Books or E-books?
Contributor
Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
October 2018
Contributor
Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
October 2018

  

    I bought my kindle back in 2012 and ever since then I’m mostly buying kindle editions, my kindle library stacked with every genre from thrillers to romance, memoirs or young adult books. (I have my own novel there too, of course, the fact that makes my mom immensely proud.) I guess she was the first one among my family and friends who read my debut novel Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock on a kindle device. After publishing my novel, quite unexpectedly, as an author, I became aware, that while for me reading either a physical book or an e-book holds the same experience, for many people, reading, means and is a synonym to having a physical copy, either a hardcover or a softcover.

A book for them is something you can hold in your hands, flip through the pages,  touch it and even smell it, whereas an e-book doesn’t have that privilege and luxury, although with the new, updated electronic reading devices, our experience of reading is almost the same as with the actual physical books.

"Oh, is it an e-book or a book?  Wait, I have to download it? And read it where?   Oh, no, no, I prefer a real one". This is a typical conversation I’ve been hearing since the day of the publication, and so I tried to honestly answer myself, which of the two, physical copies or ebooks I myself prefer, and why do we think that it’s any different? Does it define our reading habits or preferences?

There’s nothing more pleasurable and probably genuine in holding a book you’re about to read in your hands, whether you bought it in a local bookshop or ordered it online, that anticipation of receiving it soon, and being able to add it to your bookshelf after reading, or lending it to your friend and then discussing it over and over again. But with ebooks, there’s no waiting time, in an instant after buying, it pops in your ebook device and that’s when you realize how thankful you are for the modern technological progress! You can bring your kindle or any other reader anywhere, anytime so all the books you loved and enjoyed are with you.  Isn’t that wonderful? I think it is! 

For me, kindle is one of the most valuable things I own, and I can’t really imagine my life without it, but the stereotype of a hard copy being a “real book” still tends to be strong I guess. It seems to be a never ending debate, audio books heating it up, probably even more. But as far as you are reading and escaping into those extraordinary universes of written stories, why does it matter in what form the book is actually published?  

My five year old nephew first realized I wrote a book, when he saw it on my kindle. “You wrote it?” he asked astonished and when I said yes, I sensed a slight shift in our relations. For him it was magic and his aunt was a magician! “Books are uniquely portable magic,” - Stephen King once said, remember?    

 

 

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