I have a few friends (there should be no surprised faces out there) that love novels as much as I do. Two of my friends clash quite often due to the centuries old (more like few years old) debate: Which is better, the book or the e-reader? Recently they got into a particularly heated argument that I must share with all of you. But rather than explain it I would like to show you what happened (that way it will be more entertaining).
To protect the identities (and pride) of my friends we shall rename them Lois and Lane (I just finished seeing Man of Steel).
[Lois and I are hanging out in her living room. She is reading a book while I am on the computer…blogging]
[Lane comes in with her (DUN, DUN, DUN) e-reader]
Lane: “Hey guys! What are you reading Lois?”
Lois: “World War Z.” (That’s right, my friends are zombie geeks).
Lane: “Oh, I just finished reading that, it was sooooooo good! What part are you on?”
Lois: [Replies without taking eyes off page] “I just started.”
Lane: [With a glint in her eyes] “How much was it?” (Lane is always one to start trouble).
Lois: “I got it at Barnes and Noble for $11.41.”
Lane: “You should have told me you wanted to read that, I would have let you read it on my e-reader; where I bought World War Z for only $9.99.”
Lane: “You should always ask me before buying a book, you know I would let you borrow my e-reader any time.”
Lois: “I don’t want to read on your e-reader.”
Lane: “Why not?”
Lois: [For the first time she looks up from her book] BECAUSE E-READERS ARE KILLING THE MAGIC OF BOOKS!!! (Lois is always one to be over-dramatic).
Me: “Uh oh.”
Lane: [Sarcastic tone] “Because e-readers are killing the magic of books? Great reason.”
Lois: “You know exactly what I’m talking about! Books hold a certain kind of magic that a touch screen never will.”
Lane: “That’s fine, all I was saying was that you could save yourself $12 next time.”
Lois: “And I’m saying that actual books are worth the $12. Besides, stop making this an economical thing, you had to have spent $200 maybe $170 at the least on that thing!”
Lane: “But it’s so worth the price. In your hand you hold one book, in my hands I hold 600 books. It’s like if you saw a purse at target for $150 that could hold 600 books at once and only feel like you’re holding one. You would buy that purse.”
Lois: “I still think the touch screen takes away from the story.”
Lane: “That’s fine Lois, I’m not asking you to like my e-reader. I just want you to leave me alone about it.”
Lois: “I guess I wouldn’t be so offended by it if wasn’t killing book stores. More and more people are downloading books on those things instead of going to an actual book store. It makes me sad.”
Lane: “I get that I do; but at the same time the e-reader is better for the world or at least the environment because we are using less paper and therefore killing less trees.”
Lois: “But kids should know what a book store visit feels like; the excitement that builds up waiting to go. Walking around looking at all the book spines and feeling the pages between your fingers. Now kids get instant gratification which is NOT good for them.”
Lane: “Alright, fine. But you have to admit this, the e-reader has made reading more popular than it’s ever been. So many more people are reading because it’s more easily accessible.”
Lois: [Turns to me] “Lindsey!”
Me: “I’m blogging.” (About you).
Lane: [Smiles a little triumphantly] “Lets just drop it Lois, lets watch a movie.”
Me: “Harry Potter marathon!!!”
Lois: “I thought you were busy blogging?”
Me: “I’m never too busy for Harry Potter woman!”
[Four Harry Potter movies later]
Me: [Stands up and stretches] “Alright, I better take off. Didn’t you already read that Lane?”
Lane: [Sitting with her nose in Lois’s World War Z book] “Yeah…but, it’s a really good book and…I guess Lois was kind of right, it does feel different…”
Me: “Lane admitting she was wrong?!”
Lane: “Not wrong, admitting that Lois was right.”
Me: “Mhmmmm, because those two things are sooooo different. Alrighty, bye Lois, thanks for having me ove- Lois? What are you doing?”
Lois: [Sitting entranced with Lane’s e-reader] “There are so many books…I just…it’s difficult to comprehend. I can highlight and bookmark and so many things…”
Me: [Looks at the two of them] “Okayyyyy, well I got to go.” (Write a blog post)!
Okay so the ending didn’t conclude as happily as the one above but I wanted it too. There are pros and cons to each side of this debate and as one that loves to read, I like both options. I own only books right now but I am saving up for an e-reader. I would love to just carry it around and have hundreds of books at my fingertips, but does that mean I would forget that feeling of cozying up in bed with an actual book? Heck no. I think if people are reading, we should be happy. Trust me, I’m not letting my local Barnes and Noble go out of business any time soon!
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you prefer one or the other? Comment below and happy reading!!!
- Yet another conversation about books (yes, we get it, you love books) (geekybooksnob.wordpress.com)
- If you ever get a bookstore appearance… (sonjahutchinson.wordpress.com)
- Pleasures of re-reading Harry Potter as an adult (cmpivo.wordpress.com)
- Second Steely Thought on Man of Steel: The “real” Lois Lane (lancemannion.typepad.com)
- A real feminist icon (avoiceformen.com)
- Don’t mess with Superman (macleans.ca)