What did people think as they watched the first car owners drive past their homes?  Imagine the disgust as televisions began to replace radios.  What were they saying when computers first found their way to our desktops?  What about that hard rock-n-roll music that was sure to doom your soul?

With any new technology or discovery there are gifts and concerns.  The eReader is no exception.  I had to laugh this week as my friend, an avid book holder, sent this link to my Facebook account:

I nearly fell over laughing when I saw it.  As much as my friend enjoys reading books, I enjoy reading on my reader.  The study suggests that people who use readers may have difficulty sequencing events in a story (for the record, I may have had trouble with this before eReaders).  Of course, I think there are a lot of questions to be asked about the study.  What was the sample size?  Were readers experienced with eReaders?  Did readers want to read on an eReader?  These are just a few questions for starters.

No matter what science says, I will continue to read from my reader.  I just prefer it.  There's something about being able to visit the library virtually and fill the shelves with titles.  There's something about being able to read a sample before purchasing a book.  There's something about being able to highlight favorite lines and have them collect in a cloud.  There's something about being able to touch a word for a definition.  It even makes me feel better to not be able to physically see how far I am from the end of the book without touching for a line at the bottom of my screen.  There seems to be less pressure to race to the end of the book.  I love the swipe of a page turn, the gentle adjustment of font size at the end of the day, and the look of a bookshelf with covers facing out.  Not to mention the additional space I now have in my living room, closet, and other spaces around the house.  I can carry my library right in my purse.

As I told my friend, I'm sure when they left clay tablets and moved toward scrolls there were people who missed the feel of those heavy tablets.  All I know is I read more now than I ever did.  The great thing about our world is it is full of options.  If you still love a book, you can still get a book.  I love my friends who still love to hold a book, smell its pages, and turn through a story with the pinch of their fingers instead of a swipe.  The good news for both of us is according to scientific studies, reading for just 6 minutes a day reduces stress by 68%.  You can't make this stuff up.  We also appear to be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's.  (2.5% is huge, right?)  Whether we can sequence effectively or not, there are still benefits to time spent reading no matter how you choose to do it.  For me, it's the opportunity to chat about books with friends and exchange interesting scientific research from the internet.


  1. I like both, Cathy, will probably always love the feel of a published book, but love taking my kindle or IPad with me when I travel (if I don't need the laptop). I think I read faster on the e readers, still wondering why. And I do love the ability to make the notes. On the other hand, will someone ever read those notes compared to those I make in margins--along with little sketches. Love both, as I probably would have loved my horses and the new 'automobile'! Love hearing your thoughts, too. I saw that study spiraling around on FB. somewhat silly!

  2. Like Linda, I feel more comfortable with a book, but love the convenience of my Nook and iPad. As long as I have a choice, I'll be happy!

  3. Cathy - I've been struggling with this lately. I converted to an e-reader several years ago and never looked back. But I've been using it less and less; I'm not sure why. I love all the things you mentioned above.... but I love holding a book, too. I'm so torn! I can't choose! Wait, I don't have to choose...

  4. I too like reading on my kindle very much. However, I had a small glitch this week. I started The Goldfinch this summer and it is taking me FOREVER to get through it. It could be because school started. It could be because I didn't like a long dragged out section of the book. However, when I was sharing how long it's taking me to get through this book with a fellow reader she said, Mandy it's over 900 pages long as a paper - book. You don't get to really see that on a kindle because if I knew how long it really was, I probably wouldn't have started it. I'm not sure this is a plus or negative for readers or paper books. Just a reading dilemma.

  5. Love your post and I also love our book chats! Let's suffice to say, I won't pay money for an e-reader, but if someone bought me one, I'm sure I could learn to appreciate it! In the meantime, I'll stick with paper! :)

  6. Cathy, I enjoyed your post. One of my teachers always discusses Nook vs Book on her blog. I am always reading on my devices but a book is still great to have in my hand. Technology has moved reading to a new level and I am all for it.

  7. I love my Kindle Fire, but I still love books, too. It doesn't have to be only one or the other. Just read!

    Many writers love writing on paper, but a lot of us love our blogs, too. Again, it doesn't have to be only one or the other. Having both is great.


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