Kindle vs Hardcover and Paperback Books

Smell the fresh ink of a new paperback or the musty pages of a classic, feel the bumpy texture of a book jacket, or run your finger along the crease in the spine, and you'll get a sense of the nostalgia that holding a book in your hands can trigger.
For avid readers, making the switch to a Kindle or other electronic reading device can feel a bit traitorous when faced with the collection of hardcover and paperback books that line the shelves of your living room. Rather than mourn the transition to digital books, however, we prefer to look at the bright side of holding on to both mediums—both for those who stubbornly hold on to the old ways and for those who embrace the technology of a Kindle.

Arguments in favor of the Kindle:


1. A lighter load

Face it. If you're one of those people who walks out of the library or bookstore with books piled up to your chin, it's a whole lot easier (and lighter) to carry a Kindle than it is to haul your books with you to the coffee shop or beach. Your carry-on will be that much lighter, and you won't regret leaving one of your books at home just because it was too heavy, too thick, or too oversized.

2. No losing your place

If you've ever read a Russian novel and lost your place, you know how thrilling it can be to read a book on Kindle and never lose your place. No bookmarks needed

3. Read what you want, where you want

Since the Kindle is discreet—and even includes privacy settings to keep nosy family members out—you can read whatever you want, wherever you want. No need to hide the book jacket out of embarrassment or to avoid a controversial argument. E-books make it easy to make book choices based on what you really want to read—not what you think others expect you to read. So break out the Superman comic books—no shame needed.

4. Built-in dictionary and font size

When I'm reading a traditional book, I'm generally too lazy to get up and find the dictionary to look up a word I don’t know. But with a Kindle, it's easy to look up words right on your device. You can also bump up the font size to make it easier to read—no large print edition needed—or make it smaller to fit more words on a single page.

Arguments in favor of traditional books:

While we've already covered some of the benefits of traditional books—the smell, the feel, and the worn-out, loved look—there are a few other reasons to grab a paperback versus the Kindle.

1. No battery needed

While the Kindle battery lasts quite awhile, eventually you'll need to recharge it—which means packing the charger and getting access to an outlet when you're traveling or reading away from home.

2. Easy to borrow or give as a gift

While it is possible to share books on the Kindle or other e-readers, there are limitations to borrowing or transferring books. Plus you need the technological know-how to do it. Not so with traditional books. They're easy to borrow to a friend and give you something physical to wrap for gift-giving, unlike an e-book.

3. Less worry about damage or loss

Since books are cheaper than a Kindle device, you don't have to worry so much about dropping the book in the bathtub or spilling coffee on the pages. Except for rare editions and other exceptions, books are cheaper to replace than a Kindle.

Case for Kindle

If you love the Kindle but miss holding a book in your hands, get the best of both worlds with a Kindle case from Pad & Quill. Our book-like case for Kindle feels like holding a book and disguises your e-reader to reduce the chances of theft. Now with a built-in on/off smart cover feature!