EBOOKS // are they actually books, and other critical questions.

Ebooks. Some people love them. Some people hate them.
Some people enjoy their ease of transportation, the lower prices, the ability to change font size. Some people think they aren’t real books.
This age old debate has definitely seen plenty of discussion posts and heated arguments, so here I am, to add another one to that list and discuss the pros and cons of eBooks!

*also I’m currently on holiday so sorry for slow replies/lack of blog hopping!

We’ll begin with the negatives. Probably the most popular debate, particularly among the online book community (bookstagram, looking at you ;).

  • They’re not that aesthetic Yes, you can buy cute covers for your kindle or a nice case for your iPad. But will it ever look as nice as a stunning book cover. You don’t get the nice foil effect, or the coloured pages, or the shiny embossing. But you do get a nice black and white version of the cover?
  • They run out of battery A book will never run out on you, unless you put the book down or reach the end (but in this case we’ll assume you’re right in the middle, at the juicy bit). What if? You’re at the height of the action, there’s a raging battle, or the MCs are just about to have their first kiss after realising they actually like each other and then… your battery dies. Unlucky.
  • Other distractions Especially if your e-reader is a device other than a Kindle or similar, and you use that device for other things (e.g. a phone can also be used for emails, social media, games etcetera), there is the opportunity for distractions. An email coming through from work. A notification that your daily bonus has arrived in Fight List, or your best mate has sent you a funny meme in the dms (of an account you need to request which is always the way). When your device is also your device for other things, it can be a distraction and lead to less reading getting done than you would have liked.

As a Kindle girl through and through (just a step below Dumbledore’s man through and though), I may be a little bit biased. But I personally think ebooks are great. Just saying ;).

  • Ebooks are cheaper Once you’ve bought the actual device you want to read on (and this could be a device you already have like your phone), the ebooks themselves are SO MUCH cheaper. For example: I downloaded the book The Night Circus (which I really enjoyed and gave 4 stars) for 99p on Amazon. 99p. It is £7.99 as a paperback.
  • You can change the font size/colour How many times have I seen people complain about large books having tiny fonts that you have to squint to read? So many times. Yet with an ebook – font is too small? Easy, click Aa and then increase the size?! Too big? Decrease the size? Prefer reading on yellow paper? Easy. Change the colour. Simple.
  • Ease of buying a new book Like I mentioned above, books end. Physical books are also not that easy to go and purchase. You have to either place an order online, or go into a shop, where you may not always be near one. But with ebooks, you can simply go online, hit download and BAM you’re sorted. In under 2 minutes.
  • No need to dog-ear Explains itself really. Ebooks save the page for you – no need to dog-ear or panic finding a bookmark. No chance of the bookmark falling out or the page unfolding. Sorted.
  • You can buy as many books as you want without taking up shelf space Another common bookworm complaint is not having enough bookshelf space for all the books you have. With ebooks, you’re sorted.

There’s also the question which I actually see mentioned quite a lot and that is – do ebooks (and audiobooks) actually count as reading?
And to the people who ask that question I say: is that actually a question?
Of course they’re reading! It’s the same book, same words, same story, just in a different format!
Why shouldn’t people choose how they want to read?! Surely we should encourage reading rather than questioning how people choose to read!

Which side of the debate are you on? Ebooks or physical books? Or audiobooks?

Let’s talk in the comments below!
Emme x

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41 thoughts on “EBOOKS // are they actually books, and other critical questions.

  1. I loved reading your fresh take on this debate!! Also, I adored your Harry Potter reference~ will I ever be able to hear “Dumbledore’s man through and through” with getting emotional…probably not.❤️😭

    I personally prefer physical books, just because I don’t have a great means of reading ebooks besides on my phone and it’s so small? Also, I’m lucky enough to be by a library that does have books I want to read and can access for free. However, I definitely have read ebooks before when I was on a road trip or somewhere where I wanted to read and didn’t have a book, and I don’t have any problem with them.

    The note about being able to customize your ebook is so true and something I never thought about before!! But yeah, that’s definitely an upside of reading a book online- you can make it exactly how you want it.

    Amazing post, Emme!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Olivia!! Honestly same, that quote always throws me😭
      Ah that’s fair enough – until I got a kindle I was the same, I don’t read on my phone because I find the screen too small.
      Yeah definitely, I’ve read more classics as ebooks because with the physical books 99% of the time the font is tiny!😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m starting to read ebooks more because i get them for free from my library and there’s usually at least one book on my tbr that i can read on there. however, i prefer physical books because i just like the feel i have reading them? i personally don’t like audiobooks – i know they work for a lot of people, but i like going at my own pace, especially in books that have confusing worldbuilding.

    i loved this post! it’s definitely an interesting discussion, especially because everyone has their own preferences when reading.

