I <3 E-books

As a book lover, I’m always completely puzzled when I read criticisms of e-books, such as this. I would think anyone who is passionate about words, stories, and the potentially life-changing perspectives books afford us shouldn’t be anything but enthusiastic about books in any format. E-books make leisure reading more accessible and extra appealing for many people. That’s certainly true for me. How so? Mostly, it’s because:

1. E-books are convenient. I always have my phone with me—and I use it to do almost all of my reading. Just like I want the music I love to be with me at all times, I want my books to be available whether I’m on the bus, at a café, or snuggled in bed before drifting off to sleep. My books and music are a part of me in a fundamental way. Why would I want to leave them on a shelf?

2. E-books are searchable. While I was editing Lerner’s Steve Jobs biography, I was also reading the Walter Isaacson book on Jobs on my trusty phone. At work one day, I was reviewing the Jobs layout when a question came up about how to spell Jobs’s sister’s name. Was it Patty with an i or a y? I pulled my phone out of my purse, did a search on my Isaacson e-book, and knew in an instant—y it was.

3. E-books are instantly available. Say I’m reading a newspaper article (again, probably on my phone) and it mentions a book that sounds fascinating. All I have to do is visit the online catalog of my awesome neighborhood library, or click on a favorite e-book retailer, and presto! The borrowed or purchased book is in my phone.

4. E-books don’t require storage. This is a big one for me. I live in a lovely but tiny home. Open almost any drawer or closet at my place, and you’ll see books, books, books. Now, I love those books and there’s no way I can part with them (which is why they are everywhere). But I’m also a neat freak engaged in an Epic Battle against Clutter. I’m certainly not going to add to that clutter if I don’t have to. Enter the e-book.

I could go on about why else e-books work well for me, but this gives you a pretty thorough picture. So, readers: Are you as addicted to e-books as I am? Or is a book just not a book unless it’s printed? Let me know what you think.

2 thoughts on “I <3 E-books

  1. Ashley Hope Pérez

    I've been known to express occasional e-book angst, but like you, I love having access to lots of books without the extra pounds. Brilliant when travelling with a toddler. I think e-books make me more likely to purchase books that I might not want to keep forever but that I still enjoy. I still want that hardcover edition of my favorite books for my top shelf reads, but I'll happily chow on other reads in digital version.

    Let's be zen with all the options… 🙂

  2. Sara Hoffmann

    Yes, the portability of e-books is great. I didn't mention above that it can be hard to travel with print books, but that is also very true.

    I, too, have hardcovers of most of my favorite books–but actually, I'm equally content to have digital versions of even my top-shelf reads.

    In any case, I agree with you that zen is good! 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Ashley.

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