Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday FAQ: Which Is Better - Paper or Digital Reading?

In December, as I wrapped up 2016 and began to plan for my daily blogging challenge, I talked about how much I wish I could vlog - and why I decided to step up my blog instead of forcing myself to move into video. I talked a little about how I planned to accomplish daily blogging in January, and I asked for questions I could use for a series of Friday FAQ posts.

In response to that post, Karen Henderson asked me which is my favorite way to read - digital, or in print?

Now here's the thing, I love both methods for different reasons. There's nothing like the smell or the feel of a "real" book ... but there's nothing like the ease and convenience of digital reading, either. But for me? Personally? In this chapter of my life?

Digital. Obviously. Although to be honest, the phone pictured is Joey's. (I used mine to take the picture.)

When Josephine was still very small, our apartment was filled with books. I even used them to decorate, leaving them strategically around every room of our place. I wanted her to see books and be used to them, to develop a natural respect and love for them. She had her own bookshelf full of books before she could even read them! The thing was, she didn't really bother my books.

Eden, on the other hand, did. And still does.

Eden loves books in a freakishly rabid sort of way, and is willing to read just about anything with words on it. At 7 years old, she has already devoured the entire Junie B. Jones series (buy books 1-4 here), the entire Magic Tree House Series (buy books 1-4 here), about half of the A To Z Mysteries Series (buy the first book here), Charlotte's Web (buy the book here), the Harry Potter Series except for The Cursed Child - but it's on hold at the library (buy the first book here), and all five of the main books in the Percy Jackson Series (buy the first book here). She's insatiable, and we often joke that she devours books.

Unfortunately, she also seems to devour bookmarks, and because she has ADHD, she doesn't usually notice if the bookmark was marking a place before she pulls it out to look at it.

By the time she was a toddler, her love of books had already grown into a rather annoying habit of loving my books, even if I was reading them. I couldn't put a book down without her making her way over to it and immediately losing my place!

Luckily for me, this was right around the time that Amazon's Kindle became the next big thing - and it didn't take long before I had the Kindle app on my cell phone. Finally - I could read a book without being worried about putting it up, hiding it from Eden, or losing my bookmark! The app saved my place for me, stored all of my books, and was always with me! Best of all, it was free! I loved it!

Eventually I also found myself in possession of a Kindle Paperwhite, which I absolutely adore - so much so that it didn't take me long to arrange for my daughters to also have their own Paperwhites, too. We like ours with folio-style covers, so that they're safe and protected but still retain a sort of real-book feel, and we really love that we can even check out library books electronically!

We also love that:
  • we can read in the dark because our Kindle screens are backlit.
  • we can read in bright sun, because the Paperwhite screen doesn't glare. They call it PAPERwhite for a reason.
  • no book is ever heavy, because regardless of the book size, the Kindle weight remains the same.
  • big books aren't intimidating to little readers - largely because the little reader doesn't always realize how big the books are.
  • it's so easy to carry an entire library along, perfectly fitted into almost any purse, pocket, or bag.
  • it's perfect for distraction-free reading, since it's lousy as a tablet. We actually chose it for that reason on purpose.
The only thing I don't love about my Paperwhite is that it doesn't do voice-to-text - it can't read my books out loud to me to help me with my editing. However, the Kindle Fire does, and that's why I also have one of those.

So I'm sure you can tell by now which reading style is my favorite, and speaking of reading, I'm off to read right now. I'm trying to finish a new book for my book review blog, so ...



Questions for the Comments Section:

  • What are you reading lately?
  • Which is your favorite reading style - digital, or paper?

53 comments:

  1. I love physical books. I have tried the kindle readers but it is just not the same.

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    1. I think mine have taken over my life - but they cover a time when I otherwise might not get much reading done because mothering is a busy job in itself, so I love them. I never go anywhere without my kindle, and it's ALWAYS charged.

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  2. I love physical books and own a great collection of them but I also enjoy audio books when on the road.

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    1. For a long time, I couldn't love audio books because for some reason, having something read to me just made the whole thing go right over my head. I could listen to a book and have NO IDEA what it said and only the vaguest impression of what it was about. But recently, I've been loving audio for biographies and memoirs - it's really fun listening to those types of books, especially if they're narrated by the authors.

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  3. I'm listening to Rescuing Harley on audio and getting ready to start an Arc on my Ipad. I'm also reading The Pinkerton Man Series in print. I love that your daughters like to read too

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    1. I haven't Rescuing Harley or any of the Pinkerton Man books - I'll have to look them up!

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  4. I love both. I read many books on the kindle, but I also love going to the library. There is nothing like curling up in bed with a real book!

