It’s A Physical Thing

An ad from Kobo popped up in my Facebook news feed sharing a Forbes review of the new Kobo Forma vs. the Amazon Kindle Oasis 2. The reviewer shared the pros and cons of each, and ultimately came down on the side of the Kobo Forma (review here). Reading the review renewed my ongoing internal war…

I don’t own an e-reader. I do, however, have the Kindle app on my tablet. I don’t read a lot of books on it. I prefer to read hard copy books. Screen glare, and awkwardness of the tablet in my hands—and fear of dropping it in my bathwater—being the biggest obstacles to an e-reader for me.

A friend advised that a dedicated e-reader with customizable font and page appearance, along with page-marker and note-writing features, and adaptive backscreen lighting developed to reduce or eliminate glare, improves the computer-reading experience significantly. In fact, she said she’s gone to the virtual side because of the customizability of today’s e-readers. The fact some e-readers now come water-resistant and water-proof, only enhances their likability.

I’ve considered getting an e-reader, but price is always an obstacle for me. $299.00 to $329.00 CAD is a fair bit of cash. However, if I put it in perspective—my last trip to Indigo Books cost me about $50.00 CAD for five sale-priced books—six or seven trips, or thirty similarly priced books, and the e-reader is paid for. It can hold thousands of books, many of which can be accessed for even better sale prices (anywhere from Free to $2.99 a book), and I don’t have to add shelving, or cull existing book shelves, to house thirty new purchases. Then again, libraries offer free books in all formats (e-book, hard copy, and audio) for the cost of signing up for a library card. Hmm…

GoDaddy stock photo

I’m not convinced I’m ready to give up the heft and smell of paperbacks and hard-cover books. Especially as I love seeing them on the shelves throughout my house. Books, to me, are more than a reading experience. They’re a physical experience. And I’m not ready to give my body over to the Borg, just yet.

What about you? E-reader or hard copy? Hybrid? If you prefer one or the other, what specific features or qualities impact your choice?

Please reply in the comments section of this post on my website, and on Thursday January 31st, 2019 I’ll choose one person at random to win a copy of My Own in their preferred format, e-book or paperback. Winner to be announced on my blog, and in my February newsletter. To ensure you receive notification, sign up below to receive one or both of my newsletters and/or latest posts. Thank you, and take care.


It’s not the having, it’s the getting. ~Elizabeth Taylor

Permanent link to this article: https://www.deborahsmall.com/its-a-physical-thing/


    • Kathy Koehler on 2019-01-18 at 1:36 pm

    Although I prefer the feel and smell of real books, as I get older, it is difficult for me to hold them. As I usually read the most when I go to bed at night, the weight of a hardbound book is quite painful when one drops it on ones face. Also, I had run out of space for all of my books. I’ve switched to an e-reader and find that it is really preferable. I don’t have to find a place to put the books I’ve read, etc., etc., etc.

    Keep writing, Deb! I’ve enjoyed your books!

    (a Hurler friend of your mom’s)

      • Deborah on 2019-01-18 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you Kathy! I enjoy writing, and it gladdens my heart to know others enjoy my writing, too.

      I agree, physical books can be heavy, especially the hard covers. And storage can be an issue, too. E-readers go a long way towards resolving both issues. My mom is an avid reader, and I’ve suggested an E-reader to her to reduce the heft of the book bag she totes to and from the Library, but she’s like me–or I’m like her–attached to the experience of paper-bound books. Maybe one day we’ll adapt. At the end of the day, paper or virtual, it’s the story that matters most. 🙂

      Take care,

Comments have been disabled.


Enjoyed this post? Please spread the word :)