Posted by: mgalewine | July 8, 2010

E-books or Print Books?

Reading has always been a favorite pastime for all our family. My mom was my reading role model as I grew up and later was my reading companion as we shared books, recommended books, and laughed and cried over the stories we were reading. My mother-in-law was also an avid reader. Her genre preferences were far afield from my mother’s but they meshed with my preferences very well.

My husband is always reading at least two books at any given time—one for leisure reading and one professional book. Of our three daughters, two have always been readers, devouring books and needing to be reminded that we don’t read at the dinner table. The third daughter reads as well but it’s usually pictures in magazines unless it’s something that really interests her. My grandchildren are also readers, thanks to the positive influence of their mothers and me, their grandmother. As for me, I’m constantly moving back and forth between professional books and books/magazines for leisure reading.

We were all quite content with our printed books until Rebecca broke the mold and purchased a Kindle several years ago. She was excited; I was curious; her dad was totally not interested. The more she talked about her Kindle the more I thought having an e-reader might be a good investment, especially for ease of carrying reading material when I was traveling. My husband was still totally disinterested but he did consent to give me a Nook for Christmas but he made it clear he still wasn’t interested in an e-reader.

Traveling to Washington, D.C., last week for the ALA Conference proved the value of having an e-reader since I was able to take my leisure reading books with me with relative ease. Hardest part was taking the Nook out of its case when going through security at the airport and having to explain to security personnel what a Nook is. Reading on the plane was quite enjoyable; this was the first time I’ve traveled by plane since receiving my Nook. While at ALA I was able to finish the latest book, Sizzling Sixteen, from one of my favorite authors, Janet Evanovich.

My husband also likes these number books by Evanovich and he was anxious to read this latest one so he acquiesced to read it on my Nook. In fact, he went on to read other e-books that I had purchased. His one complaint was he couldn’t turn the pages fast enough on the Nook but he did concede that using an e-reader was not all bad. He’s learned to send text messages on his cell phone; he’s now reading newspapers online via his computer; he uses an iPod when he goes to the gym. He even told me the other day that he needed to create a Facebook page! Yes, he’s slowing moving into the 21st Century with his technology use. Is he going to add an e-reader to his technology toolkit? Probably not any time soon. His comment when he’d finished the books on my Nook was, “The books were good and I enjoyed them but I still prefer a print copy. I miss the smell and feel of a book when using that Nook.”

Print books will be around for a while longer while e-books will continue to evolve. As for me, I’m enjoying having the best of both worlds. There’s nothing better than wandering through a bookstore or library and through serendipity finding a real gem. It’s not quite the same when scrolling through the list of books on the Barnes and Noble site for e-books but with the summary information available, gems are just waiting to be discovered. My girls and I will continue to enjoy our Kindles and Nooks while my husband continues to keep one foot in the print world and one foot in the digital world. Let’s face it reading is enjoyable regardless of the format.



  1. Why a Nook and not a Kindle? I’m trying to decide for myself.

  2. I’m researching ebook readers right now and would love to know if you think your Nook has advantages over the Kindle (good deals available for the older one on Amazon right now, and price IS an object.) Though my “cutting edge” in technology has been dulled to butter knife, I continiue to evolve as a reader and a media specialist. It’s hard to give up the smell of paper!

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