    Like

    1. Ooh yeah same! I recently discovered that my library has an ebook library which has a lot of books I want to read – has been so useful & saved money too!
      Oh yeah I completely understand, sometimes the physical turning of the pages adds to the reading experience and immerses you even more. Audiobooks aren’t for me either, I find that I get distracted too easily when listening, although it may work if I was to read the book at the same time (but for me that would be pointless).
      Thanks so much for reading & commenting Audrey!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that was the issue I had when reading on my phone initially but after getting a kindle it’s fine! I always tend to turn off my notifications if I’m reading anyway – as a teenager, nothing is ever super urgent so it means I can relax without being distracted.
      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ebooks definitely count as reading–I don’t even know how people can argue otherwise! I personally don’t like ebooks since I just don’t like reading on my small phone screen, or on any screen in general, and like holding physical books, and I get almost all my books from the library so luckily taking up a lot of space and being more expensive than ebooks doesn’t apply to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! That always confuses me😂
      That’s fair enough, I don’t like reading on my phone either but I’m ok with larger screens. I completely get the wanting to physically hold the book too!
      Libraries are definitely useful which solve the cost/space aspect! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I started reading ebooks on my iPad with a Kindle App, iBooks and even a Nook app because when my kids were newborns I needed something lighter to hold than a physical book. 😂 My body already hurt carrying my babies and when I’d put them to bed and lay beside them, I could read in the dark with my iPad. It was a life saver really! Now I also read and review a lot of arcs from NetGalley as eBooks, so they are definitely books. But I still love physical books as well, just don’t have the shelf space for a large collection.

    Like

    1. Ahh thanks Emma!
      Yeah I do like reading physical books occasionally – it’s definitely a nice change and also gives my eyes a bit of a break from the LED lights which is always good!
      Ebooks are SO convenient so I never understand when people are 100% against them – they save so much space and mean you can take them everywhere with you. Especially as 99% of the time you always remember your phone!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i think the true part of ebooks that i really do not like is the notifications distracting you. i feel like, if a book is good enough to keep my attention, then that won’t be a problem, but i can lose my focus pretty easily. i wish i had an e-reader that would hopefully help with this problem, but for now, i read on my phone and it’s hard to pass on the notification that my daily bonus has arrived in my favorite game app.
    but ebooks are much cheaper and definitely much more convenient for me! i don’t have a lot of bookshelf space, so i have to be really picky about which books i’m going to buy physically and there’s no bigger disappointment than buying a physical copy just to read the book and dislike it, when i could’ve spent a few dollars on an ebook and not worry about shelf space.
    and audiobooks totally count as reading! i feel like i’m held accountable more often when listening to an audiobook than reading pages, because i can totally be a skim reader sometimes and jump to the dialogues, lol. but no matter how fast i set my audiobook to be, i’ll still listen to every word and every phrase, with no possibility to skim-read, so for me, it counts more than reading physically, i think, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that can be annoying! I tend to turn off my notifications apart from absolutely important ones (like calls/texts) to avoid distractions – especially as, being a teenager, notifications are rarely urgent.
      Yeah same! I’m super picky with books so for me, I don’t want to risk spending £12 on a hardcover to then not like it?! If it’s 99p it doesn’t matter that much😂
      Ooh yes, accountability and not skim reading is such a benefit of audiobooks that I never thought about. It means you have to focus on the reading fully!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I honestly can’t live without my kindle! I used to read on my phone, which indeed brought on a lot of the negatives on your list (coughsocialmediacough) but with my kindle, I don’t have to worry about that. I have absolutely no notifications and the battery lasts many, many days. It’s also the paperwhite edition, which mimics book pages and doesn’t make my eyes as tired, plus I can take it into a relaxing bath as it’s waterproof 😀
    So yeah, love it and ebooks and I don’t know why people have to complain so much… Just let others enjoy things ^^ You do you.
    Brilliant post, and glad we’re in agreement!

    Like

    1. Ahh same I love my kindle!! Definitely one of my best purchases and it definitely has a very low cost per use now!
      Yeah exactly! I don’t know why this can be such a heated debate (audiobooks too) – why does it even matter how people choose to read?!
      Thanks for reading & commenting Sophie!💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! I’m always going to prefer a physical book. I enjoy the holding of the actual book, and I do find I get distracted reading on my devices. That being said, I read a lot of e-books. Particularly ARCs as that seems to be a really popular and affordable way for publishers to distribute. 🙂 I’ve not gotten into audiobooks as yet. I often find I get annoyed by the persons voice or I become distracted and tune out. I have heard that Steven Fry does great audiobooks of the Harry Potter series so I might give those a go for a reread sometime.

