Friday, March 21, 2014

Hardcover vs. Paperback vs. E-reader

Not that long ago I was looking at my own personal bookshelves and I realize that I had three copies of the same book. One copy is a hardcover book, the other is a paperback, and then I also remember having an e-book copy I downloaded for free via Project Gutenberg. This got me thinking about some of the ups and downs of the different types of book media out there.

Pedia Press (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Hardcover: Hardcover books tend to look very elegant, they last longer because they are usually made with high quality and durable materials, and they line up nicely on a bookshelf. Some disadvantages to hardcover books though is that they tend to be expensive, heavy, and bulky--making book owners less prone to reading them.

Paperbacks: Paperback books are usually cheap, it is very easy to curl up with a nice paperback book and on the go, and their smaller size can make it super easy to throw them into most any purse or backpack for a spot of quick reading here and there throughout our day. Some disadvantages to paperbacks include the fact that they are very easily damaged; and unless one treats it well, they don't look very appealing on the bookshelf as time goes by, nor do they stack up as nicely as the hardcover books. For treasured or favorite keepsake books, paperbacks are not the best idea unless one does not mind replacing them fairly often.
NotfromUtrecht (CC BY-SA-3.0)

E-readers / Mobile Devices: E-readers are the digital mark of the 21st century technology, and for the first time ever, can one cram dozens, hundreds or even thousands of titles into one single portable device. Runaway bestsellers like the Apple iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Amazon Kindle Fire are redefining ways that people consume books these days. In addition to storing digital copies of books as well as acquiring and purchasing books in mere seconds, these devices let us do many other things as well, such as listening to music, watching videos, playing games and so on. Some disadvantages of e-readers however is that they may cause eye strain, especially at night, the electrical radiation might have some health consequences (especially at night), the initial cost of an e-reader tends to be extremely expensive, and sometimes, e-copies of books are not that much cheaper than the available paperbacks. Moreover, not every age and / or social group has the means, desire, or know-how to handle e-book technology.

What about you? What is your favorite book type? Do you find some more advantageous than others? Tell us in the comments section.

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