Real Books Better Than E-books

books reading

Books in Waiting

Sometimes I think real books are better than e-books.

I’m not anti-e-book, because I love to read and e-books make it so easy to read. I love using my library’s app to find an e-book, check it out, and start reading. It saves me the time and gas of driving to my library! I’m not sure the environmental impact of making e-books, but I wonder if it’s offset by reduced driving, printing, shipping, etc.

But I do love a real book. And there are some very special things about real books that can never, and will never be replaced.

I started thinking about this when my youngest son dragged a giant book he loves off the shelf called “Our Fifty States.” On the inside page was an address label for my grandfather, who we called Gonky.

“This was Gonky’s book!” my youngest exclaimed. This was a thrilling thing as my youngest has always felt a special connection to my grandfather. Finding out that a book my youngest loves belonged to his great-grandfather is a very special surprise that could never happen with an e-book.

Eight Reasons to Love Real Books

Here are things that are so great about real books that make then better than e-books.

  1. Making new friends. This is accomplished by spying and being nosey. At soccer practice, I spied a mom reading a giant book that I was reading. I struck up a conversation, confident that I could find something in common with this woman. We are real friends now, and I am so grateful to that real book.
  2. Inspiring my kids. My kids are also nosey and love reading the titles of real books I’m reading. They ask what it’s about, is it good, do I wish I had written it, should they read it, etc. Then they tell me what they are reading. When they see me with my phone, they think I’m playing a game.
  3. Bookmarks. Real books need bookmarks. My kids make me bookmarks. If I only read e-books, my kids wouldn’t have such great gifts to give me. They buy me bookmarks. I use a wide variety of bookmarks and many hold special places in my heart.
  4. Gifts. It’s hard to gift an e-book, at least for me. I love giving a real solid book and I love receiving them even more. In fact, I received two books about oysters for my birthday, and purchased a book as a vacation souvenir. Not e-books, real books.
  5. Inscriptions. My older son gave me the two oyster books as gifts and I was so excited for him to write me an inscription. He wouldn’t be able to do that with an e-book. Now I’ll always remember he gave them to me, selected by him, based on his knowledge of a topic that excited me.
  6. Passing books down. My grandfather had lots of books to pass down, and we love them. I’ll have books to pass down, too. I love that we have these memories of him and love that my real books will be based down, too.
  7. Selling used books. But not every book is worth keeping and passing down. I don’t know if one can sell used e-books, but I love being able to sell (and buy!) used books.
  8. Access to information for all. I love the ease of an e-book, but I think it’s important we still have real books that don’t rely on technology to access. Many of my reasons are based on the emotions surrounding books, but this reason is a larger good reason. I don’t ever want access to books restricted and if we only used technology to read books, I worry our access could be limited or cut off.

I want to always have a book to read, even if it’s one I’ve already read. And I always want you to have a book to read, too.