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    1. Agreed! I still love the way a real book feels and smells, and I love the way bookshelves look. But for the ease and convenience that I need at this time in my life, digital definitely wins for me.

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  5. I also like both "real" books and my kindle. I like my kindle for travel ~ so convenient!! I love that your Eden LOVES books! Check out my website for book recommendations if you ever run out of ideas :)

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  6. Digital for me! Love taking them on the go!

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    1. So convenient, right? Before I had my Kindle, I almost always carried two books with me - two, because I hated when I would be waiting somewhere and I'd finish my book but not have anything else to read. Now? That's never going to be a problem again - and that makes me happy. It's like I have an infinite library that fits in my pocket!

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  7. I've always preferred books so it's a tech thing for me to fiddle my way around a kindle reader. Forget nook. That was just horrible! For Eden, the next series she could read (that is awesome for all ages) is the Septimus Heap 7 book series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Septimus-Heap-Book-One-Magyk-ebook/dp/B0016P2FA6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1484335409&sr=1-1&keywords=septimus+heap I just loved it and I think she will too! Let me know.

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    1. Yeah I'm not really fond of Nook either, it just feels a little clunky to me. But Amazon is very smooth and I love the way their products work. Another bonus for me was the fact that the app is free - I used it for a long while before I could afford my first Paperwhite.

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    2. Also, I love your Septimus Heap recommendation! I think both of my girls would actually love that series - it's enough like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson to attract Eden, and enough like the Unwanteds Series to attract Josephine! Thanks for sending the first book to them, too - that was really sweet of you!

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  8. I love digital, because I'm on the go a lot. But every now and then I find myself really wanting a physical book. I guess there's something about turning actual pages and the smell of a real book. lol

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    1. Agreed! I'm never without books because of my Kindle, but I have stacks and stacks of real books everywhere.

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  9. I'm at a crossroads with this actually. I've loved my Kindle for many years but I don't tend to re-read books on it, I think you can forget them sometimes if you haven't got the spine there reminding you.

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    1. For me, when I'm starting a new book, I always go to the last page of my Kindle and choose a book from there - that way nothing gets left on my kindle for long enough to be forgotten. I also use my kindle for checking out library books too - you should ask your local library if they have an electronic section. We check out e-books all the time from the library, and send them to our kindles to be read. It even works with Kindle Freetime for my kids, which I love, and I often send audiobooks to my phone so that I can listen to them while driving or cleaning the house.

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  10. I prefer real books. I love the smell. I like the feel. I had a Kindle and I found I got headaches when I'd try to read from there.

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    1. I think for a lot of people it's about the screen type and the light amount. With tablet/kindle combos, my reading experience is not as top-notch as using a real book - but with the Paperwhite, it's close enough to keep me very happy. This type of screen doesn't glare in the sun, it's light enough to allow me to read in the dark, and it's just ... well, like I said in the post, they call it PAPERwhite for a good reason. And with the folio case, it does feel quite a lot like a book - though I'll admit that it's no spot-on replacement.

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  11. I love digital for the sole reason of it not wasting paper. It's also an added bonus that it doesn't create more things in my house.

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    1. Yes! I have over 500 books on my Kindle - I can't imagine ever having that much space for that many real books.

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  12. I loe both too. I prefer books when I'm home and the Kindle on the run.

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    1. Yeah I keep books next to my bed - that's the only place I stay still long enough to read a real book. But I don't pick them up often, because I'm usually reading something on my Kindle.

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  13. I have a Nook myself and I love it, especially when traveling. I have all my books and magazines and games in one place.

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    1. Oooh, I've never thought of it for magazines before. I should check that out on my fire. For me, blogs have sort of become the new magazine ... I love Pinterest for finding just the right things for myself, and that it tries to customize to my liking. Recently, I found Bloglovin' too, and that's a great site/app for keeping up with my favorite blogs. I like that it puts everything in a neat little newsfeed I can scroll through to read whatever I want.

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  14. Books are definitely paper for me! I will try just about everything else digital.

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    1. There really is something magical about just a book, isn't there?

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  15. I do prefer paper books but digital definitely makes it easier to read in loads of different places.

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    1. I think that's why at this stage in my life, I prefer digital reading. It carries easily to the car, the doctor, the pickup line at school. It ALWAYS fits in my purse, there's always a new book ready for me when I finish one. It's never heavy or cumbersome (because I really do like big books - the longer and more in-depth the story, the better) ... I just love it.

