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Many book-lovers still prefer the traditional option and value the tactile sensation of a bound paper book. "Paper books are, as a rule, very well designed, they look and smell good, and they carry with them a more human touch,”


You can write in the margins of books, but not with eBooks. EBooks won’t let you write in different sizes at the same time, use cursive, or draw lines from one sentence to a note. Some of them won’t let you write anything at all. I like to write insults and complaints in my margins.


EBooks are designed for speed with skimming, scrolling, and linking. But physical books are designed for slow processing, with larger pages, no links, and concentrated singular lines of thought. The effect is slowness and patience instead of frenetic haste.


EBooks have “bookmarks” but it’s not the same and it doesn’t work as well as real books. With real books, you can hold multiple places at once and flip back and forth between them in split seconds without losing your original place. Moreover, since the text never changes locations in a real book, it’s easier to find your place in the book


Books aren’t just for reading, they also decorate your walls and nightstands (and stairs, and floors, and counters, and rafters, and chimneys, etc.). Even as decoration, books breathe an air of intelligence into the room — unless it’s the Twilight series.


EBooks are hard on the eyes, at least when read from tablets, phones, or conventional computer screens. Regular books don’t cause the eye-strain that eBooks do. Some E-Readers have “low light” and “no glare” screens. That’s good, but even these are hard to read in direct sunlight. With regular books, that’s not a problem.

Multiple Books

If you are in the thick of a research paper and you need to have five different books open at once, physical books afford that option. But your E-Reader or you phone does not. On a tablet or computer screen, you can keep separate “tabs” for different books, provided they are all on different sites. But the more tabs you have open, the slower your computer will run, and the more likely it will crash. Physical books don’t have a hard drive, so you can “tab” as many locations as you want (i.e., dog-ear the corner), and they will never crash.

Hap tic/Tactile Pleasure

Books have a feel to them, with texture, thickness, and weight. There’s more interactivity with the physicality of the book than there is with an E-Reader. Many people find the “feel” of books more satisfying and nostalgic than with eBooks Compared to the substantial tactile experience of books, a thin little E-Reader feels like a toy.

Deep Reading

Perhaps the most glaring singular advantage of books is their fitness for deep reading. Nicholas Carr’s bestseller The Shallows (2011) centers on this point; deep reading just doesn’t work wit


Related to mental mapping, the fact that book texts are stationary allows your memory to seize upon that object permanence and remember lines, ideas, names, and dates with great ease. They have a reliable physical location on a given page. That location will not change in the book. When you want to seriously study a book, and remember key ideas, quotes, and data, you are far better served with a book than an eBook.

No Fine Motor Skills Required

E-Readers are often hampered by touch-sensitive features. They are supposed to be convenient, but what if your hands are cold and shaky? Or the screen display is wonky and won’t let you touch the corner you want to highlight? Or what if your fingers are too fat for the tiny little keys on the screen? Books won’t give you a hard time, but most everyone with a phone, tablet, or E-Reader has had to wrestle with their device for their lack of fine motor skills.

Tangible Reality

Physical books are real, concrete objects. EBooks just don’t hold the same tangible reality, the same felt value as traditional books. One student in Singapore demonstrated the difference. Speaking of a story she read first as an eBook, “I loved it so much I had to save up and buy this,” . . . Stroking the printed version of fantasy novel The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. She added, “Holding it makes it more real.”

One-on-One Conversation

The simplicity of books allows the reader to have a one-on-one conversation with the author. You can read what they are saying, write comments in the margins, take notes in the back, and reread important sections. But if books are like a one-on-one conversation, eBooks are like a crowded noisy room where the whole experience is stuffed with distractions and cross-talk