Do you prefer reading books on a tablet or having a book in your hand?

For some reason, I still like the feel of an actual book in my hand with pages that I have to turn myself.

I gave tablet an edge because I’m getting old and like enlarging the print size.

Acquiring books for my gadget is easier and I can carry many more around with me.

I rarely if ever read an electronic book when I am at home.

Same here. I still like the feel and especially the scent of old books but even with trifocals it’s so much more comfortable to be able to adjust the font size.

Also a giant book collection is a real hassle when you have to move. I find the minimalism of a Paperwhite very appealing, too.

Still holding out.

The tablet is for surfing the net while in bed.

A book has pages that you have to manually turn.

They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Though I prefer a dedicated e-reader (like my Kindle Paperwhite) to doing extended reading on a tablet.

I - hate - electronic reading

for some reason e reading seems artificial and rushed but a book seems exactly right, slow and comfortable

I like books. It’s better to hold a real book in my hands, and sometimes I’ll read a book that the author inscribed, which makes it even more special.

How are authors going to sign e-books and make it feel the same as when you buy a hardcover book and have them autograph it for you?

I slightly prefer books. They feel comfortable in my hands.

The down side is a tall stack of books on the bedside table. Kindle holds so many books in a tiny space.

Electronics are better for travel. In the everyday world, the book is the perfect delivery vehicle for words.

In my experience, a lightweight e-reader makes for much more comfortable one-handed reading, assuming the book is larger than a pamphlet.

It’s also more convenient for me to carry around a single device for mobile internet access plus reading than it is to carry an internet device and several books.

Yup. The advantage of ordering up a next book to read on vacation and not carrying extra books around? Big.

But I prefer books, prefer browsing the local shop, prefer them getting my dollars than Amazon. Even if I have to order the book I want and then return to get it.

Quite the excellent technology.

Powered by ambient light too. And made of renewable resources.

Both types of book have their advantages and disadvantages. I think I’ll be keeping both sorts into the foreseeable future.

My eyes suck. I blow up the words on the page until there’s only about thirty on the screen at a time… while I am capable of reading text at a much smaller size, I don’t enjoy it. Not enjoying it is OK if I’m buying a reference book for use at work, but not for prolonged continuous reading. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever buy another paper book for pleasure reading.

It’s a little sad because I love the feel and smell of paper, especially old books.

I’ve had a Kindle for 3 or 4 years now, have read exactly two books on it before shoving it in a drawer.

I prefer a real book.

However, my near-vision eyesight seems to be worsening at an alarming rate. I may need to fire up that Kindle again.

Ebooks are inconvenient because you can’t flip through them quickly to find a particular passage.

That’s an occasional inconvenience, though, and outweighed by the huge convenience of not having to hold up the doorstop-sized books I tend to read.

I prefer tablets.

In theory, I prefer e-readers and PDFs because I can have all my books everywhere and so on.

In practice, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a non-physical book. I’ve finished plenty of short stories and articles on the PC, but I just cannot read novels in an electronic format. It has to have physical pages. There’s no real reason for this, it’s just e-readers make me magically lose interest in whatever I’m reading.

The other thing is reference manuals like D&D. They’re so much easier when you have physical pages to flip through. Sure, with the webpages and PDFs you have search, but I find a few bookmarks much better.

My library uses a program called Overdrive, which lets me read books on my Android tablet. Maybe it’s the program, or the tablet, but I have to read the book one sequential page after another – no skipping ahead, no flipping to the index to see what other page I saw that name on, etc. I don’t know if things would be easier with a genuine e-reader, but what I have right now is not user-friendly.

This is invariably said by older people, who have a mental connection to their past and reading books when e-readers weren’t an option. What I think is that you mostly actually really like the feeling of nostalgia that holding a book and turning pages generates in you, more than the feeling itself. I’d bet if you studied school children and gave them equal access to both versions of any type of book they had to read from the beginning, not many would say the same.

Although I’m also at least old enough to have read books back then too, I decidedly never liked the tactile feeling of holding on to wads of paper (I actually appreciated when I had a book like a textbook that could lay flat on its own without being held - I also preferred the feeling of waxier/glossy pages to raw paper). Needless to say, when e-readers came about I got on that right away and haven’t looked back.

There are lots of good reasons to read from a tablet:

  1. Books are considerably cheaper on tablet. Indeed, books on which the copyright has expired are often ridiculously cheap. For instance, I downloaded Wilkie Collins’ ‘The Moonstone’ and ‘The Woman in White’ absolutely free. If I’d bought them in Borders it would probably have cost me about 15 bucks. So after a while, tablets pay for themselves.

  2. The iPad Kindle app has a built-in dictionary so you can immediately look up unfamiliar words.

  3. You can adjust the print size if you have poor eyesight.

  4. You can annotate e-books without ruining them.

Unfortunately, for me, they’re all outweighed by the fact that reading a proper book just feels better, so I rarely use a tablet.