    Like

    1. Oh that’s fair enough – I know the majority of bookworms are the same! I definitely still enjoy holding the physical books from time to time – especially with my favourites that I know I’ll always reread (Harry Potter!)
      Ebooks have definitely increased the accessibility of ARCs for a lot of bloggers – especially with the amount available to distribute and also for international readers where physical ARCs aren’t always possible.
      & I’m the same which is why I’m wary of giving audiobooks a try – they’re pretty expensive and then what if I don’t like the voice?! I am tempted, now that you’ve mentioned it, to give the HP books a reread in audiobooks – will be like reading it for the first time as it is such a different format!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ohhh my gosh, I have been an ebook reader for most of my life, and though i prefer physical books because I have less chance of getting distracted, I can’t deny that ebooks are so convenient! My phone has about a hundred books in it alone. It’s so great to carry around anywhere, and I love that I can adjust font size and brightness. The cheapness is also such a huge factor to me. Ultimately, though I miss reading physical books, I’ve grown to appreciate ebooks so much, and I 100% think think that they’re real books. Period. Amazing discussion!

    Like

    1. Same!! I haven’t bought a physical book for a long long time – I think 2017 might be my last purchase?! Otherwise it’s been ebooks – I love them! It’s so crazy how many books you can store on one device, making it so convenient!
      I do admit, it is nice to go back to physical books whenever I reread one I already own – actually turning the pages makes for a different experience!
      YES THEY ARE 100% READING!
      Thanks so much for reading Caitlin!💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this post!!! I think it’s silly that people don’t consider ebooks & audiobooks actual reading – you’re still consuming the words & immersing yourself in the story!! I’m also SUPER partial to ebooks (although I still prefer actual books for the aesthetics 😂)

    I also love how easy it is to highlight quotes & add comments on ebooks – it makes reviewing books so much easier!!

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES same!! Ebooks and audiobooks are still books just in a different format?! Maybe audiobooks aren’t reading in the literal sense of the word but it still counts and it shouldn’t be regarded as any less??
      Same, I do love ebooks but I have nothing against physical books too & they are more aesthetic!😂
      I never thought about that but so many people have mentioned it – the ease of annotating is 100% a huge benefit of ebooks!
      Thanks for reading Ngoc💕

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Audiobooks for me, not so much. I can only listen to light, fluffy reads. But I do like both physical and ebooks. I probably read more ebooks though. I read at night in bed and tend to read a lot faster. If that makes any sense. Lol.

    Like

    1. I don’t tend to read audiobooks either – I’m super fussy about voices haha, and the cost means it’s a bit risky😂
      Yes!! Reading ebooks somehow is so much quicker?! Maybe as you’re swiping and not physically turning the paper?
      Thanks for reading!💛

      Like

  11. Ebooks for sure count as reading! The way that people read has changed so many times throughout history, from stone slabs to wax slabs, to papyrus scrolls, to books, and now ebooks! I love ebooks because they’re so convenient and they’re the best for commuting. Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Though I love the esthetic of beautiful bookshelves, I am a Kindle Paperwhite girl exclusively. I read only on my Kindle. If I discover a real favourite book, I might then buy the hardback copy to live on my shelves. Nerdy, I know.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this! You’re so right that they’re not quite as pretty and it breaks my heart everyday. One of my favourite things about reading on my Kindle (I am also a Kindle girl through and through) is that you can take notes as you go through the book and it’s so easy to write down your thoughts. Forget sticky notes or having to find a pen, Kindle notes are where it’s at!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! We need aesthetic ebooks🤧
So many have said this and it’s something I’ve never thought about?! I definitely need to start highlighting and annotating my ebooks more (will make reviews easier too ;).
Thanks for reading and commenting!💕

      Like

  14. I’ve loved ebooks for more than 6 years now ❤ I think e-readers are one of my best bought devices and such a great investment. I have a Kindle 8, which is so affordable and can only read books, which means you do not get distracted at all. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have battled with myself so much on this debate. I used to be 100% team physical book because I thought it made me seem like more of a ~real reader,~ but I’m coming to the point of not giving a crapola.

    I do tend to read more ebooks now, though.

    Its because I can’t afford to buy books 98% of the time, so as someone that is indecisive and uses the library, Overdrive has been the absolute bomb for me. I also don’t drive, so walking to the library in this awful heat is really inconvenient. I love the ease of being able to download books instantly for free, and being able to instantly return them if they’re not for me. I still like rereading the physical books I own though.

    Great post, by the way. I always love reading about this debate – I find it interesting to hear other people’s thoughts.

    – Zoe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know a lot of people thought the same but ereading is still 100% reading!! Formats are always changing.
      Yes ebooks are SO much cheaper which is something I love too – as a teenager, I can’t afford to be spending £8+ on a single book when I read them so quickly! Library ebooks are also super convenient like you said, especially with the ease of borrowing/returning without having to make a special trip to the library.
      Thanks so much for reading & commenting Zoe!

      Like

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