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  16. I'm definitely a digital book person! I love that I can read in bed without bothering the hubs! I also love that I can listen to that same digital book when I get tired of reading it (like when I want someone to read me to sleep i.e. audible) lol

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    1. Yes! I love being able to switch from actual reading to audio reading - and I love that when I use my fire for this, it knows where my place is so the switch is seamless.

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  17. I slowly gifted my kids refurbished kindles a few years ago and I also have one myself. I created a cloud for all the books and downloaded particular books to each of theirs. However, every day you will see all of us with physical books instead. We enjoy both but, are lean heavily towards physical books. Never tried audio; have wanted to but, I really don't have time for it. Even my drive to and from work I have my kids with me. Kind of hard to hear audio over their chatter LOL

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    1. We definitely go back and forth as well, and we have lots of both e-books and regular books. But I have noticed a definite trend in all three of us toward digital reading - we love the ease and convenience. My girls don't really use audio books though - they can't sit quietly long enough to listen!

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  18. I am personally a physical books kind of gal but I do have my digital reader too. The books tend to be cheaper there so when I am on a budget that is what I go to.

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    1. Yes! I love how much cheaper e-books can be, and that even if I'm flat broke that day and in desperate need of a good book, there are even free books! Not always good ones, mind you, but there's treasure in every trash heap, if one takes the time to look through.

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  19. I prefer reading in books as it just feels 'closer' to the book and the story but the Kindle allows me to have aaaaalll the books I want in one device, so Kindle wins in the end.

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    1. That's sort of my way of seeing it too. There's something truly magical about curling up with a real book - but for ease and convenience, Kindle wins for us. And then when you add on the sheer volume of availability? We're sold.

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  20. I absolutely love my kindle. My husband got me the paperweight when it firsr came out since he know how much I loved reading. I could literally devour 5 -300 to 500 page books in a day. Then the next year he got me the new kindle fire so I gave my paperweight to my mother who was the one who encouraged my reading. Last year he got me the newest kindle for Christmas right after having my son. Oh boy am I happy abut that. Now that my son is a year it definitely comes in handy. I love all romance books and supernatural romance books. I have paperback but also on my kindle with kindle unlimited. Sheesh I use my kindle more even if I have a bookshelf full of paper books (which my mother wants back not happening though). If my son catches me with a book on rare times I have time to read he will shred it. Like noooo not my books but he just starts tearing yikes. Thank heavens for my kindle. I am on the search for new kindle books about millionaires and sheiks secret babies or multiples lol.

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    1. Ahh, a fellow bookworm - a woman after my own (and my youngest daughter's) heart! I loved seeing that you like to read romance novels, too - you may have noticed that I am a novelist myself! My books are all romances of varying genres; feel free to check them out!

      *At the top of any page on this site, you'll see a link that says "My Books." It'll give you the lowdown on my various series works, as well as links on how to learn more or pick up a book for yourself.

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  21. I'm a paper reader. Now that I think about it my whole family, who loves to read, prefers hands on page turning books.

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    1. There's something about the smell, for me ... In Knoxville there's a store I love called McKay's, and when you walk in, you're just blasted with that great book smell. It's one of my favorite places to be!

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  22. I must admit i do love reading a good book rather than a kindle although the light on the kindle does help alot. I just cant seem to give up the paper books lol

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    1. Me neither. I prefer digital these days because of how easy it is with how busy my life is - but nothing quite replaces the comfort of a good solid book.

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  23. I'm a paper girl myself. I have a ridiculous collection of books. But nothing beats the digital when you want to read something and can't wait or when you are on-the-go.

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    1. Exactly! I love that the variety (paper vs digital) brings the magic of books to both kinds of people. Because regardless of the material, it's really the stories that we're after, isn't it?

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  24. I think they both have their ups and downs. I'm more into my Kindle because the books are much cheaper :)

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    1. That's definitely a plus, especially if you're a particularly voracious reader! Reading can be an expensive hobby if you aren't careful!

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  25. I used to prefer physical books but I've found that they end up taking up a lot of space so now I prefer digital. I just wish there was a way to download all my existing physical books onto my kindle since I've already bought them.

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    1. I have wished that a thousand times myself. What I've been doing over the years is going through and choosing a book now and then, and really thinking about whether I NEED to keep it. If I don't, it goes to the used bookstore. If I do, then I think again, asking myself if I NEED this book in paper, or if I just NEED to know I can read it again. The answer helps me decide whether digital is better. Some books, I've even got in both formats!

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  26. When it comes to Paper & Digital reading I am with you on supporting both the versions as each of them come handy on different situations. As I travel a lot digital version is the one that comes handy most of the time!

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    1. It works best for me, too - so easy and convenient, and I never run out of books!

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