I think a common debate in the reading world is whether reading a physical book (hardcover or paperback) or reading from an e-book reader like the Amazon Kindle is better. Personally, I read physical books as well as electronic books. My conclusion? I do not believe the answer is as simple as some may want you to think it is.
I grew up reading physical books. There is something there when you turn the pages and read from a book that way, regardless of whether or not it is a paperback or hardcover. However, I also own a Kindle and I love having it. Thus, I feel like it is worth discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these reading methods.
Of course, my Kindle (and other electronic readers) would win in this category. Yes, you can pack books in your suitcase or bring one in your carry-on luggage, but a slim Kindle leaves so much more room for other things. In addition to that, e-readers weigh much less than most books. Thus, you do not need to worry as much about weight limits.
While I will bring a book with me to work, I usually have to bring in a big purse or have it in my canvas bag. Neither one of these things is a big deal, but if I want to only take my smaller purse to work or elsewhere, my Kindle is the only option. It will just slide right in!
Reading While Travelling
If I am only going to be out for the day, taking one book with me is no problem. However, for longer trips I would run into issues. I am a fast reader, though you already know this if you have been following my blog for a little while. The problem with being a fast reader and travelling for longer than a day or two is I need more than one book to read! If flights are involved, things will get worse as books can be bulky as well as heavy.
Thus, my solution for travelling and reading is to take my Kindle along. It works well on flights and it is quite light (less than a pound I think). The best thing in my mind is that I can have hundreds of books on my Kindle, which means I never really run out of things to read! I do have to load books on a regular basis, but even a month-long trip is no problem.
I believe that print books will always win in the reading experience category. There is just something about physically turning the pages of a book rather than just pressing a button. In addition to that feeling, closing a book (particularly hardcovers) brings a sense of closure (grief sometimes). I do not always get that when I finish reading a book on my Kindle, and if I do, it is often diminished.
Yes, my Kindle can last for quite some time. However, though I rarely run out of battery power, it has happened before and as luck would have it, it happens at inconvenient moments. Physical books are great like that. They will never run out of battery during the climax of a book. I can read right through until the end!
Do you have a preference between physical books and e-books? On the other hand, are you like me and enjoy them at different times (and for different reasons)? I would love to hear your thoughts about this!