Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In defense of books

As I was on the way home from the store today, I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR. The host was interviewing an author and the subject of e-books came up. The author admitted that she does not use an e-reader, and doesn't plan to start.  This discussion came up at book club a few weeks ago, and it seems that more and more people are starting to use Kindles and Nooks, however there are many out there who prefer the tactile experience of reading a physical book.

I am in the physical book camp. I love browsing libraries and bookstores and looking at book jackets to see what I might want to read. It's fun to look through my bookshelves at home and reminisce about where I got a particular book or when I read it last. I can underline, take notes, and look back at the notes years later. On a bus or in the airport, I can look around and see what people are reading and get ideas on what I might want to read. My daughter can chew on, grab, and follow along with me as I read to her, and I can pass my childhood books down to her. If some sauce splatters or spills on a cookbook, it's not a disaster of epic proportions, just a memory the next time I use that recipe and see the stain.

From a thrifty perspective, physical books are the clear winner.  You can exchange books with and lend books to others- friends or strangers. There are half-price bookstores and bargain shelves at libraries. Rummage sales offer a bumper crop of books. If you lose a paperback on a trip, you're out $10, not $150 or $200. You can check out any of millions of books at a library for free. Perhaps e-books will someday have these type of options, but as of now, they don't.

Well, back to thumbing through my pile of cookbooks to plan the perfect menu for this weekend!


  1. I am with you, solidly in the physical book camp!

  2. Thanks! :) No Kindles for us!


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