I used to be a purist. When I was about fourteen, my godparents gave me a Kindle for Christmas and after I politely thanked them, I put it away and forgot I owned it for a year. I used it only sparingly for several years and only really started using its full potential last year. Then, I was a graduate student on a shoe string budget since I could only hold down a meager nine hours of paid work a week. Unable to afford regular book purchases, I started utilizing Kindle Unlimited’s subscription service and an online library service that provided Kindle ebooks.
Still, I have a soft spot for real tangible books. I like to make notations on them, something that I find too annoying to do with my Kindle. I like pretty covers, and I like to keep the books I love, which when I’m renting the majority of the books I’m reading I can’t really do. Additionally, I worked in a Rare Books Room for two and a half years, leaving me with a new appreciation for certain editions of books.
- Storage: Ebook readers tend to have quite a lot of storage, compared to the eternal struggle of storing physical books
- Cost: Ebooks do tend to cost less, which can be helpful on a budget; additionally there are many libraries now that offer ebook rentals, and Kindle Unlimited allows readers to borrow eligible ebooks
- Travel: If you’re like me, and a lot of other book bloggers, you’ve struggled to pack enough books for a vacation; e-readers offer the distinct advantage of taking minimal space in your packing while allowing you to bring twice as many books
- Appearance: If you like beat up books, pretty dust jackets, or colorful colors an e-reader won’t be able to provide that satisfaction; often you do get to see the artwork of the cover, but depending on how old your e-reader is the cover may be black and white
- Smell: This is one of those things that book readers joke about, but if you’re seriously into the smell of old books then obviously an ebook won’t give that same feeling
- Limited Selection: There are a lot of books available in ebook form these days, but depending on the publisher it may take longer for the digital release than the physical
In the end, I do have a soft spot for my Kindle. It’s broken right now, which is a shame, and I’ll have to do the repairs myself considering how old the model is (Kindle trade in will only give me 5 USD for it once I fix it). For now, I read the majority of my ebooks using the Kindle Cloud Reader on my laptop. I’ve been able to read a whole lot of books using Kindle Unlimited and ebooks from online library resources, which I’m very happy about.
I do plan to increase my book collection, as well as eventually move my current one out of storage. I have a lot of physical copies of books that have sentimental value, monetary worth, or that I simply like a lot and want to keep. Occasionally I do weed out books from my collection that no longer add anything to my happiness or my love of books.
However you choose to read, for whatever reasons, you are valid in your choice! For the time being, I will continue to use ebooks because they are the easiest way to afford my reading habits. Being a book blogger on a budget is something I will always be up front about, because as much as I love looking at some people’s massive collections on Bookstagram, I know that right now it’s not possible for me to emulate that. And that’s okay!
If you’re worried about being a blogger, or starting a bookstagram or book twitter, because you’re in the situation that you can have a huge pretty shelf then don’t worry! As long as you love to read, you’re welcome to the book loving community online.