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Print books vs e-Books

My elder son gifted his mom, brother, and me (his dad) each with a Kindle, the kind that is available only abroad as of this time. My younger son and I were, of course, excited and we began to load our respective Kindles with all kinds of books. My son was way ahead of me and was able to load the genre that he is very partial to, and even augmented his stock by way of a large number of on-line books provided by a close friend of his through a thumb drive.

Meanwhile, my son and I have put the Kindles aside for a while, promising to make use of them sometime soon, especially if we were to take a trip out of town.

This has not stopped us from doing our usual thing, which is to scour almost all the second hand bookstores that we are familiar with to seek out books still missing from our respective growing collections. Thus, our house is riddled with thousands of books of all kinds, not to mention a rather substantial inventory of spiritual books that I have accumulated over the years.

Probably the biggest problem with just relying on an eBook reader like the Kindle is the lack of comfort and feel that one gets from holding a real book, and being able to carry it under one’s armpit or in a bag. In my case, I have this very very bad habit of looking a lot at the ending of the books I read, and revisiting the points ahead of my current page from time to time.

The other members of my family read their books linearly, and do not succumb to the temptation to find out the endings or even the plots of movies. This is something I do all the time, and it is easier to do what I do while holding on to a real honest to goodness book.

Of course, eBooks have advantages too. The most glaring is the ability to store hundreds or even thousands of books in a Kindle or similar reader. The many thousands of books I have are all over the place in bookshelves and, lately, in large plastic bins. The clutter, admittedly, drives my partner crazy, especially since she is one who is inclined to throw away things and to avoid messy things like books all over the place.

So, which is the better tool to use to satisfy one’s reading? An eBook reader or a plain jane book? It really depends on the person and his or her particular preference. For cheapos like me, who don’t really want to pay for online books, I would rather invest in a good second-hand book.

Heck, I buy a lot of new books too, and would rather do this than have an on-line book that I cannot feel or caress each and every time I read a book. Guess this is probably true of almost all my boomer generation. We are people of habit, and habits accumulated over decades are not easy to let go of.