Ebooks or Paper?

Would it surprise you to know that, according to a survey by Nielson, only twenty percent of teenagers buy ebook?  If you’ve read the article on the brilliant Guardian Children’s Books site, you won’t be.  But I was.
I’m not sure why I was quite so surprised.  I mean, I consider myself to be a teenager still (not for much longer though) and for me nothing beats a proper, print book.  I mean, nothing compares to the smell of a book, the soft crinkle as you turn the page, the weight of a book in your hand…  To me at least.  
Although, saying that, I love my Kindle to pieces.  The ability to carry a whole library in my bag – it helps a hell of a lot when I go on holiday, I’ll tell you that much.  My bags are a third of the weight now that I’ve got my trusty Kindle in my carry-on.  
So yeah.  To sum up, I like both.  But now it’s time to be a neutral little book addict and examine the awesomeness of both ebooks and physical books.  And let you guys decide which you prefer.  So, in the words of one of my brothers’ favourite comedians, which is better?  There’s only one way to find out…  FIGHT!
First up: ebooks, pros and cons!
They’re cheaper and easier to get your hands on – just a few clicks or taps away and then bam, books in your hands!  You can have hundreds all stored inside one very light little box (they’re like the Tardis!).  You can get apps and have all your books on your phone or tablet – you don’t even need to take two electronically devices out with you anymore!  Loads of novellas aren’t published in print – hello Kindle Store!  Classics are free – read something old and awesome on something new and awesome (and pretend you live in a steampunk world – or don’t…  That might just be me…).  If you’re reading something ridiculous, no one will ever know.  It’s an awesome way to support brilliant indie authors.  There are numerous reasons why ereaders are brilliant – one of the main ones being that they’re so damn practical for us book addicts.
But now the cons.  They don’t smell right – like books.  They don’t make the right sound.  You don’t get the satisfaction of waving monster or impressive books in people’s faces on the train.  It’s generally way harder to navigate around books on a Kindle – so finding the word meaning index at the back of an epic fantasy is impossible until you’ve finished the damn book (lesson: never read A Game Of Thrones on a Kindle).  Studies have shown people don’t retain stories read on ereaders as well as print books (lesson: never read a book for school on a Kindle).  As a teenager, it’s harder to buy ebooks – lots of teens don’t have a credit card.  And, most of all, ebooks aren’t real books.  Sure, they’re the same story, the same words, but… they’re not.  
Dammit, I’m so failing at this neutral thing…
Onto the print books now.  First, the pros.
Where to start…  Like I said before, absolutely nothing on this green earth beats the feel, smell, sound and sight of a beautiful book in your hands.  I mean, that feeling you get when a book you’ve been wanting for ages is first in your grasp – the ritual of stroking the spine lovingly, reading the blurb over and over and hugging your new precious to your chest is one of my favourite things in the whole world (apart from reading, of course).  They look so pretty on your shelves.  There are more ways to get your hands on physical books – you can buy them, get them from the library or borrow them from your friends or family.  When you’re revising for school, it’s way easier to annotate on physical books – even if the act itself feels rather sacrilegious.  It’s way easier to navigate around a physical book – to find out how many pages are left, how long the chapters is, where those pesky definitions indexes are…  And, just accept it, books are books.  They are so… special and I just love everything about the paper pages.  I’m so biased…
The cons now.  Ok, so even though recycled paper is often used now, I guess books aren’t the most environmentally friendly things in the world.  I mean, I must have a whole freaking forest in my room right now…  Which happens to be my next point: they take up a helluva lotta room, don’t they?  I don’t know about you guys, but you can barely see my floor, walls or desk thanks to my books – they’ve even begun to spread out of my room (sometimes I swear they multiply by themselves overnight…).  Sometimes it takes some time for a book you ordered to arrive – and by the time it finally comes you’re dying from need!  It’s possible that you could die from hauling your books around – I mean, do you guys remember YALC?  I think a few people almost had their arms fall off due to all the books.
Ok, I’m not going to lie to you guys.  I really forgot what my point was when I started this piece.  It’s basically become a series of crazed ramblings about my adoration of all things bookish (sorry if I sound crazy, but, well, Alice In Wonderland wasn’t my favourite classic as a kid for nothing).  
But I think you guys will get my mad rambles.  If anyone would, it would be you lovely readers.  I mean, we’re book addicts together, right?  We’re in this ship together.  Whatever this ship might be…  The Ark of books?  Oh God, now I want one…
Ok, to sum up, I want you guys to join in with our Twitter chat and tell me this: are you ebook mad or barmy about print books?  And then we can have our own statistics!  Feel free to add your own pros and cons to my list too!
Have fun and happy reading, fellow book addicts!


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